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Circus Maximus: Race to the Death

Annelise Gray

Zephyr Books – Published 4th March 2021

Stampeding into a bookshop near you…

‘The Thunder of hooves, the roar of the crowd, the pulse-pounding race to the death’

Wow! Just…Wow! I tore through this sensational middle grade debut, barely stopping to come up for air I was that gripped!

This is historical fiction at its finest! Travel back in time to Ancient Rome and one of the greatest sporting stages of all time; The Circus Maximus.

12 year old Dido  dreams of becoming the first female charioteer at the legendary Circus Maximus. She’s fallen in love with Porcellus, a wild , tempestuous horse she longs to race. However, such ambitions are forbidden to girls and she must be content with helping her father Antonious, the trainer of Rome’s most popular racing faction – The Greens.

But Dido discovers the racing world is cut-throat and she uncovers a hive of race-fixing, sabotage and horse-drugging. When her father is murdered, she is forced to flee the city & seek refuge with an unlikely ally. But what of her dream of circus triumphs and the beloved horse she left in Rome?

Dido knows too much and it’s not long before treacherous villains and new enemies track her down, but Dido is a force to be reckoned with…

The pages are packed with edge-of-your-seat action, nail-bitingly tense race-scenes and brushes with death – my heart was literally in my mouth! And the ancient Roman setting is so meticulously well-researched, I felt as if I was walking among slaves, soldiers and emperors.

I was left hungry for more of Annelise Gray’s writing and I’m thrilled that book two of the Circus Maximus series will be out in spring 2022, the plot centered around a secret seeded in book one!

With thanks for @_zephyrbooks for my proof copy. P.S. I loved that one of ‘The Four Winds’ is named after you!

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