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The Defiant by Lesley Livingston
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2018-arcs, ya-fantasy

If you liked The Valiant then this is a really enjoyable sequel! It delivered on pretty much every aspect I wanted to see.

A lot of it builds off the last book and what Fallon saw towards the end, so I don't want to spoil that. Otherwise, there's a rebellion brewing here and Fallon's viewed as a leader of rebels, which makes her a political liability for Caesar. Her potential power also makes her a pawn "in a much greater game... a distraction and a bargaining chip." She and her fellow gladiatrices spend a lot of the story as fugitives as they try to rescue Sorcha with the help of Cai and some friends. Things get pretty complicated and intense!

I wasn't super attached to the romance, but genuinely liked both characters and appreciated how the story didn't drive a wedge between them for tension OR make them way too sappy. They had their ups and downs like a normal couple and felt like realistic teens. They both became much stronger characters in this book and fought for themselves & each other because they chose to (instead of someone controlling them).

I really loved how side characters like Elka got more of a role! She and Quint were SO PRECIOUS. That was one aspect that really stuck out to me, actually... there were a lot of comic moments throughout and the story didn't take itself way too seriously. There are still awesome action scenes and a lot of urgent threats, yet it felt more like an adventure than an endurance test. It was genuinely fun to read! The writing was solid and the pacing was good... everything worked for me. I don't know how historically accurate any of the Roman bits are, but I didn't really care... I was there for the entertaining story.

This series feels a lot like An Ember in the Ashes meets any YA story with a Celtic warrior princess if that helps!

Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.
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message 1: by Brittany (new) - added it

Brittany Blake I AM SO HERE FOR THIS


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