Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Defy by Sara B Larson

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?<
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A great addition to the YA High Fantasy genre, which is a favorite of mine. I love stepping out of our contemporary world and into a fictional land. With fantasy novels anything is possible; I love the magic, politics and romance. This story had them all. Our heroine Alexa was likable and easy to root for. She has to hide her identity to protect herself and for the past three years has not only been a personal guard to the Prince, but has also been disguising herself as a boy. Normally I’m not a huge fan of the girl-dresses-as-boy storyline, but it was well done here. I guess I have a hard time believing people would be fooled. I think since no one knew her before and the fact she looks so much like her twin brother it was easy for them to believe. For the past three years everyone has known her as a boy, but in that same time she has actually grown into a young woman. She is now seventeen and beginning to show an interest in a couple guys and is surprised when they are showing an interest in her. It was interesting to see how she begins to see herself differently. Never really finding herself pretty and content with being a soldier, it was nice to see her softer, feminine side come out. To have men appreciate her for more than her fighting skills. For those who know me, you know I am not a fan of love triangles. While this one was better than most, it still seemed a little unnecessary to me. I liked both guys (which of course must be a requirement with LTs), Prince Damian really grows as the story progresses and the more we learn about him the more you like. I also liked fellow guard Rylan, who is loyal and protective and an all around good guy. I like who Alexa ends up with and thought they had good chemistry. I think their story could have been better and developed more if the LT element wasn’t involved (but, again that’s mostly because I don’t care for LT). Overall, I thought it was a fun read. I was luckily able to read it on my iPhone, so I could read and take care of my new baby at the same time. I had a hard time putting it down and wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next. I thought things ended well, but also look forward to reading more in the series. A great debut. Content: Clean, PG13. Clean romance, language and mild violence. Talk of breeding houses and rape (not descriptive).

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