The Defiant (The Valiant, #2)
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 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.

The Defiant (The Valiant, #2) Details

TitleThe Defiant (The Valiant, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 23rd, 2018
PublisherRazorbill
ISBN-139780448494746
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Young Adult Fantasy, Adventure, Did Not Finish, Fiction, Audiobook

The Defiant (The Valiant, #2) Review

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    January 1, 1970
    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 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 "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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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    The Valiant 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 The Defiant 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 Valiant 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 The Defiant 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. (view spoiler)[The Sons of Dis thing where they want to sacrifice fighters to their God (hide spoiler)]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. (view spoiler)[I liked how Thalestris was involved in the betrayal and the inclusion of the actual Amazons. (hide spoiler)] 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. (view spoiler)[It really threw me off how much the Sons of Dis thing took over the plot here. (hide spoiler)] 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.
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    I'M HERE FOR THIS. Well, assuming the romance stays put. :P
  • Jaime Arkin
    January 1, 1970
  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    January 1, 1970
    5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/01/20/...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 https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/01/20/...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.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Review from Tenacious Reader: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2018/0...4.5/5 StarsI’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: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2018/0...4.5/5 StarsI’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.
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  • Esmée
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsSo 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...
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  • ⭐Anni⭐ (Book Princess)
    January 1, 1970
    I've been waiting for this!!! The coverrr OMFG I need it NOW!
  • Lindsay
    January 1, 1970
    The much acclaimed sequel to The Valiant started off with a bang regarding a competition between the two rival gladiator academies happening for the benefit of a bored Cleopatra. Fallon and her friends battle the Amazons, ultimately winning the reenactment and achieving the crowds approval. The following day, Cai and two members of his legion appear at the academy and Fallon is reunited with her boyfriend after so many months. Everything in her world seems to be going smoothly: her friends, her The much acclaimed sequel to The Valiant started off with a bang regarding a competition between the two rival gladiator academies happening for the benefit of a bored Cleopatra. Fallon and her friends battle the Amazons, ultimately winning the reenactment and achieving the crowds approval. The following day, Cai and two members of his legion appear at the academy and Fallon is reunited with her boyfriend after so many months. Everything in her world seems to be going smoothly: her friends, her boyfriend, her sister, her place at the academy among her fellow gladiatrix. But then suddenly her life is thrown into chaos when the nefarious Pontius Aquila makes a surprise visit with some disturbing news.I expected to love this second installment detailing Fallon’s journey (as I did The Valiant), but it fell short in more than one expectation. The writing was fine as well as the characters; the story line was a let down that didn’t capture my attention. The betrayals and deaths didn’t affect me. The uprising and take-downs didn’t affect me. The twists and defeats didn’t affect me. I detached more from this story when there was great emphasis on Fallon being special regarding her appearance, abilities, and birth right. And once again this turned into another novel with a main character who is unique and forced into the middle of an uprising between two opposing parties. I felt as if the weight of all the bad events weren’t forceful enough to matter because every bad thing that happened was resolved without taints or hardships. There weren’t any struggles or sacrifices that Fallon had to make. The plot was neatly written so that the good guys won and the bad guys were defeated with all casualty plaguing the bad guys.I’m sure many will like this sequel, but it didn’t do much for me.I received an ARC of The Defiant from Edelweiss.
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  • ⭐Anni⭐ (Book Princess)
    January 1, 1970
    Gladiatrices, badass, ruthless warrior women, political intrigue, love, sacrifice - this is pretty much what The Defiant is about. And I loved every single page of it. This is truly a worthy sequel!I love the world of ancient Rome because for once it's something different, something I didn't read about before in ya fantasy. I love that it's based on actual places, characters and happenings - we have Caesar, Cleopatra and gladiator fights. And Lesley Livingston cleverly weaves these real elements Gladiatrices, badass, ruthless warrior women, political intrigue, love, sacrifice - this is pretty much what The Defiant is about. And I loved every single page of it. This is truly a worthy sequel!I love the world of ancient Rome because for once it's something different, something I didn't read about before in ya fantasy. I love that it's based on actual places, characters and happenings - we have Caesar, Cleopatra and gladiator fights. And Lesley Livingston cleverly weaves these real elements into a fictional story. An amazing, fast paced, breathtaking story! I read this in a few days and never got bored, the pacing was perfect and it was 100 % interesting and exciting. The many action packed, ruthless fight scenes in between were the perfect build up for the big finale, and guys, it's not an exaggeration to say I cried a little. I was torn between crying and smiling, actually, because it was so well done. Ahh I'm raving. The ending was so good!!The characters were great too. I recognized them from the first book and learned more about them in this one. They were interesting and had many facets. Fallon for example. Our main character is a ruthless warrior princess turned slave turned gladiatrix who became the darling of the masses, yet she hasn't lost her sense of family or the ability to love. She seems cold hearted, but has many soft spots that I loved to discover. Her fellow gladtriatrices (or warrior sisters) were equally awsome, and so were Cai and Quintus. Such a funny new character! And there was no love triangle! The antagonists were well done too. Some of them were obvious antagonists from the beginning, but some slowly grew into their role and you couldn't be quite sure about them for a long time. The characters surprised me several times and I loved it. Some themes explored in The Defiant are whether your blood family is more important than the family and loved ones you chose, political intrigues, betrayal and sacrifice. All these themes were woven into the story quite well. Also there were some amazing and badass Amazon warriors (you liked that part of Wonder Woman: Warbringer? You'll definitely love these fierce girls!) The fight scenes in this book are often quite brutal and bloody, and I loved that the author wasn't afraid of that. The world and time this book is set in is a harsh one, and the brutality was only fitting. So yeah, this again got wayyy longer than I expected it to be, but I think the main message is clear now: I loved this book! I don't hand out 5 stars easily, but The Defiant has truly earned them. I can highly recommend this duology!
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  • Nia •ShadesOfPaper•
    January 1, 1970
    For more review follow my blog shades of paperOkay, 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 For more review follow my blog shades of paperOkay, 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.Actual rating: 3.5⭐️
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  • ♠️ Tabi = 타삐 ♠️
    January 1, 1970
    EXCUSE ME WHILE I FLAIL OVER THAT PERFECT COVER!!!
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Review from Tenacious Reader: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2018/0...4.5/5 StarsI’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: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2018/0...4.5/5 StarsI’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.
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  • Di
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed The Valiant when I read it earlier this year and I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy of The Defiant from Razorbill, even though it was past publication date which I am very grateful for! This has not effected my rating and all opinions are my own. “But even if we’re too late for rescue, we’ll still be right on time for revenge.” The Defiant was a really great sequel and I loved the themes explored in these books. Firstly, there's the kickass female gladiators (gladiatrice I really enjoyed The Valiant when I read it earlier this year and I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy of The Defiant from Razorbill, even though it was past publication date which I am very grateful for! This has not effected my rating and all opinions are my own. “But even if we’re too late for rescue, we’ll still be right on time for revenge.” The Defiant was a really great sequel and I loved the themes explored in these books. Firstly, there's the kickass female gladiators (gladiatrices) and there's also the addition of another set of kickass Amazonian warriors. There's the fact that the entire plot is based in ancient Rome and deals with the politics of Ceaser and Cleopatra and Roman culture and customs. There's the loyalty of family, and not only the family that you are born into but the family that you chose for yourself.This second installment in this series had a little less of the nail-biting arena scenes although they are obviously still included and the choreography has been really well thought out and it's easy to visualise the action. But this was less a tale of a gladiatrix's rise to fame and more a tale of the political intricacies and the horrific lengths people will go to doing things that they think will bring them power.The plot is tightly woven with a lot of things happening and a lot of development throughout the book. Obviously being about warriors it can get pretty dark and gritty and there's blood and death and betrayal galore. I shuddered. And then I ignited.A coal of anger suddenly burst to life in my heart. The characters are complex and I adored some of the secondary characters as well. Elka is still my favourite and I loved seeing her with Quint! Possibly my biggest ship in this series. Sorry Fallon! Cai also grew in my estimation and I enjoyed watching his character struggle with various things and in the end, he came out on top - beaten and bruised, but on top. All in all this was a really great sequel with higher stakes, the same (and more!) fierce female friendships and it managed to compound the things that I loved in The Valiant. I cannot wait to see where Livingstone takes us in The Triumphant. ..."You know nothing of the world of men. They will make vile sport of you in the moments before they send you to your deaths.”“Only if you’ve trained us to be weaker than them,”
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  • Rivka
    January 1, 1970
    OMG OMG OMG!When I picked up The Valiant last year I didn't expect it to be one of the favorite book EVER!Now i finished the sequel and I. AM. OBSESSED to a point of no return!We got some new characters who fast became some of my favorites! We got a new OTP and I SHIP IT so much!!!And of course let's not forget brave Fallon and her crazy adventures!!!Go read this! ASAP!!!
