Today, I’m welcoming Melissa Addey and her novel, Beneath the Waves, to the blog #bookreview #historicalfiction #highlyrecommended

Here’s the blurb

The Colosseum is being flooded. And emotions are rising to the surface.
Rome, 80AD. The Emperor orders the Colosseum to be flooded. There must be vast battles, spectacular props and epic storytelling. Meanwhile Emperor Titus must somehow be persuaded to give up his love affair with the Jewish Queen, Berenice.

Marcus, manager of the amphitheatre, must face the dangers, mistakes and emotions of the watery depths as new members join his team. His scribe, Althea, must find out what she wants from life, now that she is a freedwoman, but a woman’s choices are not always free.

Words may be dangerous, but desires must be spoken out loud. As the backstage team takes on new challenges, a change is coming.

Beneath the Waves is the gripping second novel in the Colosseum historical fiction series. If you enjoy immersing yourself in the past and finding characters you care about, then join the Colosseum’s tough, loyal and quick-witted backstage team.

Trailer Link –

Purchase Link

My Review

Beneath the Waves is the thrilling second part of The Colosseum series by Melissa Addey.

Picking up the tale of Althea, a Greek slave woman, from where we left her at the end of From the Ashes, this is the story of the ending of the 100 days of Games, begun in From the Ashes, and also takes the reader through to the second year in the life of the Colosseum.

Our much-loved characters reappear in Beneath the Waves, along with a few new additions. While From the Ashes focused very much on surviving the events of Vesuvius, the plague and the fire that our characters suffered, book 2 is perhaps less filled with huge peril for everyone, as instead, it focuses on the peril our main characters experience. Their humanity is very evident. They are people. They don’t always do the right thing. They are perhaps beset with irrational fears. And they also perhaps do what they’re supposed to do when we, as a modern audience, would demand alternatives. Althea and Marcus are characters of their time, which is one of the huge strengths of the novel.

I adore the descriptions of the Games and the minutiae of day-to-day life, and this second novel builds very much to an impressive and potentially dangerous ending for Marcus, Althea and their young charge.

I so look forward to book 3.

Read my review for From the Ashes here.

(And, if you’re a fan of Simon Turney as well, then reading this series alongside his Domitian, will ensure you know what’s happening to the toffs as well as the plebs.)

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).