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The story is about a blacksmith's 18 year old daughter that has been trained to make swords and has secretly been training to fight. She is with her 2 brothers and a friend watching a fighting tournament when her younger brother falls into the arena. She jumps in and fights off a wild cat, some how with her mind after losing her sword, and saves him. She is hired by a member of royal ruling class as a weapons handler, but before she can start is sold to a slave trader by her mother, who hates and mistreats her. That’s as far as I got. I think her name was Cara.

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  • Welcome to the site. When did you read this book, and when do you think it might've been published? Apr 20, 2021 at 1:55
  • I started to read it a week ago as a free kindle book but lost it when kindle did a reset for my account password. I have no idea when it was published and a search on kindle is hopeless. Apr 20, 2021 at 2:03
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    @Rand the question depicts mundane (albeit unusual) stuff that could very well have happened in the Roman era we know of. The title mentions an "alternative history" but so far the post's content does not hint towards anything more than a historical fiction set in the plain old Roman empire.
    – Jenayah
    Apr 20, 2021 at 8:14
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    What makes it alternative history?
    – fez
    Apr 20, 2021 at 9:41
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    The ruler was King Claudius and the fighters were not called gladiators, it was something like fightlords or warlords. The main character did something magical to kill the giant cat when she saved her brother. And the arena although not called the Colosseum was in partial ruins. Apr 25, 2021 at 1:23

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I think you're talking about the Of Crowns and Glory series by Morgan Rice. This is the Amazon description:

17 year old Ceres, a beautiful, poor girl in the Empire city of Delos, lives the harsh and unforgiving life of a commoner. By day she delivers her father's forged weapons to the palace training grounds, and by night she secretly trains with them, yearning to be a warrior in a land where girls are forbidden to fight. With her pending sale to slavehood, she is desperate.

The name is close and it's the only thing I've found so far that's got sword forging, slavery, magic, a female protagonist, and an empire.

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