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  • Manisha
    January 1, 1970
    Actual review: 4.5How could I not love this? The story was a fast-paced, action-packed, fun, funny and dramatic historical fiction. And the drama!!! So much drama! A satisfying middle book that exceeded my expectations. Full review to come.
  • Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
    January 1, 1970
    Now that was a really bloody ending! only con was I could tell the big betrayal by the mid way point. Really curious what direction the third book is gonna go in.
  • Monique V
    January 1, 1970
    SUCH A GOOD BOOK!!I am highly enjoying this series. It's romantic, action packed and has some great characters that I have become very attached to! I cannot wait to see what the next book has in store!!
  • Tati
    January 1, 1970
    While I understand the reasoning behind having a year between books in a series, it doesn't help my memory. You see, after a year, I can barely remember who was who and what happened in the previous book. That was the case here. I knew this was about gladiatrixes, but I had completely forgot about key plot elements.So, whenever someone appeared that I was supposed to remember, my reaction was:I also went in thinking this was a duology. Much to my surprise, it is a trilogy. So I still don't know While I understand the reasoning behind having a year between books in a series, it doesn't help my memory. You see, after a year, I can barely remember who was who and what happened in the previous book. That was the case here. I knew this was about gladiatrixes, but I had completely forgot about key plot elements.So, whenever someone appeared that I was supposed to remember, my reaction was:I also went in thinking this was a duology. Much to my surprise, it is a trilogy. So I still don't know how everything will end up. Some plot elements were, I felt, unnecessary: (view spoiler)[ the revenge thing was completely displaced, as well as the Amazons subplot (hide spoiler)]The writing style, though, was pretty good for me, especially the fight scenes (they did become a tad excessive at one point, though).
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  • Andreea In Bookland
    January 1, 1970
    “But even if we’re too late for rescue, we’ll still be right on time for revenge.”The first book wasn’t so good in my opinion, but, the author did a better job with the sequel. This was more interesting than the first book, bloody and full of action and adventure, rituals. The Amazons and the Sons of Dis were a nice touch...4 stars ✨“Tomorrow we would bury the dead. We would throw open the Ludus Achillea gates. And we would carry on. Defiant, triumphant, together.”
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books*My wonderful group of gladiatrix returns! I really enjoyed the sequel of "The Valiant" with the action, the romance and the mystery! Fallon is the star gladiatrix of her ludus with her sister and her fellow warriors ready to enjoy a life of freedom. But when folly forces them to escape, followed by Cai and his friend Quintus, they will discover a plan to even overthrow Ceasar himself.With cameo appearances of Cleopatra, sea travel to an island of 'Amazo Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books*My wonderful group of gladiatrix returns! I really enjoyed the sequel of "The Valiant" with the action, the romance and the mystery! Fallon is the star gladiatrix of her ludus with her sister and her fellow warriors ready to enjoy a life of freedom. But when folly forces them to escape, followed by Cai and his friend Quintus, they will discover a plan to even overthrow Ceasar himself.With cameo appearances of Cleopatra, sea travel to an island of 'Amazons' and lots of time to have banter, romantic declarations and even some funny times, this book became one of my favorites in January! Not to mention that the battle scenes were movie worthy!
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  • Annabel
    January 1, 1970
    Ik vond dit boek weer echt te gek! Net zoals het eerste deel. Het is echt een Fight like a girl boek met een hoop bad-ass meiden!!! Zeker een aanrader dus.
