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 would like to congratulate Sara B Larson for using the word ‘verdant’ in her debut novel and still getting published. (Girl, you are a rock star!) She also uses solid turns of phrase to build her story and has grasped Alexa’s complex psychology well, enabling the reader to form a real connection with her main character. Defy is one YA Fantasy I would happily describe as Shadow and Bone meets Graceling. Expect great world building, magic, secrets, war and teenage angst. I enjoyed the storyline, although I felt that the romantic element was rather rushed and some of the big plot twists were rather predictable. I do want to know what’s in store for seventeen-year-old Alexa in the sequel: which boy will she choose and how will Antion’s future play out?
If anyone wants to chat more about Damian or Rylan please leave a comment!
My rating: 4 stars out of 5.