Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.
At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.
As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.
C.J. Redwine’s debut novel, Defiance, is one hell of a book. Full of action, suspense, romance, and an amazing world, it will have readers up late into the night devouring it.
Rachel has always been strong and brave. She was raised that way by her father. It’s being scared and insecure that don’t come naturally to her but those are the states she’s in for a good portion of the book. Her life has been turned upside down and she is doing all she can to survive. Life will never be the same for her and she is forced to accept that. She must face the new life she is given and learn how to have hope for the future. She’s definitely a kick-ass heroine that readers will fall in love with from the start.
Logan is your second narrator. He is a bundle of contradictions that readers will love trying to figure out. He is a very emotional guy but he doesn’t know how to handle or show those emotions. He’s smart, handsome, brave, strong, and above all, kind. He’s so much more than your typical love interest. He’s wonderfully fleshed out but there are some hints of some secrets even Logan may not know about himself. Readers will be kept guessing with this guy.
The secondary characters were a pretty good mix although some could use some development. Oliver is a doting grandfather type to both Rachel and Logan. Parts of his story are told yet some are left unexplained. Sylph is a loyal friend to Rachel but she is kept in the dark regarding most things. The Commander was the best secondary character (though I hated him.) C.J. Redwine has crafted one perfect villain with almost no humanity left. The Commander is one guy that readers will love to hate.
The plot doesn’t pick up immediately but the world-building does. This is one fantasy world that takes very little to get sucked into. The backstory is completely interesting and even without a ton of action in the beginning I had no problem getting hooked. And when the plot does pick up, it does not disappoint. So much happens in Defiance it’s hard to believe it all fit in a 416 page book. I could have definitely read a lot more.
As for the writing, C.J. Redwine has got herself a lifelong fan. Anything she writes in the future, I will read. The writing is so beautiful I found myself stopping and going back, just having to reread things. I tried to pick some good quotes but honestly I would be quoting the whole book. Just know that it’s fabulous.
Overall, Defiance is a favorite of 2012. Fantasy readers will adore it and if you’re not a fantasy fan, this book will convert you.