  • Winter
    January 1, 1970
    4 StarsA good continuation to the series. I can't wait to see what next book has to offer. Although I guess I have to for once since it's not out yet.
  • Ainslee || Jest and Hearts
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this! Just like I loved The Valiant. While there wasn’t as much bloodshed as I would have liked it was still fantastic. I can’t wait for The Triumphant!!
  • Jaime Arkin
    January 1, 1970
    Love Fiona Hardingham as a narrator and this series is amazing! Go read it!
  • Kori (_livelaughread)
    January 1, 1970
    What a great sequel! Ancient Rome and fierce, female gladiators and a super cute romance... loved it! I can’t say the books are anything groundbreaking, but they’re right up my alley so I was totally entertained.
  • Abigail Carlson
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 starsFUGITIVE. REBEL. LEGEND.The darling of the Roman Empire is in for the fight of her life.This book is the sequel to The Valiant which I read last year. The first was enjoyable enough for me to pick up the sequel. Put simply, these are good books. Nothing more, nothing less. And there is nothing wrong with that.(view spoiler)[Fallon is no longer the Cantii princess though her heart will always be in her homeland. She is no longer Fallon to the people of Rome, but Victrix, a mighty gladia 3.75 starsFUGITIVE. REBEL. LEGEND.The darling of the Roman Empire is in for the fight of her life.This book is the sequel to The Valiant which I read last year. The first was enjoyable enough for me to pick up the sequel. Put simply, these are good books. Nothing more, nothing less. And there is nothing wrong with that.(view spoiler)[Fallon is no longer the Cantii princess though her heart will always be in her homeland. She is no longer Fallon to the people of Rome, but Victrix, a mighty gladiatrix who seems to be unstoppable. But having a household name comes with its challenges. A rival ludus would like to use her name for their own gain. Fallon must find a way to protect herself and her sisters. (hide spoiler)]First, I would like to say I love Fallon as a main character. She's strong, stubborn, brutal and loyal to the end. Though she kills people for sport, she is genuinely kind and selfless. It's because of her (and the fact that it's a gladiator story) that I keep reading this series.There are some books you read not because of the intricate plotline or the morally grey characters but because they are fast paced and not emotionally draining. This is one of those books. That is not a negative. It's a good book to bring to the beach or sit on your back porch and escape your troubles. That being said, it isn't revolutionary in any way. You've seen a main character like Fallon, a similar plot and definitely comparable villains. My biggest gripe with this series is the romance. I don't believe it. A decurion in the Roman army falls for a gladiatrix. Not only is this not believable in the cultural sense, it's also unbelievable in how quickly they "fall in love." Soldiers weren't high in hiearchy of the Roman class system but glaidators were literally the bottom, below slaves. I know it's cute to think about a man casting class aside for feelings, but for it to become an exclusive and public relationship? I can't get behind it. PLUS his father is totally for it and he's a senator. I'm sorry, but no. I wish the author had stuck with the forbidden trope and nixed the instalove. This story is full of female friendships, ones that are supportive and loving. These girls would quite literally die for one another (not a spoiler). Livingston has created a group of women that are strong within themselves but sometimes they have to lean on each other. It's beautiful. I will say, there were a few too many names for me to keep up with and I found myself forgetting who some of the girls were.One of my biggest pet peeves is when the author pairs everyone up within the group. That doesn't happen in real life and therefore, I don't believe it should happen on the page. It's not an important subplot, but if that bothers you as well, it's something to be aware of.Another one of my favorite parts of the book were the fight scenes. They were so well written and vivid. It seems like a small thing to be one of my favorites but Livingston created scenes that played like a movie in my head. I'm glad there were more fight scenes in this book than the last because they were definitely my favorite to read.All in all, this is a good book. Not great but good. And I'm okay with that. Sometimes I think we try to find the next life changing novel when there's substantial enjoyment in stories that are just good. I'm very glad I read this story and I will definitely read the finale when it releases.
