Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Series: Defy #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Acquired From: Public Library
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 fried 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?
Before I picked up Defy, I'd read a lot of other reviews from other people. While the cover isn't entirely intriguing or drawing in regards to the story itself, but the other reviews I've read had turned my head enough that I couldn't help but read it. And I'm so very glad that I did.
Defy is a wonderful fantasy story about a girl who is forced to hide her true identity just to survive. I absolutely loved how Alex was judged not by her looks--not even when it was revealed that she was a girl--but by her skill and courage. It was a great thing to see that a character was praised for her strength and her character rather than her beauty. Especially at the end of the novel (no spoilers!), it is uplifting to see how inner beauty is praised in this book.
Maybe that's why I can give this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars. It was beautiful and breathtaking in its descriptions. The back story of the characters and the world in which the story is set is strong and well put together. It draws the reader in and doesn't let go until the final page.