I’ve just finished reading Blood and Justice, Book 6 and finale of Dan Scott’s terrific series Gladiator School. It has been a while since I have engaged with a well-written series with a mix of strong characters – male and female – that targets middle school readers – with sufficient character and plot development to keep readers turning the pages and wanting to seek out other titles in the set.
Although there is a strong ongoing thread that weaves between these books, sufficient background is provided in this culminating title for the plot to make sense and to become committed to the cause of seeking justice against one of Rome’s leading figures. The two brothers, Lucius and Quin, have returned from Britain with evidence to condemn Glabrio for the murder of Emperor Titus and their father. With the help of Isidora, an Egyptian slave, and their young sister Valeria, the boys battle against almost insurmountable odds within and outside the arena.
With a map of Rome in the book to guide the reader, Scott interweaves historical places and Roman social, political and daily life and customs throughout the books, without interrupting the flow of the action. A great easy read for Year 7s studying Roman history to get a feel for the times and the strict class system in place, this series will appeal to many who have become devoted fans of Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series. The titles do reflect the cruel and violent world of Ancient Rome and the gladiators that fought within the arena without belabouring the violence and cruelty that shaped people’s lives.