Defy (Book #1 of Defy Trilogy) by Sara B. Larson: A Book Review

Defy (Book #1 of Defy Trilogy)
Author: Sara B. Larson
Genre:YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review/
Synopsis: A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and heart-racing romance.

      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 Review: Defy is set against the backdrop amidst a war between the two countries of Blevon and Antion. It tells the story of a young woman named Alexa, whose parents have been killed by an evil Blevonese sorcerer. Because there are few other alternatives for Alexa, except to enter the country of Antion’s breeding house for young women, which is like a harem where women are forced and expected to produce children for Antion’s army, her brother persuades her to cut off her hair and pretend to be a boy so they can both join the army of Antion. As a soldier, Alexa, disguised as Alex, becomes a personal bodyguard to the Crown Prince of Antion, Damian. However, a Blevonese sorcerer abducts Prince Damian and his two bodyguards Alex and Rylan to use Prince Damian as ransom in an effort to make the King of Antion stop the war.

     The character of Alexa is at first strong. She is a good fighter, but she can be impulsive sometimes. She is also inquisitive, which is good for a heroine because she is questioning everything around her and is very impatient and immediately wants answers to those questions. Because of this she is very relatable to the character. In the beginning, she is a strong character and is very independent. However, in the middle part of the book, she becomes a damsel in distress and lets Prince Damian do the rescuing for her, which I found a little disappointing. But towards the end, I was satisfied when she was back to her strong, independent self again.

     Overall, I found the book to be a pleasant read. The book is filled with a mystery and twists and turns. It has romance, court intrigue, mystery, danger, friendship, and magic. The pacing of the book in the first part was fast-paced, but it slowed down in the middle because it focused on the love triangle between Alexa, Rylan, and Damian, but picked up towards to end to a dramatic and exciting climax. The world of Defy, though not quite yet well-built, shows the corrupt world of Antion in the midst of the war. The characters do need some work with their characterizations besides being a love triangle. But despite the flaws, it was a book that was entertaining to read and to pick up the next installments of the Defy series. I will put this book into the category for any teen who enjoys the Twilight series.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Here is the official book trailer for Defy:

Comments

  1. I loved your review, Lauralee, but I don't think I'll be reading the book. I'm afraid that YA does not really appeal; however, I can understand that it will probably get a lot of satisfied readers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I understand why it does not appeal to you. Thanks for your honesty.

    ReplyDelete

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