Audiobook Review – The Defiant

Posted March 12, 2018 by Kathy in 5 stars, Audiobook Review, Book Review / 2 Comments

Audiobook Review – The DefiantThe Defiant Series: The Valiant #2
by Lesley Livingston
Narrator: Fiona Hardingham
Published by Listening Library on January 23, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Historical
Length: 10 hours and 19 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble

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.


5 Stars for The Defiant by Lesley Livingston!

5 words to describe The Defiant – Love, Honor, Sisterhood, Betrayal, Vengeance

Why did I love this book?

  • The Defiant is a thrilling adventure from beginning to the end. As the story begins, readers are thrust into the competitive world of the Gladiatrix and it was exciting! This book had the action, suspense and romance that I loved from the first book. Fallon and her sisters (fellow Gladiatrixes) are again fighting for their lives and for their honor. There were a lot of twists in the story, which made Fallon wary of the people around her. The characters were so well developed that I also wasn’t sure who she should trust. This added intensity to the story, which I loved.
  • Fallon and her friends share a special bond. They are warriors and sisters. I enjoyed seeing their strength and their vulnerability. By Fallon’s side is her best friend Elka, which I was delighted to see have a larger role in this book. She gives Fallon sound advice and is so funny, despite their grim situation.
  • Cai and Fallon’s relationship are put the test in this book. They have some tense moments, which they do work out. I’m so glad this series does not have a love triangle, which is an overused element in Young Adult genres.
  • Fiona Hardingham does another amazing performance as narrator. I love her accent and I could listen to it all day. Her elegant tone is perfect for Fallon, since at home she is a Princess. I loved the passion, emotion and excitement that she brings to the story.


This series is perfect for readers who enjoy a story packed with action, adventure, intrigue, and romance.  I can’t wait for the next book!


Rating Report
Audiobook Performance
Overall: five-stars

About Lesley Livingston

LESLEY LIVINGSTON is a writer living in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of twelve books to date. Her first novel, WONDROUS STRANGE, was winner of the CLA Young Adult Book of the Year 2010, a White Pine Honour Book, shortlisted for the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Speculative Fiction, and in 2015 was named one of CBC’s “100 YA Books That Make You Proud To Be Canadian”. DARKLIGHT, the second book in this series was a finalist for the Indigo Teen Read Awards. The concluding volume in the trilogy, TEMPESTUOUS, was a finalist for the Monica Hughes Award. These books have sold to more than ten countries to date, and WONDROUS STRANGE has been optioned for film/TV by Shaftesbury Films. Her other trilogies have both won the Copper Cylinder award for Young Adult fiction.

In addition to her books for teen readers, Lesley is also co-author of a Middle Grade series with Jonathan Llyr called THE WIGGINS WEIRD. The first book, HOW TO CURSE IN HIEROGLYPHICS was shortlisted for the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award and was longlisted for the Canadian Booksellers Association’s Young Readers Book of the Year award. It was also chosen as one of the selections for the 2016 First Book Canada All-Star Reading Challenge.

Lesley’s newest novel is a YA historical epic, THE VALIANT, which will be published in February 2017 by Penguin Razorbill (US) and HarperCollins (CAN) and tells the story of a 17-year-old girl’s journey from fierce Celtic princess to female gladiator and the darling of the Roman Empire.

For almost three years, Lesley hosted weekly late-night movie marathons on the nationally broadcast television show, SPACEBAR, as the Waitron-9000, a sparkly holographic waitress with an encyclopedic knowledge of obscure B-movie trivia. For almost two decades, she was a principal performer with Tempest Theatre Group, a Toronto-based Shakespearean theatre company.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2018 Audiobook Challenge
  • 2018 New Release Challenge


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2 responses to “Audiobook Review – The Defiant

    • Kathy

      I hope you get to read this. This is an exciting series with great characters. Thanks!