By Sara B Larson
Published on January 7, 2014
Published by Scholastic
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 will admit- I went into this book knowing that it didn't thrill two of my favorite bloggers (see here and here).  Both reactions had me shaking in my boots because I love these types of books- epic fantasies with a strong female lead.  I have to say- I was not disappointed in the least!

Alex was a fun character to read about.  She is a girl who has been living as a boy for four years as one of the prince's closest guards.  Of course, with this book, comes a love triangle for Alex.  The funny thing is, I always complain about love traingles- but this was one done RIGHT.  They are both worthy of  Alex and are characters I am rooting for.  It was obvious through the first book who Alex was going to choose, but I will say that with the second book, I am curious to see if Alex changes her mind.  She was not good to one of the characters (I don't want to say who because I don't want to spoil the book) but I am hoping that this relationship improves.

I was trying hard to come up with some sort of constructive criticism about Defy.  I don't have any.  I genuinely really enjoyed this book.  If you are a fan of books like Poison Study, Shadow and Bone, or Throne of Glass- I honestly believe you will love this book!

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