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by C. V. Wyk


A cinematic, page-turning historical fantasy YA novel, and first in a series, in which the legendary Spartacus is recast as a fierce female warrior…

Forged in battle...

From the dust of the arena...

A legend will rise

For teens who love strong female protagonists in their fantasy and historical fiction, Blood and Sand is a stirring, yet poignant tale of two slaves who dared take on an empire by talented debut author C. V. Wyk.

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...

The story continues in Fire and Ash, coming in 2019 from Tor Teen.

C. V. Wyk graduated from Vanderbilt University with a BA in English Literature and European History. Blood and Sand is her first novel. Born in Los Angeles, California, she now lives in Maryland. Look for her online on Twitter and Tumblr.

Rights have sold to Heyne in Germany!

Praise for Blood and Sand:

“The fights and battles are clear, exciting, and plentiful without being terribly graphic, and the love story, while a little quick, is deeply felt. Attia is a strong and skilled protagonist who, as the fiery ending indicates, has the tools and motivation to lead a rebellion.” —Booklist

“This is a textbook epic novel—sweeping fact, such as the volcanic destruction of Pompeii, and fiction into a tale of two heroes motivated by love for each other and conquered-nation pride. And it’s a textbook that’s fun reading on an after-chores Saturday or a curl-up-in-bed Sunday.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Readers looking for action, adventure, and historical fiction, don’t miss out.” —Kelly Gallucci, Bookish

Publishers Weekly starred review:

In an action-packed debut novel, Wyk reimagines the legendary story of Spartacus. It’s a dark day when 17-year-old Thracian warrior princess Attia is sold into slavery to the House of Timeus, after the Romans slaughter her people and kill her family, including her father, the Thracian king. After being branded, Attia is presented as a gift to Josias Neleus Timeus’s champion gladiator, Xanthus Maximus Colossus, who is also enslaved and who loathes the killing he must do for his master. As Attia gets to know those in the household—especially Timeus’s mistress Lucretia, whose abuse at his brutal hands is heartbreaking—her plan to kill the man responsible for her people’s slaughter is shadowed by new purpose and new love for the honorable and kind Xanthus. Attia makes an irresistible Spartacus, an accomplished fighter and a fearless young woman determined to forge her own destiny. Revelations in the finale pave the way for what promises to be an epic battle in the next book.

School Library Journal starred review:

Weaving two stories together—that of Attia, a 17-year-old Thracian warrior princess, and of Xanthus, a gladiator—Wyk crafts a cast of relatable characters whose lives have been thrown together as a result of massacre. Within a matter of days, Attia goes from being the princess of Thrace to being a slave girl in a gladiator household. She is purchased at an auction by the House of Timeus to be given as a gift to Xanthus, the Champion of Rome. A skilled fighter, Attia immediately escapes by breaking the bones of her captors, climbing buildings, and running as fast as possible. She is ultimately caught and branded and learns that she needs to follow instructions and lie low until she is able to kill Timeus and seek revenge on Crassus Flavius, the man responsible for the murder of her Thracian comrades. Meanwhile, Attia gets to know Xanthus, only to find out that he is also a slave to Timeus, bought as a child and forced to learn how to fight as a gladiator. Xanthus is training for the fight of his life: a chance to battle the man who murdered his people, Decimus. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius changes everyone’s plans and each character must fight to survive. A surprise ending will leave readers wanting more. Only slightly similar in theme to Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse, this debut is a unique addition to Ancient Roman historical fiction. This stunning series starter reads like a movie, with lengthy action scenes and strong imagery that allow readers to enjoy the narrative on a different level.

VERDICT Recommended for all young adult collections.