Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Review: Defy by Sara B. Larson

Series: Defy Book #1
Format: ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Scholastic Press

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?


I breezed through this one. The romance story line is pretty cliché, but is done fairly well. I did really like the larger action/political plot. I do want to continue the series and I hope the sorcerer/magic element is further explained, because it sounds interesting.

Now, I’m not a huge fan of cross-dressing story because they usually have a lot of embarrassing/awkward moments and those moments make me uncomfortable. This didn’t have that. I’m glad Alexa had her twin brother, because that actually eased a lot of tension.

And I did like Alexa. Sometimes she got a little whiney for me. In certain situations, I sympathized with her, but other times it was just annoying. She was also a little too quick to forgive especially when it comes to Damian. She is very strong physically and mentally. And I’m happy to see she’s proud of her strengths. Of course she isn’t perfect or cocky like some young adult fantasy heroines that bother me.

Like I said before, the romance is cliché. It’s a forbidden romance with a love triangle thrown in. I don’t like love triangles, but what can you do. The “L” word was thrown around a little too quickly for me, but I do want Alexa to be happy.

The magic system wasn’t explored a lot, but I liked what I saw and I’m hoping Ms. Larson will go further.

The world is in a state of war and I like how that was handled. There were real stakes and people are injured and/or die a lot. I would have like to see more of the political side of things since I like that. Based on how this one ended I do think I will get more of that. Kind of like a Sherwood Smith Crown Duel/Court Duel thing.

Even though I had some complaints this was a fun and quick read. It would probably be a good gateway young adult fantasy.

Thanks for reading!

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