Looking to build upon its current programming slate of strong female-led series (Supergirl, Jane the Virgin and iZombie, for example), The CW is developing a one-hour dramatic series based on author Lesley Livingston's (Wondrous Strange) historical fantasy novel The Valiant. Laurie Arent (Life, The Client List) will write the project; and will also executive produce with Mary Beth Basile (October Road, Evil Men). Warner Bros. Television will handle overall production.
Released in February 2017, the novel follows a young Celtic princess who is running from a life she did not want, forced to train and fight as a female gladiator in the infamous Colosseum during the time of Julius Caesar. As a gladiator, she must fight for not only her independence but for her very survival.
Here is how publisher Razorbill describes the novel:
"Princess. Captive. Gladiator.
Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.
When Fallon was a child, Caesar's armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.
Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister's footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.
Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon's family might be her only hope of survival.
Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier."
Livingston is the author of twelve books so far; with her first novel, Wondrous Strange, winning the CLA Young Adult Book of the Year 2010, honored as a White Pine Honour Book, shortlisted for the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Speculative Fiction, and named one of CBC's 100 YA Books That Make You Proud To Be Canadian in 2015. Darklight (second book in this series) was a finalist for the Indigo Teen Read Awards; while the concluding volume in the trilogy, Tempestuous, was a finalist for the Monica Hughes Award. The Wondrous Strange trilogy has also been optioned for film or TV adaptation by Shaftesbury Films.
Livingston is expected to publish a sequel to The Valiant sometime in 2018.