Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, Random House Books for Young Readers on June 13th 2017
Series: Witch's Child #2
Source: Publisher Provided
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I received this book/movie for free from the above-listed publisher/studio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book/movie or the content of my review.
Julia and a mismatched band of revolutionaries, scholars, and thieves have crossed the world searching for a witch. But for all the miles traveled, they are no closer to finding Ko Dan. No closer to undoing the terrible spell he cast that bound an ancient magic to the life of a small child. Casimir wants that magic will happily kill Theo to extract it and every moment they hunt for Ko Dan, Casimir s assassins are hunting them.
Julia can deal with danger. The thing that truly scares her lies within. Her strange ability to vanish to a place just out of sight has grown: she can now disappear so completely that it s like stepping into another world. It s a fiery, hellish world, filled with creatures who seem to recognize her and count her as one of their own.
So . . . is Julia a girl with a monster lurking inside her? Or a monster wearing the disguise of a girl?
If she can use her monstrous power to save Theo, does it matter?
Julia Defiant is the second book in the Witches’ Child trilogy and as a new reader to this series, I found myself immersed in a detailed, magical world full of sights, sounds and characters like I’ve never quite experienced. One of the first things I noticed was how beautifully Catherine wrote descriptive passages:
The smaller branches of the trees are wrapped in twists of paper, and some of these little slips are blowing along the street, having come loose from whatever branches they were fastened to , bearing somebody’s dearest wish written out in elegant Yongwen characters. It’s still odd to me, seeing customs long banned in Freyne flourishing out in the open in Yongguo — like the little shrines to the elements along the roads, or men walking about with tattoos visible on their hands, necks even faces. I walk along the canal, which is full of narrow, painted boats, their gunwales hung with charms, everything slightly blurred by the haze of my vanishing, while the slender trees loose swirls of petals as well as wishes onto the breeze.
See what I mean? Catherine’s writing has a lovely, lyrical quality that paints a perfect picture of the scene before you. Also, the worlds felt distinctly familiar. I wanted to refer to my Ancient Civilizations class for comparison. The setting felt like something I’ve read before in that class. It felt that real.
One of the other elements I enjoyed was the plot — danger and surprise lurk around every page. Although to be fair, at times, the story appeared a little drawn out in tension. While its 464 pages may be average for fantasy stories these days, I have to admit that my mind did wander a few times. I think this is more symptomatic in second books of a three book series, and as a big fan of them, I’ve learned to be a little patient.
The lore intrigued me. It felt familiar and yet, it wasn’t. Julia’s powers and their growing strength were interesting to read about. I really enjoyed how Catherine explained her power to vanish and how that power grew into something more forboding.
This story is one that Marie Lu fans will thoroughly enjoy. It combines a strong heroine, a mythology that feels old-worldly and a plot that twists away from fantasy tropes just enough for you to stay interested. If you enjoyed The Rose Society series, this should be your very next read.
G I V E A W A Y
3 winners will receive a finished copy of JULIA VANISHES & JULIA DEFIANT, US Only.
6/14/2017- Crystal’s Chaotic Confessions– Spotlight
6/14/2017- Page Turners Blog- Review
My books: JULIA DEFIANT, JULIA VANISHES, Shade & Sorceress, The Unmaking, Bone, Fog, Ash & Star
My superpowers: high-kicking, list-making, simultaneously holding two opposing opinions
My weaknesses: fear of flying, over-thinking and then making bad decisions, excessive list-making
My allies: my made-for-walking-in black boots, Mick, the English Language
My enemies: decaf, low blood sugar, the passage of time
My mission: the coexistence of ambivalence and joy.
photograph by Isabel Chenoweth www.icportraits.com