Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Book Review: Defy

The Blades of Acktar: Defy by Tricia Mingerink

Recommended for: Ages 13 to Adult

Rating: PG-13 (for violence, intense torture scenes, and intense epic battle sequences)

The war for Acktar has begun. 

With his betrayal revealed, former Blade Leith Torren flees into the Sheered Rock Hills, pursued by King Respen’s vengeful Blades. 

Left behind at Nalgar Castle, Renna Faythe tries to find her purpose, yet that purpose isn’t what she expected. 

Brandi Faythe has been torn from her sister, and that isn’t all right. If Leith can’t rescue Renna, Brandi will take matters into her own hands. 

War demands sacrifice. Courage falters. Who will find the strength to defy King Respen?

Acktar rests on one hope: 

The Leader is ready.  
*Incoherent screaming* Okay, okay, I'm calm, I'm calm. (Not really, but who cares?) Oh my goodness, wow, that was an AMAZING book. I was literally shaking during some intense scenes of the book. And I, who have only ever been brought to tears by one piece of fiction in my life (Star Wars Episode VII: the Force Awakens), had a tear in my eye because of this book. Somehow, without me realizing it, this book series became my second favorite ever, only topped by the ever amazing Ilyon Chronicles (because while Leith Torren is one of the most amazing fictional characters I have ever read about, he has not and can never pass up Jace). This book was simply amazing. After I finished it, I had to scream into my pillow because I couldn't hold it in and didn't want to scream in front of my sister.
I received this book free as a result of winning the Name That Character contest, and was simply ecstatic when the email with the book arrived on my kindle on May 25 (when I was struggling to hold my eyes open because of exhaustion from the election the night before plus Benadryl). Due to some problems with my email, I wasn't able to send it to my kindle and actually read it until that night, when I was halfway through Brothers-In-Arms, which I preordered on kindle. I finished Brothers-In-Arms late last night, and early this morning, when I couldn't sleep because my stomach was in knots because of pollen allergies, I picked up the book and barely put it down until I finished it. Just...wow. Please excuse all the fangirling bound to end up in this post, but IT WAS JUST SO GOOD!
Writing: 5/5
I think I noticed a couple typos or something...I'm not sure...if there were some, they weren't enough to detract from the story. The three main POVs were perfect, and Tricia included just the right number of scenes, with no extraneous ones and no essential ones left out. Poor Leith can never fully recover from what he went through... What happened to him ripped my heart out, but also satisfied me as an author's promise to her readers finally fulfilled. (So many authors break the promises they make to the readers. So glad Tricia isn't one of them.)
Setting: 5/5
Great. I loved Eagle Heights. It was so interesting. And I liked seeing more of Nalgar Castle. Mostly, it was good enough to let the characters move around in and add to the plot without getting undue attention.
Plot: 5/5
Oh my goodness. This is how authors get inducted into the evil author society. SPOILER Tricia can't pretend for one minute she didn't enjoy torturing Leith. END SPOILER All the things they went through, it's amazing more people aren't dead. The plot was well-paced and exciting and gripping and...oh, for Pete's sake, just go read the book!
Character Development: 5/5
Why are you still standing here? Oh, right, I have to finish the review. Leith was amazing, and so strong in his faith, the dear boy! Renna has grown so much, she's so strong and full of courage and kindness! She was only made stronger by what she went through. And Brandi, poor, dear, innocent, light-hearted Brandi had to grow up completely.
Sorry, I couldn't help myself. I feel just like Mushu watching Brandi, though. The other characters were great, too, and OH MY GOODNESS I just remembered, I was not expecting that plot twist in the middle when that certain character showed up and was alive and started hating on Leith (how dare he!)
Don't nobody go hatin' on my babies.

But I guess he's okay now, since he's finally started to forgive Leith. SPOILER So sad that Respen never converted before he died! But Martyn is starting to see the light, as well as the other Blade, so I guess that makes up for it. END SPOILER
So anyway, now that I have that off my chest, I can go do something productive! Au revoir!
Oh, and by the way, check out Defy's BLOG TOUR!!!!

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