Defy by Sara B. Larson (Defy, #1)
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press; 336 pages
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?
Hello there, today I am going to be gushing over Defy, by Sara B. Larson. First I'd like to thank Scholastic Press via Netgalley for letting me read this for free in exchange for an honest review. Getting this ARC for free did not sway my opinion in anyway!
Now that the disclaimer is over, lookit that purty cover! I love the dagger and how the handle is topped with a rose - very much like Alexa. Deadly, yet gorgeous. I have such a girl crush on Alexa, she's everything a gal/guy could want in a partner. She's strong, she's independent, but she's still in touch with her emotions no matter how hard she tries to hide them. She's brave. The things she endures during this novel had me cringing and I don't cringe easily.
This book was exceedingly well-written. I blame the fact that I'm an English major on my critical reading of a lot of books. I had the ecopy of this book and I was sobbing like a baby about 20% in, which I think was around Chapter 4. Not only did the language and flow of the words on the page reel me in, but I was sobbing throughout the entire novel. I find that to be the epitome of great writing, not only can I see the story unfolding before my eyes but I can feel it.
And feel it I did, especially when Alexa is torn between Damian and Rylan. I felt very connected with Alexa, and I could feel the pros and cons of each guy weighing down on her. I think her decision in the end was a smart one. It's always wise to listen to your heart than to what is always acceptable.
The ending. Gah. So many feelings it hurts to think about it, even now. I'm so ridiculously proud of Alexa and all that she's gone through, all that she will go through. I can't wait to read the sequel, set to come out sometime in 2015.
Five triquetras for this amazing debut from Ms. Larson.