Saturday, December 15, 2018

*Review* The Gladiator's Downfall by Kristen Banet

Genre: Epic Fantasy
Published: December 14, 2018
Pages: 363

Mave knows where she stands in life. 

She’s an Andinna. A member of the winged, horned, and tailed warrior race that the Elvasi Empire defeated in the Hundred Year War and then enslaved. She’s a slave, and has been one for a thousand years, the personal property of the Empress of the Elvasi Empire, since the end of the War. She’s a gladiator, thrown onto the sands of the Colosseum to die, though it backfired on those who wanted her dead. She’s the Champion of the Colosseum, and has been for roughly nine hundred years. 

All of these things have marked her as an outcast among her own people. Hated, distrusted, and despised, she knows the name of her people, but not much else. 

But she knows where she stands. Keeping her head down and her blades sharp has carried her this far, and she refuses to acknowledge the deepest wishes she holds in her heart. Those will only get her killed. 

Alone, she’s stood against everything they have ever thrown at her, refusing to give them what they want. 

What Mave doesn’t know is that it’s all about to change. 

I was hired to proofread this book. The only aspects of the story that I influenced were the spelling and grammar. If you feel that my connection to this book makes my review untrustworthy, so be it, but this is my honest review.

Epic fantasy is one of my favorite genres, so I was super excited to be hired to proofread one (since a lot of my reading time anymore is devoted to proofreading). This book did not let me down. In fact, if I thought there was any chance I could actually talk Ms. Banet into only writing epic fantasy from now on, I would absolutely try. I don't see that happening though, so I'll just have to console myself with the knowledge that this is just the first book in a series from her.

This story is full of action, mystery, and intrigue, all centered around Mave. I spent a significant portion of the story wondering why not only did the other gladiator's not like Mave, but many were actively hostile towards her. Since the story is told mostly from Mave's perspective, I was working with limited information because while she understands, she's ashamed of the cause, so it's not information that she's willing to share. Once I had the information, I felt like her isolation was even more heartbreaking.

While I never really felt like I was fully in Mave's shoes while reading, because she was keeping things from me and the book isn't set entirely in her perspective, I did feel like I was very much with her for the ride starting at the beginning of the book. I became hesitant to hope for good things to happen because it seemed like they always turned to shit somehow, and yet I still desperately hoped that Mat and Rain would be different.

And I don't want to say too much more for fear of spoiling the story. Overall I give The Gladiator's Downfall 4.999 stars. - Katie 

Kristen Banet has a Diet Coke problem and smokes too much. She curses like a sailor (though, she used to be one, so she uses that as an excuse) and finds that many people don’t know how to handle that. She loves to read, and before finally sitting to try her hand at writing, she had your normal kind of work history. From tattoo parlors, to the U.S. Navy, and freelance illustration, she’s stumbled through her adult years and somehow, is still kicking.

She loves to read books that make people cry. She likes to write books that make people cry (and she wants to hear about it). She’s a firm believer that nothing and no one in this world is perfect, and she enjoys exploring those imperfections—trying to make the characters seem real on the page and not just in her head.

She might just be crazy, though. Her characters think so, but this can’t be confirmed.

Check out her social media to catch what's going on in the worlds inside her head. She drops teasers, new covers, and opens ARC reader slots through her Facebook group, The Banet Pride.
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