(Defy # 1)
By: Sarah B. Larson
Pub. Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
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 am not a huge fan of stories with kingdoms and magic. But something told me to read Defy and I am so glad that I did! Defy was a fantastic read and it is definitely something special. I loved everything about Defy. The characters, the story telling, the writing and the world building was absolutely amazing. I seriously do not have enough nice things to say about this book.
Following the death of her parents, Alexa pretends to be a boy named Alex and she with her twin brother, Marcel join the Kings Army. I loved Alexa! She was so strong and loyal. I loved how she was a better fighter then all of the other men in the guard and was able to hold her own. But she was also so realistic. She still has insecurities and was unsure of herself at times. I loved that she knew she was an excellent fighter though, and was never insecure about that. I was a huge fan of Marcel and I loved the way he protected his sister for years. Their bond was something that was so sweet and special.
Everything will start to change when Alexa, her friend and another member of the guard, Rylan and the Prince, Damian are kidnapped by a neighboring kingdom. This is when the book really started to pick up! The Prince comes off as a selfish, lazy guy, but he is so amazing and wonderful. I loved watching his true self come out. It was hard not to feel bad for him. He has lived such a lonely and painful life. I loved watching Damian and Alexa open up to each other! I usually am not a fan of love triangles, but I couldn't choose between Damian or Rylan. Rylan was so sweet and honest with Alexa.