Mundie Moms

Friday, January 26, 2018

THE DEFIANT by Lesley Livingston / Blog Tour: Book Review #TheDefiant

Welcome to the next stop in THE DEFIANT blog tour, hosted by Penguin Teen. I'm so thrilled to team up with PRH to promote a book that's been one of my most anticipated 2018 releases. Below you'll find my spoiler free review, along with information about both The Defiant, and The Valiant, along with the blog tour schedule. Be sure to follow the tour! 


By: Lesley Livingston
Published by: Razorbill
Released on: 1/23/18
Pre-Order from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4.5 stars - I Really Enjoyed It
Source: arc from publisher / purchased copy of book
Thank you to PRH for providing an arc of this book in exchange for my honest review

The darling of the Roman Empire is in for the fight of her life in this lush sequel to the acclaimed historical fantasy The Valiant.
     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 themselves thrust into a vicious conflict with a rival gladiator academy, one that will threaten not only Fallon's heart - and her love for Roman soldier Cai - but the very heart of the ancient Roman Empire.

When dark treachery and vicious power struggles threaten her hard-won freedom, the only thing that might help the girl known as Victrix save herself and her sisters is a tribe of long-forgotten mythic Amazon warriors.

The only trouble is, they might just kill her themselves first.

Talk about girl power! This book is fueled by an amazing group of female gladiators that literally had me cheering for them the entire story line. Picking up not long after where The Valiant ends, this story wastes no time throwing it's readers into the surprising betrayal, and a rebellion that is a result of it. 

Fallon continues to amaze me. She, like many of the characters are fierce fighters, and strong both mentally and physically. However, they do have their limits. This storyline definitely pushes them beyond their limits. With all that happens, things start to take a toll on Fallon. It's in those brief moments I really admired how Fallon reached within herself to really find the strength to do all she needs to in order to be successful in saving her sister, and those fighting along side her. Her will power never diminished, especially since she has her sister to save. There's a lot more at stake that just saving her sister this time. She's the leader of a rebellion. Like all rebellions, not everyone survives. 

Like The Valiant, this is a story fueled by strong women. Not just in their strength, but in their ability to rally together, to support each other, to offer friendship and love. They are united in a sisterhood, made up for fighters from all walks of lives. Some are closer than others, but no matter what, they all have each other's backs. With this storyline being much more intense, I really liked seeing how they laid differences aside, sacrificed their own lives, and worked together in their rebellion. They fought side by side because they wanted to. They fought for themselves, as much as for each other. Their fight was for freedom over having the chance to own their own lives, and not someone else controlling it. 

I really enjoyed getting to know some of the characters more. This story wasn't just about Fallon and saving her sister. It was also about so many other characters, who's stories are intermixed with Fallon's. Elka was one of my favorites in this book. I also liked the snippets of romance that are spread out through out the story. There's Cai and Fallon, which I really liked, and Elka and Quint were a lot of fun too. There's also a few surprising with a few characters that previously I wasn't a fan of, but was surprised at the turn of events that lead them to helping Fallon. No spoilers, but these turn of events made sense with all that unfolds in this plot line.

This book definitely kept me hooked! There is a lot that happens, and I like that Livingston was able to add some humor, and lighthearted moments at just the right times. It kept the story entertaining, and not as dark as it definitely could have been. It was perfect placement. This story does go down a different path than The Valiant. There's still a lot of action scenes, rich Roman history, along with dangerous threats, a rebellion, and plenty of danger, and fighting. Like The Valiant, The Defiant is a well written, action packed, fast paced read fueled by GIRL POWER! It was definitely worth the wait for this book!


A richly-imagined, gripping historical fantasy for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Cinda Williams Chima, The Valiant recounts a seventeen-year-old's tumultuous journey from fierce Celtic princess to legendary female gladiator and darling of the Roman empire.
The youngest daughter of a proud Celtic king, Fallon has always lived in the shadow of her older sister Sorcha's legendary reputation as a warrior. But when Fallon was a young child, the armies of Julius Caesar invaded the island of Britain and her beloved older sister was killed in battle.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister's footsteps and earn her rightful place in her father's royal war band. She never gets the chance.

Instead Fallon is captured by a band of ruthless brigands who sell her to an exclusive training school for female gladiators--and its most influential patron is none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, Fallon's worst enemy, the man who destroyed her family, might be her only hope of survival.

Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, chilling threats, and the dangerous attention of Caesar himself to survive the deadly fights that take place both in and out of the arena - and claim her place in history among the Valiant.

Read my 5 star review for The Valiant, here

Lesley Livingston is an award-winning author of teen fiction, best known for her Wondrous Strange trilogy. She holds a master's degree in English from the University of Toronto and was a principal performer in a Shakespearean theater company, specializing in performances for teen audiences, for more than a decade. 


January 22 – Seeing Double in Neverland – Review
January 23 – ButtermyBooks – Review or Playlist
January 24 – The Fiction Fare – Review
January 25 – A Page with a View – Review
January 26 – Mundie Moms Book Reviews – Review

January 29 – Arctic Books – Playlist
January 30 – Oh the Book Feels – Review
January 31 – Effortlessly Reading – Review
February 2 – Alexa Loves Books – Gladiator Gift Guide
February 3 – I Fangirl About Books - Review