Defiance by Melissa Sasina
Orphaned, and with no real choice, Shiovra decides to follow her destiny and go with her aunt Réalta to Rúnda where she spends 10 years isolated from her family to train as the high priestess to protect her village, Tara. When the time comes for her to return to her home she finds herself hunted by the Milidha, a clan who are driven by vengeance and out for war. Not knowing who to trust Shiovra travels in order to seek allies and ends up finding comfort in the arms of the enemy along the way.
Once I got used to the unusual names of the people and places I settled into the story quite easily. The characters are varied, they’re heroic, flawed, brave, some were a combination of all traits, even Shiovra with her reaction to, and actions with Odhrán, was imperfect and that fact made each of them more believable and realistic. The story is steadily paced with the action happening at regular intervals and wasn’t bogged down with ‘fill in info dumps’ or metaphors!
Melissa has a nice flow to her writing that makes for a comfortable read and her work is presented professionally with maps of both Éire and the village of Tara. These maps help with the visualisation of an unfamiliar setting, and give the reader a better understanding of the locale while the characters are travelling from one village to another.
The book leaves us with unfinished business and it is clear there is more to come, I have enjoyed this story and look forward to the rest of the trilogy.
Copy supplied for review