The Defiant

The Defiant

The darling of the Roman Empire is in for the fight of her life.Be brave, gladiatrix… And be wary. Once you win Caesar’s love, you’ll earn his enemies’ hate.Fallon was warned.Now she is about to pay the price for winning the love of the Roman people as Caesar’s victorious gladiatrix.In this highly anticipated sequel to THE VALIANT, Fallon and her warrior sisters find thems...

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Title:The Defiant
Author:Lesley Livingston
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Defiant Reviews

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)

    5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    I adored the first book—finally, a Young Adult novel I was really hyped up for that didn’t disappoint me—but this sequel was even better. I think it’s safe to say if you enjoyed The Valiant, then The Defiant will continue to impress.

    Warning: possible spoilers for the first book if you haven’t read it yet! Our series protagonist, Fallon, has gone from Celtic princess to captured slave to Rome’s most beloved gladiatrix, but

    5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

    I adored the first book—finally, a Young Adult novel I was really hyped up for that didn’t disappoint me—but this sequel was even better. I think it’s safe to say if you enjoyed The Valiant, then The Defiant will continue to impress.

    Warning: possible spoilers for the first book if you haven’t read it yet! Our series protagonist, Fallon, has gone from Celtic princess to captured slave to Rome’s most beloved gladiatrix, but now she’s about to learn that fame comes with a price. Following the events of The Valiant, Fallon is looking forward to spending some time with her sister Sorcha, with whom she was recently reunited. Their gladiator academy is also flourishing, having gained the favor of Caesar as well as the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.

    But those Fallon has wronged have not forgotten nor forgiven the way she humiliated them. Bent on revenge, a rival school is about to threaten everything Fallon fought so hard to gain, including the autonomy she has won for herself and her fellow gladiatrices. Then there’s Cai, the Roman soldier she fell in love with, who is pulled into the conflict as Fallon and her friends are forced to make a desperate escape from their home in the middle of the night. With Sorcha missing and everyone fearing the worst, Fallon’s only hope now lies in locating a lost tribe of warrior women said to be descended from the mythical Amazons.

    The Defiant was an addictive read. Lesley Livingston once again shows her talent for engaging storytelling as she brings this series to a whole new level, delivering fast-paced action and nonstop entertainment. Old foes return and new alliances are forged in this sequel, which also focuses on exploring the relationships between characters we’ve come to know and love. In addition, the story addresses some of the questions we were left with at the end of The Valiant: what exactly was the dark ritual Fallon witnessed, and how deep does the corruption go?

    I loved what this book did for the main protagonist, showing us once more what a talented leader and fighter she is. Fallon also comes across as genuinely capable and motivated, and she has this no-nonsense approach that I find really refreshing. This attitude extended to the romance between her and Cai, which had the appropriate amount of tension without going overboard with the melodrama. It certainly didn’t distract from the main storyline, which the author has packed with plenty of action and intrigue.

    The Defiant also brings interesting new developments to the overall series, and compared to the first book, this sequel does feel quite a bit meatier in terms of substance. It’s as if all the elements that worked in The Valiant were honed, polished, and made even better. There were also improvements aplenty, from more detailed world-building and character development to cleaner prose and writing. Livingston has been working hard at her craft, and it shows.

    As a reader, it’s always a joy to find a sequel which surpasses its predecessor, especially when I already love the first book so much. It’s rare enough, especially in YA fiction, that I didn’t dare get my hopes up, approaching The Defiant with realistic expectations, not knowing that the book would ultimately exceed all of them. With luck, the trend will continue into the third installment, which I’m already looking forward to with much excitement.

    Audiobook Comments: I just had to go with the audio edition for this one, considering the amazing time I had with the audiobook of The Valiant. Fiona Hardingham returns for the narration, and she was once again brilliant in her role as Fallon. Her wonderful accents, intonations, and impeccable sense of timing are all reasons why she’s one of my favorite narrators, and why I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this series in audio.

