Deep in the bowels of the Coliseum of the mighty Astrolian Empire, the orphan, Sol, is raised by a makeshift family of guards and fellow slaves to become the most famed Gladiator in all the land. Alongside K’nal, his giant Frorian fighting partner, Sol must battle cunning warriors and fantastic beasts to delight the crowd and stay alive. But when an oppressed populace transforms Sol into a revolutionary folk hero, the Empire sends its most ruthless assassin to put an end to the uprising. Sol’s only chance is to do what no slave has ever done: escape from the Coliseum and the only home he’s ever known.
The gladiator like no other! Sol has never been out of the coliseum. He was born deep within the bowels of the coliseum and believed he would perish there as well. With a bit of help from a gigantic Frorian, a very unlikely pair of guards and a spoil who refuses to quit, Sol very well may see what he never let himself hope for…..the outside.
Gaylord does a fantastic job with his first novel. It’s amazing to me that this is his first novel. From beginning to end this book had me completely captivated. Gaylord is an amazing story teller with a unique voice and a powerful ability to draw in and take tight hold of the reader.
Sol’s character was intricate but not overly so. He is clearly curious about the outside world and I thought it rather clever ( as well as compassionate) of him to glean his information through the battered women sent to him as a prize for surviving. Sol treats these women with patience and compassion. He clearly cares for their plight but has long ago given up the idea that he can change anything about the coliseum. Which was a pretty practical decision if you think about it. Constantly plotting and searching for escape can drive a person mad. With the added problem of Sol having no knowledge of the outside world’s people and customs….escape probably felt more daunting than simply trying to survive inside.
Oci is a character whom we don’t see much in the book but still has a profound impact on it’s events. Her compassion and nurturing makes all that happens possible. What a beacon of light she must have been to every poor soul who crossed her path.
The world building is flawless. From beginning to end I was fully trapped in this world. There wasn’t a single time I was pulled from the story.
Character development is marvelous. Each character is unique and essential to the story. There are no character dumps. Each person has a part to play.
Gaylord has achieved greatness in my eyes with this story. I will be impatiently awaiting the second book!
I grant this book the full 5 stars!
The Technical Data:
Title: Sol of the Coliseum | Author(s): Adam Gaylord |Publisher: Mirror World Publishing / Publication Date: 9-17-2015 |Pages: 259 (Kindle) | ISBN: 9781987976090 | Genre(s): Epic Fantasy / Science Fiction |Language: English | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Date Read: 1-14-2016 | Source: Copy from author
Adam Gaylord lives with his beautiful wife, daughter, and less beautiful dog in Loveland, CO. When not at work as a biologist he’s usually hiking, drinking craft beer, drawing comics, writing short stories, or some combination thereof. He’s had stories published in Penumbra eMag, Dark Futures Magazine, Silver Blade Magazine, and Plasma Frequency Magazine, among others.