Thursday, January 23, 2014

A girl guarding a prince

Defy, by Sara B. Larson, is a young adult fantasy just released January 7, 2014. 

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.

I'm a softie for books where the captain of the guard falls in love for the lady he's guarding (like Crown of Embers by Rae Carson); and that was my favorite part of this book: in delightful reversal, Alexa falls in love with the prince she's sworn to guard. The whole girl-as-a-guard thing was genuine. There were other parts of the book that didn't work for me, but those have been covered by many other reviewers. But this part definitely worked.

The ending also really stood out to me. It broke the mold and it made me sad and thrilled at the same time. I was wondering how Alexa would be changed by the story - I wasn't sure where her character arc was arcing, until the very end.  I wish I could say more about it without spoiling the ending, because this is actually something that begs for more discussion (and obviously, for a sequel, to see how Alexa deals with the huge change in her life). I may need to revisit this book again in another year or so when it won't be spoilery to discuss the ending. 

I received a digital copy of this book via NetGalley for my honest review.   


  1. You've really piqued my interested! I was actually planning to read this one anyway, but now I think I must go do it soon so we can chat about it. And oddly enough, your mention of stuff that didn't work is what really makes me want to read it. . . Okay, that and the ending that broke the mold. :)

  2. This is one I was eyeing. Good to know you enjoyed parts of it. Now I'm going to need to go check it out further.

  3. I love that twist too! Been seeing this book everywhere and will definitely have to check it out.



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