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The Defiant Heir (Swords and Fire, #2)
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The Defiant Heir

(Swords and Fire #2)

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  625 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Across the border, the Witch Lords of Vaskandar are preparing for war. But before an invasion can begin, they must call a rare gathering of all seventeen lords to decide a course of action. Lady Amalia Cornaro knows that this Conclave might be her only chance to stifle the growing flames of war, and she is ready to make any sacrifice if it means saving Raverra from destruc ...more
Paperback, 515 pages
Published April 19th 2018 by Orbit
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James Lafayette  Tivendale
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I received an advanced copy of The Defiant Heir in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Melissa Caruso and Orbit Books. *Minor Spoilers May Follow*

In the second entry to the Swords and Fire trilogy, we pick up events approximately a month after the finale of The Tethered Mage. Everybody seems pretty content in the world of Eruvia right up until the point that some of the Empire's Falcons and their Falconers start to turn up murdered. Known as The Serene Empire's secret weapons t
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I’m always a little nervous going into a sequel to a book I loved, especially when the story and characters are still fresh in your mind. Knowing you are jumping into a new adventure that can change the course of everything you know or shift the game as swiftly as the weather is sometimes a terrifying thing.

But as it turned out, I had an amazing time with Melissa Caruso’s The Defiant Heir. In fact, I pretty much couldn’t a
Liz Barnsley
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I adored The Tethered Mage- a brilliant start to a fantasy series so heading into The Defiant Heir I was hoping for great things and boy did I get that and then some.
I’m such a huge fan of the way Melissa Caruso builds her world and her characters in perfect harmony with each other, The Defiant Heir moves us forward in page turning, addictive, beautifully written style.
Magic and mayhem abound as our heroine Amalia and her “scooby gang” – that’s my thing by the way, I love the group dynamic- try
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! Full review to come!
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A stirring sequel that cements my affection for Melissa Caruso’s work as well as her thoughtful, conscientious protagonist and her flamboyant, rough-tongued warlock.

The series continues to explore the implications of its internal logic, to my delight. It’s not easy being La Contessa’s daughter, but Amalia is showing a flare for it. But will she be able to live with what that means?

Excellent world-extending, intriguing mysteries, magnetic new characters and an epic threat. Honestly, I love this
Tara (Spinatale Reviews)
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-series
The Tethered Mage was one of my favorite books of 2017 so I had high expectations for The Defiant Heir. Somehow, The Defiant Heir was even better than I was expecting. There was absolutely no second book syndrome here. The character development was amazing, the banter witty, and the plot wonderfully engaging. This is technically adult fantasy but I think there’s a lot of YA cross-over appeal.
"I’ll be careful, I promise”
My mother’s mouth crooked toward a smile. “I’m not certain I believe you. But
Sheila Goicea
I hope The Tethered Mage is good so I can read this one...the cover is just...<3

May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
4 1/2 Stars

The Tethered Mage was one of my favorite books read in 2017, and I loved The Defiant Heir even more. It's extraordinarily fun with amusing dialogue and some quirky personalities, I enjoyed the growth of Amalia and Zaira's relationship, and it was fascinating to learn more about Vaskandar and Amalia's family on her father's side.

Full (Long) Review on My Website
The Library Ladies
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
(Full review here at the

I was so excited when I received an ARC for this sequel! “The Tethered Mage” came out of nowhere last fall and quickly became one of my favorite reads for the year, so I was so excited to see what antics (troubles?) Amalia and Zaira would get themselves into this time. So much so, that I brought this book along with me on vacation, which was probably not the best choice since it actively distracted me from all of the “real vacationing” I was apparen
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
fucking hell. I loved this one even BETTER than the first. Like what the hell is that about? ReeDICKULOUSLY political. the fucking romances guys. the WORLD BUILDING. the MAGIC SYSTEM. Be prepared to never stop hearing about this series yall.
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, magic
Okay, this is gonna count as a review for both 1 and 2, really, because I am lazy. Five stars to both, though - and I read them on a whim because a friend recommended them on the spot. I did audio format for both so it's difficult to pick outstanding lines, but man, were these good. A magical world with everything from elemental warlocks who control fire and storms, to 'artificers' who embue devices and create instruments of magic, and alchemists, who create magical potions, I found the worldbui ...more
Sep 25, 2018 added it
Lessi il primo libro della saga, The Tethered Mage, meno di un anno fa, e non lo giudicai bene. L'autrice aveva sprecato gran parte delle sue possibilità per preoccuparsi di questioni amorose e/o altro, senza cercare di approfondire troppo il rapporto fra la protagonista e Zaira, il personaggio che le è meglio riuscito nonostante il poco spazio che le ha dedicato. In più, c'erano cali di ritmo vistosi e duraturi.

In questo secondo libro, la Caruso sembra aver imparato dai propri errori. Ha introd
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full review at The Quill to Live:

I am going to Europe next week, so I felt like reading about pseudo-fantasy Venice as I was packing. In order to scratch that itch, I am back with a review for the second book in Melissa Caruso’s Swords and Fire series, The Defiant Heir. Also, while we are on the subject – I realized in book two that the reason the series is called “Swords and Fire” is that it’s about trying to accomplish things while using neither. It is
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: I received this free book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

So I fell in love with this series hard from book one, The Tethered Mage, and I have been awaiting this second installment ever since. If I thought I adored the first then I was wrong, because this is a whole new level of love. The characters I loved, the friendships, the relationships, the world, the politics, EVERYTHING was even better than before. Which is supremely impress
Melissa Hayden
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
The political games are visible here. In both Vaskandar and the Empire. These plots and plans and twists keep me listening. I want to know what will happen or how things will change when someone does something unexpected.

