I'll start off by saying I'm not into historical books, let alone ones from Roman times. Life of Brian and Spartacus are about all I know of that sort of era. However I'm a great fan of Linda Gruchy's books, so gave it a go.
It was hard reading at first as it's written in a first person way that is almost being talked at rather than talked to, but once I got "the voice" in my head I got used to it. Also there was the use of all Roman / gladiator words that I'm not used to. I suppose if you were the main target audience you wouldn't notice this as you'd be used to it. There is a glossary in the book, so that would help
I have learnt (not that it took much teaching) that I wouldn't like to live in those days. Life was hard for most people, especially women.
It was a very interesting story. I did think of Hippolyte often when not reading the book.
A very different book to Linda Gruchy's normal fare and certainly one I enjoyed reading.