Thursday 23 January 2014

Defy (Defy #1) by Sara B. Larson


3.5 Stars

Date Released: 7th January 2014
Pages: 336
Author: Sara B. Larson
Blurb: 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?

*I was given a free copy of Defy by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review*

The first thing which drew me to Defy, before the eye-catching title and intriguing description, was the cover. I'll be honest here, I am totally one of those people who love to judge a book by its cover. Sometimes incorrectly, as the book is really amazing,*cough* Bloodlines *cough*, but when I see a cover like Defy's, I HAVE to check it out - it looks so badass! 
Although it did remind of some other covers, all with vaguely similar concepts; 

All very nice covers (in case you haven't already realized, I am a sucker for a beautiful cover!).

Although I found the start of the book to be quite slow, the majority of Defy was fast paced, action packed and an easy, enjoyable read. Particularly as I was reading a proof copy, it was very well edited, the only thing wrong was the way the paragraphs had been set out so that they would 
stop like this
in a few of the sentences. It was irritating, but easy to ignore, and was probably only there because I was reading it as an Ebook.

Now, onto the three main characters:

Alexa/Alex: I did love Alexa at the start; she was strong, but loving, the relationship between Alexa and her brother was sweet. She was fearless, and yet her reaction to the horrific breeding houses brought actual tears to my eyes. I already loved Alexa by the beginning of the Defy, so it was that much more disappointing when she turned out to be just another by-obsessed idiot, betraying me and crushing my dreams. 

Prince Damian: I got the feeling in Defy that I was supposed to love Damian and root for him, but I just... didn't. The mysterious, tortured, forbidden prince? No thanks. He lied too much, and was seriously just confused me. Sorry.

Rylan: Here! Here is a character that I can actually like, and understand (well apart from Marcel, Alexa's twin brother). Rylan seemed to actually like Alexa for valid reasons, and there was no instalove like there was between Damian and Alexa. He was just a nice guy that got treated like shit - although I must admit, his name did bother me a little; Rylan. Rylan? A bit modern for a book set years ago, with peasants and swords, but whatever, I'll go with it...

Overall, do not be surprised when you find that Defy is focused almost completely on the romance, it does say in the first line of the blurb "a thrilling love triangle"! However, do be pleasantly surprised by how well written this book is, and, although it may not be the most unique plot in the world, Defy is definitely an interesting and satisfying read for those looking for a romantic fantasy.

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