  • Jaime Arkin
  • Lisa

    Review from Tenacious Reader:

    4.5/5 Stars

    I’ll be honest, I read The Valiant by Lesley Livingston pretty much on a whim last year. It wasn’t a book that was on my radar until after it was released, which is unusual. I read a couple of glowing reviews for it for that essentially made me set my review books to the side because it sounded so good. I was glad I did because it just happened to have everything I love and in just the right amounts. I am very happy

    Review from Tenacious Reader:

    4.5/5 Stars

    I’ll be honest, I read The Valiant by Lesley Livingston pretty much on a whim last year. It wasn’t a book that was on my radar until after it was released, which is unusual. I read a couple of glowing reviews for it for that essentially made me set my review books to the side because it sounded so good. I was glad I did because it just happened to have everything I love and in just the right amounts. I am very happy to tell you that The Defiant continues with all the strengths and excitement that made me enjoy The Valiant so much.

    I still love Fallon as a character. She is strong both physcially and mentally, but she is not infallible. She won the admiration and respect of Caesar at the end of the first book, and now we can see how that has impacted her life. Her rise to be favored by Caesar And known as “Victrix” gave her a decent life, but when it comes down to it, she is still a slave and not free to do as she pleases. And winning so much also puts her in the spotlight for potential enemies. Also to add to the Intrigue a bit, if you read book one, you may remember Fallon witnessed some pretty nefarious underground stuff and we never really learned more about it. Well, that all becomes clearer and more critical in The Defiant (as one might expect).

    Fallon and her fellow gladiatrices find themselves as fugitives and the concept of trust becomes something that Fallon needs to evaluate both with who she should trust, as well as who she should not. You can’t go through life never trusting anyone, and for her, survival depends on it. But of course sometimes its trickier to guage where to place your trust than others, and Fallon definitely struggles with that. It is interesting seeing her character deal with this, and it creates a bit of inner conflict at times. It also shows opportunities for her to grow as a person, which is always nice. I’m not even saying this is a fault of hers, its a common human struggle that most people can relate to.

    Speaking of personal relationships, I don’t always enjoy romance in books and my enjoyment of it really seems depends on how much I relate to the characters as well as how it is incorporated into the story. I have to admit, I do really like this one and root for Fallon and Cai as a couple. There’s just been so much pain and fighting for Fallon, I love seeing her find happpiness with someone and have something to look forward to. Everything is not easy and straightforward for them, and I think that helps the romance from feeling over the top. I’m not sure Fallon is really the “dreaming” type for the future, but for us readers, it is really nice to envision a potential happy future for her, with someone that makes her happy by her side. If it will work out in the end, we’ll probably have to read book three to find out, but it sure hope it does!

    Overall, I have to say I still absolutely adore this series. I love all of the tough women characters that can have a bit of attitude, but still remain human instead of caricatures. I love the ancient rome setting, and the entire concept of women gladiators, so book three is on my Must Read As Soon As I Can Get My Hands On It list.

    Audiobook Notes: To cut straight to it, I also love the narration for this series. Sometimes when I start a book in audio and the narrator works really well, I just can’t imagine switching to print and missing out on their performance. That is the case with Fiona Hardingham’s narration of The Valiant series. She makes this an easy and addictive read placing just the right emphasis and inflection to keep the reader fully engaged with story. I am sure the print version of this book is also amazing, so if you don’t do audiobooks, no worries since narration alone can’t create this good of an experience, but it can add a positive element to the experience if you enjoy audiobooks.

  • Suzanne

    4.5*

    This series is so good! I was hooked from book one with a female gladiator on the cover. As soon as I started reading the first book I wanted a trilogy right away! The sequel was very good but I did like the first book better but that seems to be normal in a lot of trilogies. I however CANNOT wait for next year’s third book to come out (even though the second just came out last week). This series and these characters are so entertaining! I just know the third book is going to be ridiculousl

    4.5*

    This series is so good! I was hooked from book one with a female gladiator on the cover. As soon as I started reading the first book I wanted a trilogy right away! The sequel was very good but I did like the first book better but that seems to be normal in a lot of trilogies. I however CANNOT wait for next year’s third book to come out (even though the second just came out last week). This series and these characters are so entertaining! I just know the third book is going to be ridiculously exciting! I don’t want to give away anything about this book but the dual between two gladiator academies is an epic plot to read about.

