Thursday, January 2, 2014

Book Review: Defy, by Sara B. Larson @SaraBLarson

Well, what a way to start the year! I loved Defy! Larson has created characters that I cared about in an interesting world.

Alexa has to pretend to be a boy to keep from being sent to the breeding house for girls. She and her brother, because they have become such skilled fighters, are guards to the prince. The country is at war. A sorcerer that cannot be beaten by the guards kidnaps the prince and Alex(a) and another guard are taken with them.

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! This is the kind of fantasy that I enjoy. The story is grounded in a human world; the magic is difficult and complex -- it doesn't just save the day over and over again. There aren't weird mythical creature and objects with special powers.

Alexa is tough. She has to be. And she's an amazing warrior. She's already had a difficult life when we meet her, and things don't get any easier in Defy. There's a bit of a love triangle, but it suited the story and didn't overpower the adventure. I'm not exactly happy with the way things ended romantically, but hopefully there's more to this story so things can work out the way I want them to!

I've read a few reviews that talk about how unrealistic it is for Alex(a) to be able to pull off being a male. Everything isn't explained (like, how DID she go to the bathroom?) But, she had the protection of her brother, which helped smooth the way. After that, her charade slowly fell away as expected. I found it believable enough, and the parts that weren't, I just "let it go" for the rest of this awesome story.

Damian, the prince, is multi-layered, and I enjoyed discovering new things about him as Alex(a) did. I think I enjoyed it much more than Alex(a) did. I did get annoyed with her for getting so mad at Damian for keeping secrets. He had reasons, and she just needs to grow up! I don't like when love doesn't survive because of mis-communications, so I just need these two to communicate!

I highly recommend Defy to readers who enjoyed books like Throne of Glass, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Girl of Fire and Thorns. Sara B. Larson's website says the sequel will be published in January of 2015. It's gonna be a long wait...

Published by Scholastic, January 7, 2014
Copy obtained from NetGalley
336 pages

Rating: 4.5/5

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1 comment:

  1. This one is at the top of my list and I'm weary of it because I'm bound to compare it to great books like Alanna and other kick butt girl books. Hopefully it will live up to expectation!


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