Defyby Sara B. Larson (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Series: Defy #1
Published by Scholastic on January 7th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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?
It’s the time of the year where I read more and more fantasy and are in the mood for some paranormal or fantasy stories. When it’s cold outside and it’s getting darker and darker I always find myself seeking stories that just take me away in a different world. When Jenny (Supernatural Snark) told me about the awesomeness that is Defy, I knew I needed to read this story!
A Girl and a Fighter – hidden as a Boy
No one apart from her brother knows that Alex is in fact not Alex, but Alexa – a girl who hides her true self among the Guard of the Crone Prince. I was immediately sucked into this story when we hear the story how Alexa needed to hide that she is a girl when her parents were murdered. It was her only chance to escape a horrible fate of being only used for breeding new soldiers. Alex and her brother since then joined the king’s army as both are excellent and outstanding fighters. Even more, no one can beat Alexa! She’s one of the best fighters the army has ever seen, so no one questions her slightly soft features.
Political Intrigue, a Kingdom to take down and mysteries over Mysteries.
Apart from my insane love for Alexa, I also very much loved the whole plot and story. It’s such a lush and vivid story that kept me constantly on edge. We try to figure out what is really going down with the King and his irritable son Damien. There are so many mysteries and hidden agendas that I was highly enthralled by this story and was sucked in so deeply into this book that I didn’t want to put it aside even for a minute.
Especially Damien – the crone prince – was a big mystery I LOVED to uncover. From the outside he apart to be a borred spoiled prince, but we see glimpsed behind his facade that leaves us questioning his real character. I loved this part so very much! I was guessing even until the very end if I’m right about this boy or not!
Alex- Alexa – a Girl who slowly discovers what it means being a girl…
Alexa makes an amazing development throughout the story. Being just 17 she now slowly behind to experience girlish feelings. Something she has always suppressed but now understand that it’s as much part of her as being a good fighter. I loved the way she slowly discovered her romantic feelings and that she suddenly sees boys in a different way. It was wonderfully honest and truly genuine described and I felt very close to Alex that way.
Romance, Loss and Heartbreak
This book has it all! I was initially irritated by the Love Triangle, but as much as it always hurts, it was done pretty well. She was very honest with her feelings and she was upfront. But I’m not lying, Love Triangles always hurt. Nevertheless I absolutely loved the romance, the way it slowly progressed and she came to terms with her feelings and that both boys actually knew from the beginning that she was a girl, so there was no weirdness there. Apart from the sweet wonderful love, there is also losses that made the story bittersweet, but just so much better. You always feel the good things better when there is some tragic loss.
The ending was shocking and awesome and amazing and very brave! I’m so excited for the next book now and can’t wait to get my hands on it!
Defy by Sara B. Larson was a fantastic and vivid story, that comes with a wonderfully strong heroine and a sweet romance. The story is vivid, rich and will keep readers glued to the pages! It’s an outstanding debut from a wonderful author who I’m excited to follow from now on. Defy left nothing left to wish for , only that the sequel may come faster please!