Book Review: Defy by Sara B. Larson

Title: Defy

Author: Sara B. Larson

Series: Defy
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Book Summary:
A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed
with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle. 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 went back to re-read this book so I could write a review – my plan was just to skim it (because I have a lot of books on my to-read list), but I got sucked back into Alexa’s and Damian’s world and ended up re-reading the entire book! I liked it that much! I broke my rule with this one (I usually don’t read a book until the entire series is out), and I’m glad I did!

Alexa and her twin brother, Marcel become orphans when their parents are killed by the enemy army when they are 14. To avoid the breeding house (which is the fate of all female orphans), Marcel cuts Alexa’s hair and she becomes Alex, the twin brother of Marcel. 

It is now 3 years later, and at 17 Alexa is having a harder time disguising herself as a guy. And it’s becoming awkward that she is attracted to Rylan, another of the prince’s guards, and to Prince Damian. Alexa and her twin brother Marcel are members of Prince Damian’s personal guard. Prince Damian is extremely lazy and always seems uninterested in the kingdom or what’s going on around him. As Alexa becomes the most trusted of his guards, Damian takes her deeper and deeper into his confidence and she learns that there is so much more to Damian than she had previously believed.
I love the character of Alexa – desperate circumstances have robbed her of what her life should have been. And yet she adapts and proves herself to be an invaluable part of the prince’s guard… and she becomes even more invaluable to the prince himself.I think my favorite character is Damian. Even though he appears to be uncaring and to live a life of privilege, we learn that he too is in circumstances out of his control. He desperately wants to right the wrongs of his father, but is as much a prisoner as anyone else. He has lost so much, but he keeps doing all he can to restore peace to Antion. As more and more of his secrets are revealed, we discover how deep his character really goes.I can’t wait to read the next book to see how they all adjust to the changes that came at the end of Book 1.

Rating: 5 stars
Content: Talk of breeding houses and rape (thankfully, excessive details were not given – we learn enough about the breeding houses to learn how desperate Alexa’s situation really is if she were to be discovered so it may be disturbing for sensitive readers), clean romance and mild violence (there is a war going on, but we don’t get gory details). Clean language.
Source: Netgalley review copy
Purchase: Amazon


  1. I love it when a book is worthy of the re-read pile. It sounds like a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing!