Today, I’m welcoming Melissa Addey and her novel, From the Ashes to the blog #blogtour

Here’s the blurb

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.

Trailer Link –

Purchase Link 

Amazon UK Amazon US

My Review

From the Ashes is a captivating tale of Rome in the aftermath of the eruption of Vesuvius. Titan is Emperor (incidentally, I’ve not long read Simon Turney’s take on Domitian, and I felt as though I knew the time period well), and the Flavian Amphitheatre is to be opened in honour of his father. As such, he is invested in its success.

From the Ashes, told through the eyes of Althea, a Greek slave woman, is a well-told and thrilling story of the Colosseum by those who ensure the spectacle is arranged and carried out as expected for the people attending the games, including the Emperor and despite the year of the three disasters, the eruption of Vesuvius, a plague and a fire that threatens Rome itself.

Althea is a fabulous main character. Her viewpoint, as a slave woman who became a freewoman, who once lived in Pompei and yet has knowledge of Rome, ensures that while the reader might be a stranger to the era, she certainly is not. The telling of the tale is thrilling.

Her story, and that of Marcus and the rest of the group of men and women labouring to ensure the opening of the Flavian Amphitheatre goes without a hitch, is human and real – Marcus, grieving, Althea, out of her depths and the rest of their collection of allies, ensure we know all about the people behind the scenes. Some scenes are distressing, and I appreciated that the author made no apology for them and still included them. As sophisticated as elements of the Roman way of life sound, some elements chime against today’s sensibilities.

I thoroughly enjoyed From the Ashes. It is a well-told story of the ‘plebs’ of Rome, and it is a triumph.

Meet the author

Melissa Addey writes historical fiction set in Ancient Rome, medieval Morocco and 18th century China. She is a full time 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.

Connect with Melissa Addey where readers can get a free novella that starts another series (medieval Morocco).

Purchase link (universal)

Author: M J Porter, author

I'm a writer of historical fiction (Early England/Viking and the British Isles as a whole before 1066, as well as two 20th century mysteries).

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