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17 June 2020

Book Review: Blood & Sand by CV Wyk

I got Blood & Sand by CV Wyk in an Illumicrate box a couple of years ago. It immediately caught my interest but ended up being pushed down my TBR for Reasons. Now I'm a little gutted, as I could have experienced it earlier!

This fantastic re-imagined Spartacus is fulfilling my second prompt from my Make Your Myth-Taker ReadathonTBR, read a book with a weapon on the cover.

Blood & Sand by CV Wyk coverAdd to Goodreads button

Forged in battle, from the dust of the arena, a legend will rise...

Roma Victrix. The Republic of Rome is on a relentless march to create an empire―an empire built on the backs of the conquered, brought back to Rome as slaves.

Attia was once destined to rule as the queen and swordmaiden of Thrace, the greatest warrior kingdom the world had seen since Sparta. Now she is a slave, given to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome, as a sign of his master’s favor. Enslaved as a child, Xanthus is the preeminent gladiator of his generation.

Against all odds, Attia and Xanthus form a tentative bond. A bond that will spark a rebellion. A rebellion that threatens to bring the Roman Republic to its end ― and gives rise to the legend of Spartacus... 

Source: Purchase, Illumicrate

5 Word Review: Power, strength, survival, attraction, freedom, rebellion.

Content warning: Gore, violence, slavery.

If you know anything about the legend of Spartacus, then you'll vaguely know where this is going. If you have seen the TV series based on the legend, then you'll have an idea of how bloody this book is.

Blood & Sand is bloody and brutal and violent. And it's absolutely excellent.

I wasn't sure how a gender-switched Spartacus would work when I first heard of this book, but it did make me excited. And if anything it exceeded my expectations.

Now, I'm not a fan of gore and violence. I usually shy away from it, go for something softer. But the pace in this book was so relentless that I couldn't help but read (and even enjoy?!) the fight scenes. As much as my toes were curling, I was caught up in the action. And the small soft romance hiding in the story was beautiful to read, especially against the backdrop of such violence.

Attia is a fantastically complex character. She's strong in mind and body, she's a fighter in every sense of the word, and she's whip smart, She was a joy to read.

Also the hardback cover is gorgeous shiny foil, almost like fire. It is so pretty.

My only wish is that I had read this sooner so that I could have raved about it back then. It is absolutely outstanding and I recommend it to everyone. If you enjoyed Grace & Fury then you will enjoy this.

What's your favourite historical retelling?


  1. Well that cover is stunning and has my name written all over it.

  2. This book sounds excellent!

  3. I LOVED THIS BOOK! I was so sad to hear that the rest of the series wasn't going to be published :(


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