A 5th century CE mosaic in the Great Palace of Constantinople depicts
two venatores fighting a tiger.
"Consulting the Oracle" by John William Waterhouse, showing eight
priestesses in a temple of prophecy.
From Debbie Wiley Book Reviews
Girl in the Arena
by Lise Haines
happens when reality television dictates what a person does in their
Lyn is the daughter of seven gladiators. Her mother, Allison, has made
a career out of being a gladiator’s wife, studiously following the
credos of the Glad wives. Lyn wants a different path for herself but a
traumatic turn of events leaves her at the mercy of Caesar’s, the
ruling body for the Gladiator Sports Association. Will Lyn be forced to
marry and become a Glad wife or will she find her own path to success?
GIRL IN THE ARENA is told entirely from Lyn’s perspective and in the
present tense. While I normally find present tense to be distracting,
in this case it adds to the tale by drawing the reader into Lyn’s point
of view and adding a sense of urgency to the pacing.
The world of GIRL IN THE ARENA isn’t so far distant from our current
world as one might think and almost feels like an alternate history.
Reality television dominates the airwaves, as does sports programming,
and it’s not hard to imagine a meshing of the two. Even more powerful,
however, is the emphasis on the role of women and the expectations
dictated to them by the Glad society. Readers will find themselves
quite frustrated with the unfairness of the system while cheering Lyn’s
ability to think outside the box. Thad is a great secondary character
and his unique situation only serves to highlight the injustices Lyn is
The only caution I would give to readers regarding GIRL IN THE ARENA
isn’t in regards to the actual book, but rather to the marketing. The
blurb on the back reveals most of the plotline while the title implies
that the book will involve fighting as a large part of the plot. GIRL
IN THE ARENA is more of a stream of conscious style social commentary,
one that will appeal to a certain segment of both the young adult and
adult readers, but it is not your typical gladiator book. Excellent!
Publisher: Bloombury Publishing (October 2009)
by Debbie, Debbie Wiley Book Reviews
Courtesy of Amazon Vine