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  • Camila Costa
    January 1, 1970
    ”Not in strength are we inferior to men” she said, “the same our eyes, our limbs the same; one common light we see, one air we breathe. What then denied to us have the gods on men bestowed? So good! I like this series so much. And I really don’t know what it is. Because this is not the book to pick up if you want really complex characters, unpredictable plot, political intrigue, deaths blood and violence. There is all of that. But it’s not so deeply explored. It feels sometimes like a Disney mov ”Not in strength are we inferior to men” she said, “the same our eyes, our limbs the same; one common light we see, one air we breathe. What then denied to us have the gods on men bestowed? So good! I like this series so much. And I really don’t know what it is. Because this is not the book to pick up if you want really complex characters, unpredictable plot, political intrigue, deaths blood and violence. There is all of that. But it’s not so deeply explored. It feels sometimes like a Disney movie. It’s not much different than what it is, you know? Buuut... I really like it. Something about this author’s stories makes me feel good. I don’t know if it’s the world of Ancient Rome, the group of gladiatrices, the romance, the writing. Or if it’s all of it together. But it really is such a nice read. In this book, we can experience a lot of character development from Fallon, Cai, and others (that I can’t say if you’d like to read book one). Characters show us some other side of their personality. The ones you thought were bad, are not always bad. And the ones you thought were good, might pay a little visit to hell. The gladiatrices are more united, and it makes them an awesome group. If you want to grab my attention with a book, just put a bunch of different people together and make them a group of something. Part of the same thing. There, you have me. A group of thieves, like Six of Crows. A group of fighters, like Shadowhunters. The order of the fenix. The inner circle of the Night Court. I love this concept. And in this book, it became more clear that the gladiatrices were a group of sisters, not from blood, but from oath. I loved it. Fallon and Cai... I didn’t think there was room for that much drama. But it didn’t stop me from liking them together. They are cute. If this book was mine to write... I probably wouldn’t go for such an obvious couple (thanks a lot, Rhysand). But, it doesn’t stop me from wanting them together. And another thing to win me over: “forbidden” love. A slave and her owner, a princess and a thief, a guy and his sister in law. I love this. There’s nothing that “forbids” Fallon and Cai to be together, but their positions are quite complicated and that’s exciting. ”One day” he murmured. “One day, I will have you all to myself for as long as you’ll let me, Fallon. No rules, no ranks, no campaigns or competitions or other people’s ideas of what should or shouldn’t be to come between us. No decurion and gladiatrix, no slave and soldier - or even princess and patrician - just us.” Cute right? Ok, but sorry... The real couple in this book was Elka and Quint. I couldn’t help but cheering for them. They are like Brienne and Tormund and I’m sold with this ship. ”Time to go” He said.“Behave yourself around that pack of amazon cubs” She said.“I will. I... what?”“I like my men with their virtue unsullied.“Un... su... sullied...”“By anyone but me” she continued. I also liked that the author brought some unfinished things from the first book (that ended quite abruptly). She made a really good sequel. In spite of not being a groundbreaking story... I totally recommend this if you’re willing to read something to laugh, swoon, relax and reflect.
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  • Emily (emilykatereads)
    January 1, 1970
    "My sister told me what your Queen Penthesilea once said,'Not in strength are we inferior to men... the same our eyes, our limbs the same; one common light we see, one air we breath. What then denied to us have the gods on man bestowed?'Help me prove the truth of her words. Help me see that we are not only equal of men, we are better."This sequel was a strong one, but it didn't quite hold my attention as much as the first book. Honestly though, it could've just been that I've been in a big readi "My sister told me what your Queen Penthesilea once said,'Not in strength are we inferior to men... the same our eyes, our limbs the same; one common light we see, one air we breath. What then denied to us have the gods on man bestowed?'Help me prove the truth of her words. Help me see that we are not only equal of men, we are better."This sequel was a strong one, but it didn't quite hold my attention as much as the first book. Honestly though, it could've just been that I've been in a big reading slump which caused me to not be as invested while reading this. I really only have good things to say about this book. The characters we know and love from the first book are only further developed in this sequel, and we really see how important honour and sisterhood are in this sequel. The story and pacing are great as well. There weren't any dull moments and the events steadily kept coming. This book portrays female friendship in such a strong and powerful way, and for that, I applaud it. Also extra points for this excellent book being by a Canadian author!!
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