The characters feel to be alive, keeping me cheering and hoping for them. I'm loving all the aspects I'm getting here! All are weaved together, creating the people by their plans and choices in life and politics.

Melissa has moved up to one of my favorite writes with this book.

Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I freaking LOVED this book! I mean, I liked "The Tethered Mage" and had pretty high expectations that the second book in the series would be good, but my goodness, my high expectations were not only met but exceeded. I'm suffering some major book withdrawals right now, which is pretty rare, so I plan on reliving this book as I write my review :)

**Spoilers ahead**

All the characters we know continue to grow and are forced to make hard (and sometimes excruciatingly painful) choices. Relationships m
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
4 & 1/2 STARS

I received this novel from Orbit Books through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review: my thanks to both of them for this opportunity.

The previous book in this series, The Tethered Mage, proved to be a delightful discovery in many ways: the magic system, in which people with peculiar abilities, or Falcons, are bound for life to a sort of companion/guardian, or Falconer; the background, where the Serene Empire of Raverra reminded me strongly of 18th Century Venice, complete
Kelley Ceccato
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Griffin Hansen
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Hachette Audio and for my audiobook copy in exchange for an honest review.

Out of the frying pan, into the balefire! Amalia Cornaro & Co. are back, and the stakes are higher than ever. After averting a civil war and treading a thin line of political deception, Amalia Cornaro has begun to accept her role as her mother's heir - and all the responsibilities that come with it. Her role in the court of Raverra requires her to be many things, not the least daunting of which is th
Jasmin Hansen
From the first time I read The Tethered Mage, it has been one of my favorite books. Therefore, I was naturally excited, and a little nervous, to finally get my hands on The Defiant Heir. What if it wasn’t as good as The Tethered Mage?
Yet there was no reason for me to be worried because although the book didn’t blow me away like The Tethered Mage it lived up to all my expectations and more. Just like The Tethered Mage it was well thought through, and from start to finish Melissa Caruso makes sur
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do I have to put it down? Yes, I know I've finished it, but I'm not ready to let go yet. There are so many layers of intrigue, deceit, betrayal, hope, defiance, and a spattering of madness within the pages of The Defiant Heir. I want more. Or to read it again. And I have no idea when the next book comes out!!

The first book in the Swords and Fire series, The Tethered Mage, was exciting, frustrating, and in the end, delightful to read. It was a solid pseudo-political fantasy, with the right dose
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Defiant Heir

Just as the first one, this was a great book. Meeting those lovely characters again, getting to know new ones and coming back into this world was a real pleasure.
I will not get too much into the plot. The Story picks up not long after the first book ended and quickly travels into another part of the world, namely Calamore, where Amalias grandmother lives. From there they have to go over the boarder to Vaskandar, the land where the Witch Lords live.
We’ve got old friend and enemie
Vinay Badri
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
Melissa Caruso's debut was an assured one, heaping all the pressure on the sequel. Thankfully though she manages the pressure by crafting a book thats better than the debut in almost every regard

Caruso complicates the life of her lead character, Amalia in many ways right through the book. Pitting her against the Witch Lords, who want to invade her country, Amalia has to ensure that they back off from war, even as she tries to solve for the mystery of the missing Falcons even as she tries to navi
The Irregular Reader
Fair warning: this is the second book in Caruso’s Swords and Fire Series. If you haven’t read The Tethered Mage, then there’s probably going to be spoilers in here for the first book. Of course, if you haven’t read Tethered Mage, then you’re missing out on a fantastic fantasy series and should go read it right now. I’ll wait.

Amalia Cornaro’s political star is on the rise. After averting disaster and civil war within the Raverran Empire, she has, however reluctantly, accepted her place as her mot
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm always slightly worried when the sequel to a book I loved comes out. In this case those worries were for nothing. The Defiant Heir is every bit as good as The Tethered Mage. The same great, believable characters, the same intractable dilemmas and of course the same endless levels of intrigue and politicking.
The story continues the plot that began in the previous book, expanding the themes and introducing more of the world. I found myself genuinely caring about the characters and the stakes f
Drew Doll
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Last year's The Tethered Mage was an amazing introduction to the Raverran Empire and the looming war on their border. The Defiant Heir picks up the story and runs at a break-neck pace through a thrilling, imaginative story that left me begging to know what happens next.

I particularly love the magic system Ms Caruso has imagined for this world. The differences between the more scientific practitioners in Ravera and the elemental Witch Lords of Vaskandar creates fascinating tension.

May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What a perfect book. I stayed up all night reading it. I have never been incline to fangirl over characters, but I seem unable to resist the impulse with these books. My favorite ones are so alive in my mind, and Caruso's writing dialogue is superb: I already loved La Contessa, and now I like Kathe too. The tethered mage was great too, but I felt a certain sense of claustrophobia while I read it, which this one lacks. I suppose it's because the stakes have shifted, become grander: as Amalia puts ...more
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, fantasy
While I thought the first book was a little clumsy, and a bit thin on plot and characterization, I think this book has very much improved upon what it was trying to do. The further examination of the world, the growing complexities between characters (while I still think sometimes can be solved a bit too easily) give this second book stakes. I've grown to appreciate Amalia as a narrator, and I'm really excited to see how this series wraps up. I think the author has a lot of potential with the wo ...more
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Melissa Caruso is the author of THE TETHERED MAGE, first in the Swords and Fire trilogy, out now from Orbit books.

Other books in the series

Swords and Fire (3 books)
  • The Tethered Mage (Swords and Fire, #1)
  • The Unbound Empire (Swords and Fire #3)
“I traded freedom for power, and I could use that power to keep the people I cared about safe. To wish for both freedom and power would be selfish; there was a reason everything came with a cost.” 0 likes
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