Wolf’s Empire: Gladiator by Claudia Christian and Morgan Grant Buchanan was a non-stop adventure of intrigue and mystery. The ending was completely unexpected and my heart kept thinking “this must be the end” so many times, even as more and more. Wolf’s Empire imagines what would have happened if Rome had never fell in a completely different vein from the Red Rising series. This is an Imperial Rome that is ruled by an emperor that has seven houses and has journeyed in to space and just like the Rome of old, there are politics and feuds that impact the lives of billions, maybe even the trillions of subjects under their rule.
This story is about the quest for justice by Accala Viridius whose mother and brother have been murdered by the evil House Sertorian. In order to have her revenge, she has been serving as a Gladiator in order to have her vengeance since no women are allowed in the imperial military. When the ultimate tournament comes up that will allow her to have her revenge AND win a decisive victory for House Viridian, she jumps at the chance, training hard only to have her spot ripped away from her. When all seems lost, she is suddenly given the opportunity to compete on the Sertorian team, but will this cost her soul?
If you enjoy any of the ancient Roman politics and history, you should like this book as most of the maneuvering is the same, as the authors themselves keep relating what is happening in their book to things that took place in the past. However, I do have to warn that this book is extremely graphic in nature and has an almost space-zombie-esque moment that I did not care for, but which made sense in the grand scheme of the book. Without spoiling what happened I cannot say too much more, just suffice to say that in this book you will see the idea of a Roman ‘god’ be challenged in many ways. For a good story, even if I personally found it a bit too gory, I am giving this 4/5 gladiators. I only wish the end of the story had included a bit more detail. Does this perhaps harken to another book in this series?
I received this book for free from the Publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.