Defiant Unto Death: new reviews
In Defiant Unto Death, we are in the company of a strong, feared and resolute knight. As Blackstone has grown in confidence and prowess, so too has David Gilman’s storytelling. Defiant Unto Death is a violent, tempestuous, glorious novel that throws its readers into the belly of the Hundred Years War and spares us nothing of its horror and brutality. I was gripped from the very beginning and the book never once let go of me until its end by which point I was exhausted by its intensity, thrills and trauma.
There are parts of this novel that I could barely cope to read due to their horror and I cried more than once at what I was reading.
The women are important figures in their own right while also having to cope with the uncertainty, fear and potential grief of war, not to mention the very real threat of death and rape. Christiana is a fine character, an equal to Thomas, and their relationship is a driving force behind the novel. Thomas himself is complex, troublesome and brave. He’s not a perfect hero any more than he’s a perfect knight. But he does his best. He’s a fascinating character to spend time with.
Defiant Unto Death is a consuming read. Action-packed and fuelled by adrenalin, it brings to life one of medieval Europe’s most relentless wars, when friends and enemies could be found on both sides of this tightly contested war between neighbours. Its mix of fact and fiction is very well balanced. It might be early in the year but I have no doubt that this will feature among my top historical fiction reads of 2015.