October 21, 2022


by Sara B. Larson

  • Title: Defy
  • Author: Sara B. Larson
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • Publication date: January 7, 2014
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Stand Alone or Series: Series–this is the first installment in a series.
  • How I got this book: Galley from the publisher.
  • Why I chose this book: I really like fantasy when they are well down, and so I had some faith that I could get that from this book.  Therefore, I went into this book with both high hopes and high expectations.

Book 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?


As I mentioned earlier, I went into this book with high hopes that I could read a great fantasy and an amazing adventure.  Maybe that was one of the problems that I had, and instead should have gone into this book with no expectations.  I was very disappointed by this book, and I felt that it was way over-hyped.

I want to start first with the characters.  After they were introduced, that was pretty much it.  There was hardy any type of lasting description for them.  I didn’t really know what they looked like, what they were like, or who they were.  So it was hard to really root for anyone in the story.  And this caused even more major problems when it came to relationships between the characters.  We find out that Rylan has been in love with Alexa since he’s met her.  This just seemed so unbelievable to me.  Even more unbelievable was the relationship between Prince Damien and Alexa.  Alexa seems to fall in love with Damian instantly, and I just can’t see why.  She switches between thinking he’s annoying and spoiled, to someone with deeper meaning, without any in-between time.  And the way Damian speaks to Alexa, saying he needs her, he really just sounds like he wants to use her, so I couldn’t trust him at all throughout the very book.  In in the end, I still can’t trust him.

I feel like this book had so much potential.  However, it just fell short, leaving me disappointed.  Out of five stars, I would give this book two.