The Champion Book Review

Author: Carla Capshaw

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A champion gladiator with a reputation for enjoying the pleasures of Rome collides with a young heroine determined to escape her fate. Historical fiction is my favorite genre, so I had to start with this engaging, well-written romance novel by Carla Capshaw.


Alexius, a champion gladiator, and lanista, has everything Rome can offer. Spending his days fighting in the coliseum and training the next group of gladiators, he spends his nights hosting lavish parties. However, the allure of revelry is beginning to dim, and fighting for sport is losing its appeal. Can Alexius find the change he is searching for in a city known for indulgence and brutality?

Tiberia, the younger, compassionate, and courageous, is a rare heroine in the harsh environment of Rome. Her outspoken nature and skill in archery have earned her a reputation in social circles for chasing away suitors. Her father has condemned her to life as a temple priestess, and Tibi must act quickly to avoid this fate. Seeking out the help of her cousin, she instead finds Alexius. Can Tibi trust his unexpected offer to help and ignore the unwanted attraction to this infamous champion?

My thoughts on The Champion

The characters are dynamic and engaging, instantly pulling you into their world. Quick-witted banter between Tibi and Alexius heats up as the story progresses. The tension between them is palpable, keeping readers hooked.

Capshaw’s detail of culture, politics, and religion are impressive. Much of the focus is on the struggle of early Christians. Readers can almost hear the roar of the mob in the stands. The world-building is in-depth, and fans will be happy to know it continues in Capshaw’s The Protector and The Gladiator. I highly recommend this action-filled romance.

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