Title: The Defiance by A.G. Henley
Series: Brilliant Darkness #2
Publication date: July 29th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Suspicion Trust. Fear Compassion. Hate Love.
It hasn’t been long since Fennel, a Sightless Groundling, and Peree, her Lofty Keeper, fell in love
and learned the truth: the Scourge, and their world, are not what they seem.
Fenn and Peree are determined to guide their people to the protected village of Koolkuna, but first they must
convince them that everything they believe is a lie. An impossible task, especially when someone seems hell-bent
on trying anything—even animal sacrifice and arson—to destroy the couple’s new bond and crush the frail truce
between the Groundlings and the Lofties. Not everyone wants to uproot their lives in the forest, and those
who stay behind will be left terribly vulnerable.
Fenn and Peree’s resolve to be together, and the constant threat of the Scourge’s return, push both groups
to the breaking point. Unable to tell friend from foe, Fenn must again decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice to
ensure the future of the people of the forest.
Only this time, the price of peace may be too high to bear.
Excerpt From The Defiance
The morning passes quickly. There was more wood to move into the storeroom in the caves this morning, new stores of salt meat and dried beans to deliver, and our herbalist, Marjoram, told me she has some poultices and teas she wants me to bring in. Marj was underprepared for the accidents and illnesses resulting from such a long confinement last time. She won’t make the same mistake again.
There’s plenty of space in the storeroom—it was almost empty by the time we left the caves after the Reckoning. It’s an easy job to stow the supplies neatly along the natural stone shelves. My stomach rumbles, anticipating a midday meal, as I cross the cavern to the storeroom carrying the second-to-last load of wood. Even the lingering stench of crampberries doesn’t deter my appetite.
“Fennel.” The word whispers across the cave.
I freeze. “Who’s there?”
“Stay away from the Lofty. Groundlings and Lofties aren’t meant to be together. You’ve been warned.”
I can’t tell anything about the speaker—man, woman, their age. But quiet as the person’s words are, it’s hard to miss the implied threat. I drop most of the wood, keeping one thick log as a potential weapon. The person is between the passage out and me.
I hold the log firmly in front of me, trying to tame my wild breathing so I can hear. Fear strangles my thoughts. An indefinable amount of time passes. Finally wrestling the courage to move, I step forward, keeping the log at the ready.
And I cough.
The air is wrong, and not simply human-waste wrong. Something else. There’s light where there shouldn’t be, and . . . smoke. That’s what I’m tasting and smelling.
There’s a fire in the passageway, and it’s blocking my way out. Terror doesn’t steal through me. It rips my head off.
Praise for The Defiance:
“Fans of The Scourge, you will not be disappointed with this sequel. The Defiance was thrilling, romantic, and full of surprises. Loved this book!”
— Imagine a World, blog review
“I had very high hopes for this follow-up novel, and Henley DEFINITELY delivers in her sophomore release!”
— Booking It With Hayley G, blog review
“I absolutely LOVED The Defiance! No, I
more than loved it! It was breathtaking, intense, romantic,
suspenseful . . . the list could go on and on!”
— ARC review
About the Author
A.G. is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they’ve had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds. When she’s not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she’s inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado.