Defy (Defy, Book 1)

Kobo ebook | January 7, 2014

bySara B. Larson

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A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and heart-racing romance. 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?

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From the Publisher

A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and heart-racing romance. 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 palac...

Format:Kobo ebookPublished:January 7, 2014Publisher:Scholastic Inc.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0545597633

ISBN - 13:9780545597630

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from What I loved about Defy was Alexa was a kick ass character! She was a girl who had been pretending to be a boy for years! She could even best most of the boys in a sword fight and was chosen as one of the Prince’s guards because of it. Now let me talk about the prince for a bit… Well this may take longer than a bit lol! Damien was arrogant and lazy and for the most part was a pain in the ass but, he was keeping secrets and when you start to find out those you get why he’s been acting like an ass and when I got to really know him I fell HARD for him! Such a well written book, keep you turning the pages. Cant wait for the next one :D
Date published: 2014-04-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I've been interested to read this book for what seems like months now, because it's one of my two favourite genres, and damned if I wasn't thrilled with the result of all that waiting. Engaging, endearing, and thoroughly entertaining, I feel like this is one that I'm going to have to go out and get a hard copy of and cram it onto one of my shelves. Loved every single word of it.
Date published: 2014-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Defy was one of those books that looked interesting, but got shelved as a “maybe”. Until I saw several of my friends adding it to their shelves…THEN I decided I should give it a try. I have to say that I’m SO glad that I gave it a chance! I don’t read a lot of high fantasy, but I went into it with an open mind, hoping for a 3-4 star read. What I actually got blew me away. I will start off with the world-building. Normally I’m not too big of a stickler for world-building (unless it’s completely missing), but when I’m trying out a somewhat-new genre, I don’t like to be thrown in without a clue. I personally thought that the author did a great job of making sure that everything made sense and flowed properly. I felt completely at ease with the setting she was trying to portray, and believed it for the most part. There were times when I thought the world was a little bizarre – for instance, the landscape completely changed when they moved into another territory. I don’t know about where you live, but here, the landscape changes many times in my own province, and my province share those features with the neighboring provinces. So that was a little weird for me, but not so much so that I let it distract me from the story as a whole. Alex’s character is probably one of my favorite characters in all the books I’ve read. She was kick-ass – strong, sharp but still managed to keep her sensitive side. I loved how internally she was at war with herself – she was a girl pretending to be a boy, so on the outside she had to act in a certain way, so the little dialogues she had with herself made me smile and felt realistic. Whatever emotion Alexa seemed to be feeling at any given moment, I seemed to be feeling it too – and I was thrilled by that connection that I felt with her. The other characters were all really well written, as well. I loved Alexa’s group of friends, and full-out hated her enemies. Alexa had such a close relationship with several people and those relationships were well developed and honest. I was a little bit worried about the love triangle between Alexa, Rylan and Damian that was inevitable, since it is so over-done, but it was atypical and managed perfectly. The fight scenes were intense and I always found myself so caught up in them that when they were over, my heart would be pounding. I was 100% enthralled with this story, and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary. If you’ve never tried high fantasy before, then I would suggest this as one to pick up. This will definitely be one of my favorite books for 2014!
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Teen Fantasy! Defy was by far one of my favorites of the year because of the fantasy, strong characters, action and even the turmoil. Sara B. Larson writing was addicting and this book even made me cry which is very hard to do since this book was fantasy.  Before I started reading Defy I knew that I would probably love this book. Its full of intense emotion, fighting, magic and the atmosphere took you to a different place. I could actually picture everything while reading it.   Alexa is a very strong character whose life as a young girl was to pretend to be a boy and join the Kings Army with her twin brother. To others she is known as Alex who is among the best fighters to Prince Damian. Her twin brother Marcel rescued her and in the beginning of the book it explains why she disguises herself as a boy. The fate of the young girls was shocking because there were breeding houses for the war between Antion and Blevon. Alexa has run away from this fate but there is a bigger threat she has to run from: the black sorcerer who killed her family and home. Also the ruler of Antion is the worst who has not helped the people.  Alex is a loyal and caring person who has amazing sword skills and I really loved how strong she is. I love the male leads who are both attracted to Alex and they already know the truth that she is not a boy. Daiman is the prince who also has secrets but he really shows how much he cares for her, and Rylan is the sweet and  also has bad timing. I really can't choose who I would choose until the second book! I am excited to see what will happen in the next book which is next year!!  If you loved Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas read this book immediately! Loved this book so much! Sara B. Larson's writing is also addicting and can really pull you in with the plot since I definitely was crying and overjoyed at parts! Pick this book up from your bookstore today because you will not regret it! 
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating with Picturesque Description! Review originally posted on my blog, Book Bindings Blog.  Defy centers on the fantasy adventures of Alexa, a girl forced to secretly change her identity to a boy in order to become a member of the King’s guard. At first, I was against the idea that she had to change her gender unwillingly because I love heroines who fight in various battles as their true selves. However, as much as I still prefer reading the former, I enjoyed how she deals with the dilemmas that changing her appearance and personality put her threw. I have never read anything such as this before and I like how she battles the feelings of wanting to express her true nature and worrying how it will affect her future. She jumps off the page as a very confident and capable woman that the supporting characters depend on. With well plotted back stories and animated personalities, the supporting characters are just as captivating as Alexa. The connections and dramas between the characters are really well written and thought out as well. I love the role the Prince plays in this book. Despite having been put through so much brutality growing up, he stands for what he believes is right and aims for a greater good, even if that means going against his father. I also love one of his guards, Rylan. He is the quiet and humbling voice that perfectly balances Alexa’s fierce and bold personality. The two of them share some amazing dialog that I bookmarked to read over again. I have never really been one for love triangles, however, I love this one. It’s not over the top or the center of the story and Larson seems to use it as a way of making the individual voices of the characters really stand out. It is really well done and very swoon worthy. *wink, wink* What also complements the characters is the picturesque and imaginative setting that really screams “fantasy”. Whether in the castle, dungeon, town, or forest, it is described in a way that sets the mood and paints a picture of the scene. If this book was a movie, I’m sure it would be very eye catching. The setting isn’t the only thing that is written well, the action is also very exciting. The battle scenes left me on the edge of my seat and the twists and turns keep the pace going at an exciting speed. Sara B. Larson is one killer story teller! Over the past few months, I have been longing for a new fantasy series to read and Defy really hit the bulls-eye. With magical plots and dynamic characters, I believe that Sarah B. Larson is a wonderful new voice in the young adult fantasy genre and I will be watching out for her future installments! Now onto the painful wait for the sequel… I give Defy, by Sara B. Larson, 5 out of 5 stars. (I received an advance copy from Scholastic Press through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)
Date published: 2014-01-20