My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: January 7th 2014 by Scholastic Press
original title Defy
edition language English
series Defy #1
other editions (1)
Book Buy Links
BOOK SYNOPSISA 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?
My ThoughtsIn the past year there has been a steady stream of books come to my attention that have all utilized this same scenario of a girl who is pretending to be a boy, a girl who outfights all the other males around her and when her gender is revealed she finds to her surprise that she has managed to have not just her “fellow” guardsman fall in love with her but also the crown prince that she has been guarding for the past year and more.
Alexa is very much like the other females masquerading as males in previous books however she manages to win the readers affection through her sheer determination to do the right thing no matter the cost to herself.
This is a great introductory novel for a new series, it is well paced, has a familiar plot with just enough differences to give it a punch that allows the characters and world building to stand out on their own merits and most of all it allows us to root for good prevailing against evil which always makes for an excellent tension builder.
Be prepared to suspend disbelief more often than not, Alex is after all going through changes that anyone looking too closely would be able to recognize “him” as being female not male but for the sake of the story it works when you understand that we truly do “see what we want” when we are told something is true for a long period of time.
Personally this hit all the right buttons for me with the world with which it was set, the struggle between the need to stay unmasked as a female that Alexa has to contend with for years, the secrets that Prince Damien conceals until near the end when he reveals all during the final battle for the kingdom he wishes to save from his father’s tyrannical rule and most of all the choices faced by the Prince/Alexa and Rylan as their desire to act on their feelings causes conflicting emotions from the reader who is torn trying to choose who is the best fit for whom.
Very much a likeable main character and a tale that trips along nicely from start to finish. Looking forward to what happens next since at the end good triumphs over evil!
[EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]