Friday, January 10, 2014

Defy by Sara B. Larson - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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Title: Defy
Author: Sara B. Larson
Year Published: 2014


Synopsis: 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?


Review: I was really getting into this novel for the first third of it. A fantasy world set in the jungle. Feuding kingdoms. A girl masquerading as the prince's guard. All the characters were unique as well. And then the romance started.

The romance definitely overpowered the story. In a situation with dire risks, the protagonist's thoughts were on what boy she liked more. I wanted the focus to be more on Alexa empowering herself. I also expected more interesting takes on gender roles, but many commonplace gender roles were supported.

There was so much explanation and blatant telling as opposed to showing. The first third of the book was so much stronger than the rest in my opinion. The religion or mythology of the cultures wasn't really present, but there were references to God and demons. I wanted to know more. Was this god the Christian God? I'm fine with no mention of religion in fantasy novels, but there were religious mentions with no more depth given.

The concept and the characters of this novel had so much potential, but I unfortunately felt it fell short. If you prefer a focus on romance in your fantasy you may like this more. Although it wasn't what I expected, I did enjoy reading this book I give it a 3.5/5.


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