Having survived the ravages of the Roman war against the Iceni people, Victoria finds herself a tougher, if embittered heroine. She has lost her Roman relatives and alienated her remaining Iceni family. Now she means to avenge her true tribe, even if that means going to Italy where she will train to become a female gladiator. Feared and despised by most, Victoria, or Victrix, as she is known now, and her fellowtrainees, endure rigorous training, flirting with death on a regular basis. But despite general disapproval amongst the 'profession'(few survive to become fully-fledged gladiators) passionate bonds are formed, and Victrix grows dangerously close to Pulcher, her ruthless genius of a trainer. With his help, she builds herself a fearsome reputation for her skill in the arena, as well as her breathtaking tattooed scalp. But when she catches the eye of the cruel, psychotic Emperor Nero, he demands she come to Rome to be his personal muse, and Victrix faces her toughest ever battle, and a heartbreaking challenge. Has Victrix got what it takes to infiltrate the Roman aristocracy and thereby seek her revenge, or will her hardened heart ultimately rule her head..?
Frances Hendry lives in a small town on the shore of the Moray Firth in Scotland, with an invisible Siamese cat.
She's a bookoholic, with usually four or five books on the go simultaneously in different rooms. She enjoys reading history, at least until men started to wear trousers. As a romantic, she loves fantasy books, the sword'n'sorcery kind, and adventure. But she dislikes both soppy romance and sadism, though there always seems to be a fair bit of both love and violence in her books - maybe just because some of her books are about exciting historical times and events, fairly accurate in the facts with imaginary people slotted in.
As an English teacher for many years, she learned what bits of a book her pupils skipped reading, and takes care not to write like that. Her books are mostly, to her annoyance, listed as for young adults; yes, some are for youngsters, but they're not childish. She says she writes for anybody who can read. Her first two fan letters were from a boy of 8 and a man of 94, so 'young adults' covers a fair bit of ground.
Both her first 2 books won awards from the Scottish Arts Council, and a later one was chosen by New York Public Libraries as one of its best 100 books. So she must be doing something right.