Review: Defy by Sara B. Larson

Defy by Sara B. Larson

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?

First Line:  The crackle and hiss of the flames devouring our house couldn't block out the screaming and wailing of those who were still alive.

Review:I have come across very few books where the author pulled off a love triangle perfectly and unfortunately Defy just wasn't one of them which is actually my only real complaint with this book otherwise I loved it.

Alexa's parents were killed by a black sorcerer leaving her and her brother Marcel orphans. The king that rules over them is a horrible and very cruel ruler in which orphaned girls are sent to the breeding house so to to avoid that horrible fate Alexa makes the choice to pretend to be a boy and becomes Alex. Her and her brother join the Kings army and eventually end up becoming part of the Prince's personal guard.

I personally loved Alexa for the most part. She is the best fighter in the guard and even though she is pretending to be a boy and is tough as a nail she is very much still a girl at heart. I found myself also really caring for her and what happened to her, especially when she lost her brother even though we didn't get to know Marcel too well the love Alexa had for her brother and how she was trying to act like a tough guy when all she wanted to do was breakdown and cry made me want to reach into those pages and hug her.

What made me bring down the rating from the five stars I wanted to give this book to the four stars was the love triangle. I didn't like who Alexa became when she was trying to figure out who she wanted to be with. She became a little too angsty, actually I felt the whole plot for that brief moment mainly focused on the love triangle and not on the main plot. And what irked me the most was the fact that there was no moment of surprise, what do I mean by that? When it comes to books like this I live for the moment when the guy finally realizes that he was a she and then I like to see their relationship grow from there but that was taken from us the readers in this case since both Rylan and Prince Damian knew her secret and  were already in love with her. Anyways I'm just glad Alexa eventually makes her choice and we go back to the actual plot.

As for the two guys, Rylan was sweet and genuine you can tell but I still don't feel like we got to know him too well at least not the way we got to know Prince Damian. Now Prince Damian I loved his character he is very complex, he is the heir to the throne he plays this role of being some snotty prince but which we learn were all lies he is pretty awesome which is why I wanted to slap Alexa for the decision she made at the end of the book. 

Overall I found Defy to be a fast paced book full of sorcery and magic. I am looking forward to the second book but I am a little nervous that somehow the love triangle will continue even though we know who Alexa loves and if that is the case I don't see myself picking up the second book so definitely crossing my fingers for no love triangle. 

Memorable Quotes:~" Don't do that with me," he replied, staring down at me with a look of almost hunger in his face. "We're too much alike to pretend with each other. At least when we're alone, let's be who we truly are."

~"True beauty is what lies inside of us, not what the world sees. A beautiful shell that houses a vile soul becomes sullied over time. But an outer shell, imperfect as it may be, that houses a beautiful soul shines with that beauty, radiating it for all who have eyes to see."

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