We are so thrilled to reveal the cover of The Defiant, the followup to Lesley Livingston’s The Valiant. The Valiant is richly imagined fantasy that follows one girl’s gripping journey from fierce Celtic princess to legendary gladiator and darling of the Roman empire. Read a bit about the new book and a few words from Lesley on the cover and the new novel, then check out the amazing cover that’s giving us some SERIOUS Wonder Woman feels.
About the book:
The darling of the Roman Empire is in for the fight of her life.
Be brave, gladiatrix… And be wary. Once you win Caesar’s love, you’ll earn his enemies’ hate.
Fallon was warned.
Now she is about to pay the price for winning the love of the Roman people as Caesar’s victorious gladiatrix.
In this highly anticipated sequel to THE VALIANT, Fallon and her warrior sisters find themselves thrust into a vicious conflict with a rival gladiator academy, one that will threaten not only Fallon’s heart – and her love for Roman soldier Cai – but the very heart of the ancient Roman Empire.
When dark treachery and vicious power struggles threaten her hard-won freedom, the only thing that might help the girl known as Victrix save herself and her sisters is a tribe of long-forgotten mythic Amazon warriors.
The only trouble is, they might just kill her themselves first.
A note from Lesley:
I am so excited about the cover reveal for this book for so many reasons. First of all, it’s beautiful! But even more than that, it’s just so… right. It was months ago when I got my first sneak peek of the gorgeous cover image for THE DEFIANT and it’s been almost impossible to contain my excitement over it. The moment captured by the artist is both intensely personal and gloriously epic. It’s like a battle scene painted on an ancient vase. And yet, it’s so very timely.
In writing THE VALIANT and its sequel, THE DEFIANT, I knew I would be delving into a world of myth and legend where female gladiators were concerned. So it’s probably not surprising that my research—and, indeed, the story itself—would dovetail with a society of women warriors who were a vital part of the myths and legends of the period I was writing about: the Amazons.
To say the ancient civilizations of the Greeks and Romans were fascinated by tales of the Amazons and their heroic exploits would be a glaring understatement. Stories of Amazonian exploits were wildly popular—their legends were immortalized in artistic depictions called “amazonomachy”, painted on vases or pictured in mosaics, carved in intricate marble reliefs on the sides of monuments and the tombs of the wealthy. They were, in essence, the superheroes of their day. A pop culture phenomenon.
And, I have to say, it was pretty motivational to take a break from doing manuscript revisions on THE DEFIANT—a story that sees my heroine Fallon and her gladiatrix friends dealing with a tribe of Amazons in a particularly up-close-and-personal way—to flip over my laptop screen and revel in the latest WONDER WOMAN trailers and GIFs and reviews. I’d like to think that, if they ever met, my gladiatrix heroine Fallon, and Princess Diana of Themyscira would be pals. And it’s been amazing to see so much appreciation—finally—for a female-led super-story on the big screen.
After all, it was the mythic, magnificent Amazon Queen Penthesilea, who was reputed to have said during the Trojan War: “Not in strength are we inferior to men; the same our eyes, our limbs the same; one common light we see, one air we breathe; nor different is the food we eat. What then denied to us hath heaven on man bestowed?”
The fact that there’s this new, feverish enthusiasm surrounding these wondrous women warriors right now is so exciting to me. It’s warmed my comic-loving geek heart and my history-loving nerd soul and wrapped my mythology-loving egghead in a great big hug. And, most of all, it sustained me in the months leading up to this very moment when I get to share this extraordinary cover image of my own fierce female fighters with all of you! And, eventually, in the not-too-distant future… the story inside the cover.
And now for the cover!
Haven’t read The Valiant yet? Start reading here!