Why Defy isn't The End

*Warning: This Post Contains MAJOR Spoilers for the end of Defy. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED*














Okay, you’re still here? Either you’ve read Defy or you are ignoring all the warnings.

As many of you have heard already, I’m currently writing The Blades of Acktar book 4. Some of you might be a little confused. After all, the big bad guy got defeated at the end of Defy. What more is there left do to?

Well, here’s my four reasons for why I decided to write a book 4:

  1. Martyn didn’t die. In my original plan for Defy, he was supposed to die in the end battle saving Leith. But when it came time to write that scene, Leith realized what was going to happen and shoved Martyn out of the way. So I now had a live Martyn on my hands that I had to deal with.
    • After thinking about it for a while, I realized my characters were smarter than me. After all, the whole, ex-best friend makes a last minute decision to turn good and saves his friend before dying is a little cliche. (See Harry’s death in Spiderman 3)
    • Besides, an alive ex-best friend is a whole lot more complicated than a dead one. Having Martyn die would’ve been the easy way out. He and Leith wouldn’t have to deal with the consequences of their decisions throughout the first three books. Leith could simply move on. But with Martyn alive? Let’s just say the tension between everyone is SO much fun to write!
  2. Leith needs to figure out what happens AFTER. One of the main questions throughout the series has been “Can Leith move on from the Blades? Can he do anything else? What does he do after the war? Where does he fit in a peaceful Acktar?”
    • I could’ve ended it with Defy. You know he’s going to figure something out, but it would leave that question unanswered. I know some readers love unanswered questions like that in an ending. Personally, I’m one of the ones who wants to know the answers to things like that, especially if the author has made a big deal about it.
  3. Leith and Renna’s relationship still has a long way to go. If you add up the time they actually spend together during Dare, Deny, and Defy, you’ll realize that that week in the dungeon counts as their first real, quality time together. Due to the circumstances of thinking one or both of them would die, their relationship progresses quickly in that week. BUT, they are just BEGINNING their relationship. They have pretty much agreed to finally start dating at the end of Defy.
    • Once again, I could’ve left it as is. You know where they are headed. But, they are the main couple of the book. Defy ends with more obstacles in their path than they even realize (she’s still a lady and Leith doesn’t fit with that world. He’s still an ex-Blade. They both have no clue what they are doing when it comes to a relationship). I felt their time building a relationship also needed to be told.
  4. Acktar is a mess. Most of the time, books don’t show what happens after a major war tears the country apart. We don’t see the rebuilding of Hogwarts. We don’t see Panem trying to build a new government. There’s so much hurt and bitterness in Acktar and in its new king. I wanted to explore what it takes for Acktar to either begin healing or tear itself apart, whichever comes first.

Healing and restoration is really the theme of book 4. All of the characters (Martyn, Keevan, Leith, Renna, Brandi) have some healing to do. The whole country needs healing.

Over all, my planned ending for Book 4 will bring the characters and the country to a place where they are truly ready to begin the next chapter, even if the series comes to a close.

What do you think? Are you excited for Book 4? Or do you honestly think Defy should’ve been the end? Don’t worry, I won’t get mad if you do. 😉

Posted in Sequels, The Blades of Acktar and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , by with 31 comments.


  • Hope Ann says:

    Yes, YES, YES! Three cheers for book four! I do think it will flow more as a sequel to a trilogy (are there such things?) that a normal four book series, but I’m looking forward to seeing everyone more…especially Martyn. I’m glad you didn’t kill him; that happens too much with the ‘bad-guy-who-turns-good’. And I really like him. Any chance of Renna and Leith becoming king and queen at the end of that book? 🙂 And I hope we get to see a wedding, not just an engagement. Though an engagement is always fun too. 😉

    • Yes, it is pretty much a sequel to the series more than a continuation. But every time I say that, people panic and assume the book is set 10 years later or something like most sequels. It’s still a continuation in the fact that, like the other books, it starts the moment Defy ends.

      As for the whole king and queen thing…I’m not saying anything. Or about weddings. After all, I gave you guys one wedding already. You weren’t satisfied with that one? 😉

  • Soleil says:

    I can’t wait!!! Will we have more of Jamie and Ranson as well?

  • No, no, no! I love that you’re doing a book 4! While, yes, book 3 would’ve been a great ending, I think that it’s amazing that you’re doing another!

    I really can’t wait for the whole rebuilding of Acktar, since you’re right, books NEVER show that stuff! And for Blade Faythe??? (I think that I spelled that wrong…. Oops.) And Martyn! *squeals* Needless to say, I’m ecstatic for the next book!!! XD

  • Emily D. says:

    No, no, no, I’m really happy for Deliver! *throws confetti* It means more time with these awesome characters in this awesome world. 🙂 But I did like the satisfying way in which you ended Defy — now it won’t be as hard to wait for Deliver as was to wait for Defy. 😉

  • Jesseca Wheaton says:

    I’m so excited for book #4!!! I’m super glad you decided to add another book instead of ending the series with “Defy”. I’m one of those readers who likes questions answered, too. And I’m so,SO thankful Martyn didn’t die. He’s one of my very favorite characters; I couldn’t bear it is he died! I’m also looking forward to the rebuilding of Acktar! 😀
    I am glad you ended “Defy” the way it ended, though. Not as much as a nightmarish cliffhanger as the last two books, so it’s easier to wait for “Deliver” 😉

    • I did tug out a few more loose ends while revising Defy than in the first draft, but even in the original draft there was room for a book 4. Which made the decision to write one easier. 🙂 That and the fans undying love for Martyn. 😉

  • Queen Aej says:

    I’m giddy about book four! You’ve showed such beauty and understanding as a writer. World building, depth of side characters, internal and external conflict, writing style, unfolding plot….and moral/christian message. It’s been an exciting combination. Your series definitely stands out in it’s genre. You surprised me in book three…seriously, I was overcome a few times that I had to stop reading for a moment lol. That’s what so great….you could have ended it, we are “satisfied”….but we get more. Yay! Thank you! I hope to buy the paperbacks this year. My husband is about to buy and listen to book two off audible…think I’ve got him hooked too. I’ve been having to keep the “end” to myself lol. Hard.

  • Sierra I. says:

    I think all those reason are excellent. 🙂 I need to know what happens to Martyn!!! And Leith, Renna, and Brandi, of course. 😉

  • Claire B. says:

    Well you already know my opinion on book 4. 😉 I definitely am one of those people who wants to know what happens after the book ends.

  • There’s going to be a fourth book? Hurray! I’ll take all the Acktar I can get :D.

  • Isabella says:

    I am literally soooooooooooo excited for deliver. Of course I was pleasantly shocked to see the announcement at the end of defy…I am lost for words on how excited I am……I LOVE YOUR SERIES

  • I am SO excited for Deliver and further character/relationship development between all the characters AND the rebuilding of Acktar. You’re right, nobody ever writes about rebuilding the society after regaining it from the bad guy. Excited to see how that will go. 🙂

  • Stressed over book 4 says:

    I already posted a comment… In the wrong place probably. Sorry. But I just wanted to agree and say yes martyn is my favorite so thanks for not killing me by killing him lol.

  • Rebekah Eddy says:

    SO glad you didn’t drop us at the end of book 3. It was a good ending, but I did have a couple questions still running around in my head. 🙂 Another book will be able to wrap it up much nicer. How long are you hoping to have book 4 be?

    • TriciaMingerink says:

      I’m hoping book 4 will release sometime this coming winter. It will probably be the longest book of the series, unless I break off some parts of it into novellas or companion short stories.

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