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Defiant: Towers Trilogy Book Two Paperback – May 12, 2015
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"Impossible to put down! Sumner-Smith has outdone herself in this thrilling sequel with higher stakes, darker magic, and a bond of friendship that proves unbreakable--even in the face of war. Readers will be desperate for the conclusion!"
- Jessica Leake, author of Arcana
"In this inventive second Towers Trilogy fantasy (following Radiant), Sumner-Smith delves deeper into the dark, destructive magic that is making protagonist Xhea's life a living hell ... New readers will struggle to catch up, but returning fans will appreciate that Sumner-Smith has done a fine job of setting up the final good vs. evil, rich vs. poor magical showdown."
- Publishers Weekly
"Defiant is a compelling novel of character. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down again, to such a degree that I walked to the train station still reading. ... Tight, tense, and effortlessly readable, its climax is a thing of nail-biting intensity, and it ends with revelations, and more change to come. I can recommend it wholeheartedly--and I'm really looking forward to reading book three."
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The action scenes are fast paced and the moments of reflection engage you and make you want to cheer for these two strong female characters that defy the odds and they loyalty to each other is remarkable. We find out more about the characters in this book and snippets of their past lives before they met each other. While leading vastly different lives - one privileged and one of poverty they were both lonely and
isolated till they found each other.
I would definitely recommend this book as it has so many different facets to the story that you are constantly surprised, horrified and blown away by the direction it takes and the decisions the characters are forced to make. An engaging read that will make you want to buy all the books in this series.
With her debut novel Radiant, Karina Sumner-Smith introduced readers to a frightening beautiful world of magic-rich Towers, a crumbling Lower City, ghosts, nightwalkers, and an unlikely friendship between the living and the dead. Now, with Defiant, readers reunite with Xhea and her ghost-friend Shai as they're hiding in Edren's skyscraper so Xhea can heal from her injuries. Both girls know they're only biding their time. The Lower City's other skyscrapers envy Edren's newfound wealth from Shai's Radiant magic. One, however, seems more interested in Xhea's darker, more sinister powers - powers that she finally begins to understand after she's offered a chance for the privileged life she dared to dream of when homeless.
That latter thread is Defiant's greatest strength: Xhea, and therefore the reader, learns more about her rare abilities as well as her origins, all while confronting a haunting moral dilemma. Shai also comes into her own, as she develops a new understanding of being a Radiant and communicates with the living in Xhea's absence. Defiant plods along, however, and relies heavily on exposition and character thoughts to carry the story. This didn't surprise me; Sumner-Smith used the same approach for Radiant, but it's more noticeable with Defiant and not totally to my tastes. I also had trouble connecting with some of the secondary characters this time. That being said, I was still fascinated by the build-up to all-out civil war, and with how Xhea and Shai come to terms with their roles in that battle. I can only guess how things will end in Towers Fall - but finding out the "how" is part of the fun of trilogies, right?
I debated whether to give this 3 stars or 4. I finally decided on 4 because this book is just different than most. I look forward to the final book in this series, but hope it is a little less "internal."
Finally, I think Ms. Sumner-Smith is a very talented writer. I will definitely look for other books from here ... and hopefully the live up to my expectations.
I found this to be one of the best books I read in 2015 because of the new and interesting concepts and the strength of the characters. You just can't help imagining lots of different story lines as you go along and the author has done a wonderful job of introducing twists and turns that will keep you interested till the last page. Do yourself a favour, buy this book.
I think an element I like in this series is that there's always more than meets the eye. And there's a lot of parallels here to real world power struggles and politics. She's essentially created a microcosm in which to examine large scale social & political impacts and even something almost akin to a caste system. Or certainly a have/have not situation. All of which the main characters seem set on a path to eventually unravel in order to ensure their own continued right just to survive.
Of course, I'm heading over to get part 3, right! 😄
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