Milo is a young boy living in ancient times whose people, a Celtic horse tribe, are viciously slaughtered by a Roman general named Corvus. He survives but is brought in by slavers, and he is raised to become a bloodthirsty gladiator. Flash forward, and Milo, now in his mid-twenties, is the best gladiator in his region. A slave owner from Pompeii is looking for a worthy competitor for his champion gladiator, Atticus, in some upcoming combat games in Pompeii. He buys Milo and they travel to their city, which sits under the menacing shadow of Mount Vesuvius. On the way, a wealthy young girl named Cassia travels back to her home in Pompeii, where her father sits in charge. When their carriage hits a bump in the road and one of her horses falls with a broken leg, Milo, passing by with his fellow slaves, offers to help. He calms the horse, using his familiarity with horses from his Celtic upbringing, long enough to break its neck and end its pain. Milo and Cassia immediately spark a connection. Cassia arrives home to find that her father is welcoming into town a Roman senator, who we see is Corvus, the same man who massacred Milo's tribe. Milo, meanwhile, trains to fight Atticus, who only needs to defeat Milo to become a free man under Roman law. When Milo discovers that Corvus is in the city, he plots his revenge... yet when Mount Vesuvius erupts and threatens to bury the city whole, he must find Cassia first and rescue her from the oncoming walls of fiery ash.
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Best part of story, including ending:
It's not particularly original, but it combines plot elements from Gladiator and Titanic to an overall pleasing effect. Plus, the special effects of the volcano eruption are terrific.
Best scene in story:
At one point after the eruption, a tidal wave forms and prepares to hit Pompeii, as all of the elite rich folks flee the city by boat. This sequence is pretty thrilling to behold, with great effects.
Opinion about the main character:
Milo is a relatively bland hero, but he is flanked by some particularly strong supporting characters, which boosts his credibility to the audience by association.