Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Defy by Sara B. Larson

Defy (Defy, #1)
Release date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Series: Defy #1

A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.

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?

My Rating: 5 Roses

Absolutely amazing! Defy was a brilliant YA fantasy. It was thrilling, romantic, and full of surprises and secrets. And, I loved every bit of it! It was absolute perfection and I can't wait to see what's coming next.

The world building and the setting were brilliantly done. Throughout the book, I felt as if I was in that vivid, gorgeous setting, whether it was in the splendor of the king's castle, or in the middle of the jungle. I really loved that aspect of this book.

Alexa was a very strong heroine. She survived through a very traumatic loss of her parents and made herself into a truly formidable opponent. She was very loyal to those she cared about and what she believed in. My only issue with her is a decision she made at the end that made me want to scream, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she will rethink that decision in the next book. As a character, I thought she was wonderful. I really liked her.

Prince Damien was amazing. At first, he seemed shallow and petty and not very likable. But, as the book went on, he revealed who he truly was and explained why he acted the way he did. It wasn't long before I totally adored him. He was strong and sweet and very devoted to his people. He was very clever and definitely a worthy ruler. In regards to this love triangle, I'm totally for him. He was just completely perfect.

Rylan was love interest #2 and I really liked him as well. He was very sweet and loyal to Alexa. He was absolutely wonderful as well and I hope he gets a happy ending as well.

The romance was very sweet. Who was it with? I won't say. But, I will say that I thought he and Alexa were so sweet together and I hope they find a way to be together. The potential for the other guy was there, but it was pretty clear where Alexa's heart lay during this book. Honestly, I adored both guys and I want both of them to be happy. But, we'll see how it goes.

The plot was fast paced and I was hooked the entire way through. I was worried that the story would devolve into a petty love triangle once Alexa's gender was revealed, but it turned out that I didn't have to worry. The fight for the kingdom, the secrets that hid the truth, the action and thrills and surprises all had me on the edge of my seat. Rather than being front and center, the romance was woven in between the action to add a little more interest to the story and I thought that was very well done. I really enjoyed the story and the ending tied a few loose ends, while leaving a few open for the next book. I can't wait to get my hands on book 2. I need to find out what happens next!

Defy was a brilliant, fantastic, absolutely magnificent YA fantasy. It had action, thrills, secrets, romance and it was all wonderful. I loved every bit of it! Lovers of YA romance, you HAVE to read this book!

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*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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