    My quick and simple overall: fantastic! Read it in one sitting.

  • Esmée

    4.5 stars

    So I just spend the entire day on a financial report for this crazy project I'm working on for uni, and it was almost fun to do but because I listened to this audiobook. It was so addicting, I read it in one sitting. I've been waiting for this book for a year, and now I'll have to spend another year highly anticipating the next one...

  • Cait • A Page with a View

    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

    She and her fellow gladiatri

    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

    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

    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.

  • Nia •ShadesOfPaper•

    Okay, I was super excited about this book because I read The Valiant last year and really enjoyed, so I read it as soon as I managed to grab a copy.

    Turns out, I liked the book and I think it was a very interesting sequel, but I didn’t love it as much as the first book. It was slower, and the plot took a while longer to develop. However, I really enjoyed knowing more about Fallon and what was she going through, and of course, I loved the female friend

    Okay, I was super excited about this book because I read The Valiant last year and really enjoyed, so I read it as soon as I managed to grab a copy.

    Turns out, I liked the book and I think it was a very interesting sequel, but I didn’t love it as much as the first book. It was slower, and the plot took a while longer to develop. However, I really enjoyed knowing more about Fallon and what was she going through, and of course, I loved the female friendship that all the gladiatrix had. This installment was a bit more focused on the romance than The Valiant, and thought I liked the main couple in this book, I think that sometimes nothing really was happening apart from that romance or some drama between some characters, and I was hoping to see more about the gladiatrix and their fights.

    I took me a while to get into the story. I don’t know the reason, but I noticed that in this book I wasn’t as focused as I was when I read the first novel, but once I got focused on the story, it was really fast paced and took me almost nothing to finish it.

    Overall, it was a solid read and I really enjoyed the ending and the character development, as well as the female friendship that was portrayed in the story, and I’m still excited to continue with the third installment and know finally how everything would end.

  • Laura

    was one of my favorite new YA books of 2017. The concept was fascinating imagining the existence of a training school devoted to making women into gladiatrices. It felt fresh with high stakes. Any predictable moments didn't bother me because the story held its own. I'm beginning to think this should've been left as a standalone because

    didn't do anything for me. In fact..as excited as I was to dive back into this world, the excitement slowly dwindled down as I got into

    was one of my favorite new YA books of 2017. The concept was fascinating imagining the existence of a training school devoted to making women into gladiatrices. It felt fresh with high stakes. Any predictable moments didn't bother me because the story held its own. I'm beginning to think this should've been left as a standalone because

    didn't do anything for me. In fact..as excited as I was to dive back into this world, the excitement slowly dwindled down as I got into the story and began questioning what I loved so much about the first one. Eventually something happens to jumpstart the plot of this sequel, but what's behind the plot was one of my least favorite aspects of book one.

    The basis of the story is Fallon and her fellow gladiatrices are faced with a threat to their ludus and the freedom they desire. Anything feels like a spoiler here. There were a couple things I liked, so I'll put a spoiler tag here.

    The romance still felt out of place and too forced. The story was very slow at times, especially the beginning. I did still appreciate the fight scenes.

    Sometimes a book does so well, it earns a sequel that wasn't initially planned. I thought this would be a great thing because the historical aspects were so fun to explore and I really loved the theme of sisterhood and honor. Unfortunately, this one felt too forced and took the plot a direction that didn't work for me.

  • Alyssa

    I'M HERE FOR THIS.

    Well, assuming the romance stays put. :P

  • Anni

    I've been waiting for this!!! The coverrr OMFG I need it NOW!

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