Book: Defy by Sara B. Larson
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
For: Blog Tour Review (and Supporting Local Authors)
From: A travelling ARC and a NetGalley ebook
This is one of those books that I started without really knowing what to expect. It turns out that it's one of those lovely fantasies with a strong heroine and interesting other characters , all set in a harsh cruel, yet magical world.
In this world, there are two rival kingdoms, one in a jungle and one in a more desert area. When the book opens, we meet a set of twins, a boy and girl, just as they are losing their family and home to war between these kingdoms. In order to survive, they join the king's guard for the jungle kingdom (sorry I forget all the kingdom's names!) and live a relatively safe life for several years. Alexa, the girl half of this twin set, has to pretend she is a boy in order to make this work, and is known to everyone as Alex.
Then a terrible thing happens, which I'm not revealing here, and Alexa's life changes. Suddenly, she is assigned to guard the obnoxious and pompous prince, Damian, who she is also oddly attracted to and she is feeling like her secret will be unveiled any moment. Meanwhile, there's a boy in the guard, Rylan, who has been at her side for all these past years, but of course, he believes her to be a guy. So that's a problem.
Before long, she is sent on a mission out the world and a bunch of crazy things happen there. It seems like in this book, there are twists and turns and surprises throughout. You never know what's going to hit you next!
I really loved it! It's been awhile since I read a fantasy and I was in the perfect mood for one. And it was nice that this wasn't an over the top one with hard names and cultures to understand. Just a simple story about love, revenge, war and magic!
The characters are great. Alexa is one of those strong fighting girls with much power despite her smallness. The boys are both (or all I should say because there's lots of boys in this one!) really awesome and I wish she didn't have to choose. But choose she does, so the triangle thing doesn't really last long. But then in the end... well... never mind, you'll see.
Bottom line: Loved it!
I loved everything about this book. The writing, everything about the story, the characters, the adventure, magic, romance, and especially Alexa. From Mundie Moms
...it is very fast-paced, and managed to be engaging even when it was getting under my skin. I saw enough in it that I would read the follow-up, even if it won't be high-priority; From The Book Rat
The ending is good but killer! I want more! Overall, it was a great read! I'm looking forward to more from this author. From Kami's Library Thoughts
The magic is subtle and believable. The sorcery is slowly revealed throughout the book. There are plenty of surprises that kept my interest. I had a hard time putting Defy down! From Annette's Book Spot