Mini-Review: Defy (Sara Larson)

The Deets:

Audience: YA
Genre: epic fantasy, romance
Pages: 336
Publisher: January 7th 2014 by Scholastic Press
ISBN: 9780545597586
Source: eARC from Netgalley




Defy (Defy, #1)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?




This is for fans of Tamora Pierce! As I read Defy, I could not help but think of the Song of the Lioness series. I thoroughly enjoyed Defy. 

The story begins with a devastating scene that leaves our young protagonist scrambling to survive. Her survival is dependent on keeping her gender secret. Hello, Alanna (from an old favorite). There is plenty of action, and I love that Alex is a better fighter than the men in the book. She is so fierce.

There is also an obvious-- and sometimes annoying-- partial love triangle thing going on. She flitters between two main guys and it gets a bet irritating at time. Especially since one of the guys does an awful lot of pouting about it. Not very manly. She also doesn't seem to know which guy she prefers. At times, she was very wishy washy. I'm curious to see how the romance plays out in future books, but I have a feeling I already know. We shall see.

As for the writing, I think Defy was a great debut. The world building is very detailed.  There are  wizards and tons of secrets mixed in with a healthy dose of magic. If you're a fantasy lover, this will appeal to you. 

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