Defy (Defy, Book 1)
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?
- Hardback | 323 pages
- 145 x 213 x 33mm | 431g
- 07 Jan 2014
- Scholastic Press
Other books in this series
"DEFY by Sara Larson is an amazing, fantastic book. It has everything you'd want: intrigue, awesomely real characters, suspense, and a captivating plot. All in a world that comes to life in your mind. Highly recommended." -- James Dashner, bestselling author of THE MAZE RUNNER
About Sara B Larson
Sara B. Larson is the author of the acclaimed young adult fantasy Defy trilogy: Defy, Ignite, and Endure; and Dark Breaks the Dawn, the first book of a duology. She can't remember a time when she didn't write books -- although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband and their children. When she's not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting of her sugar addiction. You can visit her online at SaraBLarson.com.
Our customer reviews
When I first heard about this book right away I thought of Mulan, where a girl pretends to be a boy to fight. Alexa pretends to be a boy for a very different reason. Alexa joins the army as Alex in an attempt to stay out of the breeding house after her home is burned down and her parents are murdered. She cuts her hair short, dresses like her brother and becomes part of the prince's personal guards. Alex soon becomes the best fighter of the guards. Alexa starts to feel more than just a guard toward Damian. She isn't the only person pretending though, Rylan is hiding feelings for Alexa and the spoiled Prince Damian is also hiding he isn't all the he seems either. And when an attempt to assassinate the prince fails Alex is moved in close to Prince Damian's room, but that's not enough and Damian along with Alexa and her fellow guard, Rylan, is kidnapped. There was romance in this book but I did not like it. It was not the love triangle, I don't mind love triangles, it just seemed forced and not believable. It was a quick book though, there was action and adventure that kept me reading. I liked that Alexa was a brave, strong character, she didn't need anyone to save her. This book had some issues but it was Sara's first book and I am looking forward to seeing where this series goes. I'll be reading the next book. Thank you to Scholastic Press and NetGalley for this eARC in exchange for an honest review.show moreby Sarah
I decided to read Defy because the synopsis really intrigued me. I like tough girls who can stand their own and the Mulan girl dressed as a boy to be in the army speaks to me. Luckily Sara Larson delivered on the premise, and I was a big fan of Alexa/Alex. She is loyal, tough, smart and darn good at her job--guarding the prince. She is realistic in that she sometimes questions herself and her decisions, but above all, she is still loyal and does things for the right reasons. I also love the relationship between her and her twin brother Marcel. They were there for each other as kids and it continued as they served together. Their repertoire, having each other's backs, and truly looking for the feelings and best interests warmed my heart. Defy definitely threw in a lot of twists that I didn't see coming. And some were pretty darn emotional and shocking. Things that I wish wouldn't have happened, but for the long run, I can at least understand why. Damian certainly lived up to the claim of the synopsis of dark and intriguing. He acts like a spoiled prince, but underneath it all, you can tell there is an intelligence, and lots that he is keeping hidden, but for sure, I wanted to know what that sharpness in his eyes, and his semi-strange and intimate encounters with Alex means about who he is and what he knows. Going in, you know there is going to be a love triangle, and I like a love triangle written right, so that didn't bother me. But if this is one of your pet peeves, Sara gives fair warning. For me though, there was only one that I allowed myself to want for her, because it was clear who would win her full affections. I think it could have easily went the other way, but there was a crucial moment, and one of them even admitted it. The secondary characters in this one were well crafted and had personalities that shone. They all contributed so much to the plot and brought their own touch to the story. The world building worked for me. It had that high fantasy type with the countries and their histories, but the talk wasn't "old" as I call some of it. It had a more modern feel, and I liked that. Everything wasn't so complex that I got lost in the details either. It set everything up well, I understood the conflicts and the pieces in motion. It had all of the fantasy set ups, but Sara Larson added her own voice and perspective, making it feel fresh and new. The pacing was great. I was always sad when I had to put the book down until I could pick it back up again to find out what would happen next. The ending was very fitting for this book, but didn't come without its share of loss and heartache. I will definitely continue this series and I can't wait to see what will happen next. I think that it ended at a great place, and while I still have some questions, it wasn't a huge cliffie which I think would have made me pretty mad. Bottom Line: Great strong female lead and wonderful start to a new YA fantasy series by an author with a fresh and engaging voice.show moreby Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Scholastic and Netgalley.) Alexa is the best fighter in the PrinceÃ????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s guard, but nobody but her brother realises that she is actually a girl. There is unrest in Antion though, and Alexa must protect the Prince from those who would kill him. When she is attacked and kidnapped along with the Prince, she must work out how to both save the Prince, and guard her secret. Who has kidnapped the Prince? And what do they want? This was a really good YA fantasy and I really liked it. LetÃ????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s just start by saying that this book was surprising, I mean like really surprising. There were twists, there were turns, there were so any things I didnÃ????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t see coming! It seemed like every time I turned the page something new was happening, and I was seriously enthralled. I have to say that Alexa was bad-ass. Not only had she managed to fool everyone into thinking she was a boy, sheÃ????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??d also managed to become the head of the princeÃ????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??s personal guard, and was able to beat anyone in combat. There were a few moments when she did a bit of a girly swoon that annoyed me a bit, but otherwise, this girl seriously kicked ass. The storyline in this was really good, I loved the number of twists and turns, and I loved the action. The romance was in the form of a love triangle, which ended up being equal parts sweet and sour, and really reminded me of the love triangle in Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??Throne of glassÃ????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??. I didnÃ????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??t mind the love triangle too much, but I really wished that things could have been simpler, and we could have had one love interest, and even a happy ending. This book also had some really beautiful quotes, and I loved the way it was written. Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??I couldn't breathe. I wanted him to keep touching me; I wanted to feel his whole body against mine again. But Rylan was here. Rylan was listening. Rylan, who had cared for me all along. "Thank you," I said, my voice unsteady, and somehow I made myself move and turn away from his touch to stare at the tent again, my heart hammering. Rylan's back was still turned to me, but I could see how stiff he was, as if every muscle in his body was clenched. "I hope you are able to rest well Alex," Damien said. "You too," I said, making myself close my eyes, to pretend I was going to sleep. But inside, I thought, Rest well? Is he serious? It was going to be a long night.Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢??You're perfect," He said roughly, cutting off my protest. "And if I had to do it over again, I would save you every time." His mouth closed over mine and there was no more thought. No more worry. No more pain or loss or fear. There was only Damian. His arm tightened around me, crushing me to him. I clung to him as his lips moved on mine with a need and hunger that nearly overwhelmed me.Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â¢?? Overall I really enjoyed this book, and I am really looking forward to the next one. 9 out of 10.show moreby Sarah Elizabeth