Thursday, December 12, 2013

REVIEW: Defy by Sara B Larson

Sara B Larson
Publish Date: January 7th, 2013

"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've gotta say, that this perhaps is one of the HARDEST reviews I've ever written because I really am so blown away all I want to do is jump up and down and squeal with delight at how much I loved this book....

even if it made me cry SOB ... a lot.

In all seriousness though, I have never connected with and fallen in love with characters as quickly as I did in this book. Within in the first few chapters she already had me so attached to charecters that I was bawling my eyes out over situations involving them. Seriously, at 10% I called Stacey, my blog partner, and was like "YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!!!!" Which I never, ever do. EVER. Usually, I have to be at least half way through the book before I'll even CONSIDER recommending it, but usually I have to be almost done before I'll give a final go on it.

Larson is amazing. The descriptions of the world and the situations are so vivid. You can feel the anguish, the fear, the unease, the... passion... ;) It's absolutely brilliant. I've never felt so "IN" the world while reading the book. She managed to make me feel everything from utter disgust to butterflies in this book.

Additionally, her characters are phenomenal. I adored Alex. I loved that she was written as a really strong female lead, but that she was still allowed to show fear, and doubt, and question everything and everyone. She was flawed enough to be real. Even when I was SCREAMING at my Kindle for her to STOP questioning things and just GO with it, I still understood WHY she did.

As far as the love triangle went, I thought it was really well done. I don't really mind a love triangle, as long as I can understand why the main character would be torn. I could totally understand being torn between Damien and Rylan, because I'm still torn between the two. I love them both so, so much. Damien is sharp, and witty, and infuriating at times. Rylan is sweet, protective, and her best friend. They are both amazing in their own ways, and they are both beautifully (swoontastically) flawed.

This is definitely going on my list of favorite reads this year. It was a breath-taking, exhilarating ride, and I can't wait to get back on for book 2!

Also!  Sara Larson has a post up on her blog right now for a chance to win a FREE SIGNED ARC of Defy.  I'm entering just because this is definitely a book for my "keeper shelf" and I would love nothing more than a SIGNED copy of it!  So hurry up, don't let me steal all your fun!  Get to entering!

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