Defiant, by Karina Sumner-Smith, is the follow-up novel to her debut, Radiant, and the middle chapter of her Towers Trilogy. Picking up two months after the conclusion of Radiant, the book continues the story of Xhea, a girl with no place in a world running on magic, her friend, Shai, the ghost of a girl from the rich floating city, and what happens when the unwanted pair become the focus of powerful people. The book tells a fast-moving story fraught with danger in clear, readable prose and builds to a climax that packs an emotional punch.
Her dual protagonists Xhea and Shai continue to engage me as their friendship deepens and survives further tests. Sumner-Smith also expands Xhea’s background and history with some surprising reveals.
In Defiant, Sumner-Smith also builds unexpected depth to her setting from Radiant, which is a cool combination of post-apocalypse and fantasy, completely unlike the tired secondary worlds in most fantasy novels.
Immediately on finishing Defiant, I had to dive right into the concluding book in the trilogy, Towers Fall to see how it all turns out.
Writing this past few months has been terrible. I could blame my job, for which I spent 2009 managing a team of writers and carrying twice the number of duties; or I could say I had to spend more time with my family because of our infant daughter (now a toddler). In the end though, I just hit a lack of motivation.
I spent much of the year thinking what I should write. I’ve grown tired of the never-ending novel; who wouldn’t? And short stories aren’t really doing anything for me.
I think then that it’s time to try something new.
Finished revisions to the submission copy and I’m getting feedback from my readers. I should be able to incorporate copy editing changes soon.
Spent a good part of the day updating a file on the setting of Corruption of Power. Some things were still from the first draft, and the world has evolved since then.
Also finished reading “Chronoliths”, by Robert Charles Wilson.
Finished my first pass through what I’m calling the submission copy of Corruption of Power. I’ll let it sit for a week or so then go through for a proofread.
Finished editing chapter three of the submission copy of Corruption of Power. Once I do the outline for the rest of the story I can review it one last time. Should be ready for that by the weekend.
Got through the rewrite of the first chapter and started the second chapter this past weekend. So far it’s going well. I had the cottage to myself so I was able to really work fast.
I was also able to start marking up the hardcopy of chapter 2.