Defy by Sara B. Larson ~ Review

Defy (Defy, #1)My Review:

Alexa Hollen is a respected member of Prince Damian's personal guard, forced to disguise herself as a boy to escape the horrors of the Breeding Houses. After a threat to Prince Damian's life that takes the life of her twin brother, Marcel, Alexa finds herself seeing that there might be more to the arrogant and mysterious Damian than she thought.

When the Prince, her good friend Rylan, and she are taken captive by a strange and mysterious sorcerer, it is up to her to discover the truth, and who their real enemies are, but will her growing feelings for Damian get in the way?

Ms. Larson has created a spellbinding world, medieval in setting, fantastical, fast-paced, action-packed, romantic, and filled with drama. I connected immediately with Alexa, she is strong and brave, yet vulnerable and her brother is her rock. She has a strong moral compass, and she is determined to do her duty by serving the crown prince even though he seems spoiled and entitled.

I loved the world that Ms. Larson created with the perfect blend of realistic-ness and fantasy, because often the downfall of fantasy novels is the rules of the magic being used, for surely there are limits, and oft times authors can get so involved explaining the magic's rules that it can slow down a story. But I liked how she brings it into the story through Alexa's eyes, and as she comes to learn more about it over the course of the story. Also I liked how the consequences of events and decisions carried through and were not forgotten, like how you see the corruption of a kingdom through the breeding house, and how it added a whole other darker tone, and emotional level to the story.

I really loved watching Damian reveal his true self to Alexa and Rylan, showing them another side of him and some of what he is capable of doing. Rylan was one of my favorites, though definitely underrated, I felt that his character could have been explored just a bit more, I'm kinda secretly hoping that he has his own awesome adventure out there, somewhere, because he just seems like such a nice guy.

Overall, this was a well written read, brimming with adventure, and a book that is exactly what YA fiction has been lacking in the past few years, it has a timeless quality to it, I believe that it would be well received 20 years ago, just as well as today. It had everything that I look for in a great book, characters that I care for, and cheer for throughout, new mysteries, suspense, characters who can discern right from wrong, and a plot that wouldn't let me let go. Fantastic read, highly recommend this book to readers of YA fiction.

Content is PG-13

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