blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: From The Ashes – Melissa Addey

They called it the Flavian Amphitheatre. We call it the Colosseum. Let the Games begin.
Rome, 80AD. A gigantic new amphitheatre is being built. The Emperor has plans for gladiatorial Games on a scale no-one has ever seen before. But the Games don’t just happen by themselves.
They must be made. And Marcus, the man in charge of creating them, has just lost everything he held dear when Pompeii disappeared under the searing wrath of Vesuvius.
Now it will fall to Althea, the slave woman who serves as his scribe, to ensure the Colosseum is inaugurated on time – and that Marcus makes his way out of the darkness that calls to him.
Can a motley crew comprising a retired centurion, slaves, a prostitute and an ex Vestal Virgin pull off the greatest gladiatorial Games ever seen? Or will they fail and find themselves in the arena as
punishment? Time is running out to deliver an unforgettable spectacle.
From the Ashes is the first, fast-paced novel in the gripping new Colosseum series. Follow the quick-witted and fiercely loyal backstage team of the Colosseum through the devastation of Pompeii,
plague and fire. This is historical fiction at its most captivating: both action-packed and tender.
Take a front row seat at the Colosseum’s inaugural gladiatorial Games. Buy From the Ashes today.
Amazon UK Amazon US Purchase link (universal)

Melissa Addey writes historical fiction set in Ancient Rome, medieval Morocco and
18th century China. She is a fulltime self-published author and runs workshops for authors wanting to be entrepreneurial. Her books have been selected for Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society and won the inaugural Novel London award. She has been the Leverhulme Trust Writer in Residence at the British Library, has a PhD in Creative Writing and works with the Alliance of Independent Authors on their campaigns.
If you’d like to try her writing, visit to pick up a free novella, The Cup.
Website – where readers can get a free novella that starts another series (medieval Morocco).
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My thoughts: return with me to the first century CE, a time of great upheaval and the horror of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the destruction of Pompeii and the construction of Rome’s famous Colosseum.

Greek slave Althea is given to Marcus, the director of the Colosseum’s inaugural festival of games, as his scribe. But she becomes his friend after his family die amid the chaos of Pompeii. She is instrumental in getting him back to Rome and back to work, before their masters realise he left the city. There isn’t a lot of time to organise the kind of events that will satisfy the emperor, and the crowds.

This was a fascinating and interesting read, vividly bringing the past to life, the sights, sounds, smells of ancient Rome, the people who lived in its streets, the sheer number packed into what’s actually quite a small amount of space. The characters are well created too, I liked Althea and the friends she makes, from Fausta the former prostitute to Julia – once a Vestal Virgin, now their landlady. There’s plenty of action to keep you interested and the story itself, full of tragedy and loss, as well as the creating and staging of the epic spectacle in the Colosseum is enjoyable and draws you right in.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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