I read a lot. I review 98% of what I read. I post my stuff on my blog. Oh... in between I try to live life.
When I requested this title from NetGalley, I knew absolutely nothing about Sara B. Larson. The synopsis didn’t sell the title for me, and yet – I requested it. Now I also know it is Larson’s debut novel.
Best thing I did NetGalley-wise.
Lush? check. Gorgeous writing? check. Action? Intrigue? A love triangle? check, check and heck yeah – check!!!
And all that wrapped inside a young adult novel.
Alexa (disguised as a boy) and her twin brother, Marcel, were forced to join the royal guard of prince Damien or they’d be taken into slavery and worse, under the king’s cruel regime. Marcel helps her guard her secret for year, but some unfortunate turn of events her secret is no more, subsequently revealing some knew it but kept it without her knowledge. But then other secrets are slowly revealed, when she is taken captive by the enemy, along with the prince and Rylan, another member of the guard.
Besides the information hidden from her that is slowly revealed, Alexa is the subject of some swoony moves from both Damien and Rylan. They are both pretty amazing, but I think I’ve settled my affections o Damien pretty much from the get go.
All main characters go through some interesting changes throughout the first book in this series. Alexa’s ARC is the most complex, I think, due to her concealing her true identity for so long, and when she is recognized as a girl again, she deals with new struggles as an “outed” girl, her behavior, her feelings, all suppressed for years.
Defy ends at an interesting place. Naturally, the story will continue and as it is it can’t be considered a cliffhanger, but yeah, I need more to feel satisfied. I need the full HEA, not just a semi.
Larson created a mesmerizingly swirling world of kings and princes, the royal guard, sorcerers, rebels, slavery and some pretty harsh situations to read, but the way it all comes together made for the perfect page-turner. Youngsters, gather ’round and pick up a book. This one in particular!
My thanks to Scholastic and NetGalley for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
This review and others can be found on The Book Hammock!