Series: Defy Book One
Author: Sara B. Larson
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
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?
A copy was provided through NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review
For one thing, no one is supposed to know she is a girl, right? And, yet almost everyone she comes across already knows or finds out right away, so the whole hiding and pretending she is a boy thing felt a bit ridiculous.
Then there is the love triangle. It was a bit weird. Alexa knows who she really wants and is quite sure of her decision and yet there is so much unnecessary angst to it all. I just hate the whole going back and forth thing. She KNOWS who she wants and has has made her descision, but she keeps thinking about Rylan anyway and trying to talk to him and just ugh. This is exactly why I hate love triangles.
Another thing I wasn't onboard with was the death of Marcel, her brother, which occurs in the first few pages. What was the purpose of this? For the love triangle to take place? To give some alone time to Rylan and Alexa? That's the only thing I could think of, and if that was the reason, then it was utterly unnecessary. A waste of a great character.
And finally, is Alexa herself. She is supposed to be this kick-ass chick, but well she kinda isn't? Don't get me wrong she is the best fighter ever and she does kick a lot of guy's asses during the book, but her as a person, not so much. I guess Larson was trying to make her human, vulnerable, relatable, but it didn't work out that was, at least not in my opinion. Alexa ended up coming across as weak, like she couldn't do anything unless she had a sword in her hand, which sucked. And, that last decision she made regarding Damien was so dumb! She needs to put her big girl panties on and fight for him.
I know I've railed pretty bad on Defy and I'm making it sound really bad, but it really wasn't all that bad. I did like the plot and the way Damien planned everything with both factions. It was very devious and cunning. The world building was done quite nicely as well and Larson's writing style also made it very easy to read, unfortunately it just didn't do enough for me.
Would I Recommend it?
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