My Rating: 1.5 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: Defy by Sara B. Larson was a book that began quite promisingly with a premise that reminded me of one of my favourite childhood series, Tamora Pierce’s The Song of the Lioness quartet. Once Alexa’s twin brother, Marcel, died however, my enjoyment of the story deteriorated because the romantic subplot took over.
This basically resulted in Alexa transforming from a seemingly competent soldier – the best of Prince Damian’s guards, actually – to one who simply couldn’t help but ogle male chests, swoon over guys’ eyes, blush, cry, and/or run away. Forget surviving, this girl clearly had her priorities straight by being more concerned about whether she was in love with Damian or Rylan, a fellow soldier, and how she could tell the other guy so without hurting their feelings.
Not only was it annoying having to read over and over again about heat rushing to Alexa’s cheeks and other places, but there was barely any worldbuilding. My knowledge of the fantasy world Larson created was literally this: a) there are three countries and their royal houses seem to be related, b) two of those countries are at war, c) there’s magic (and no explanation for why some people have it), and d) there’s a jungle. Oh, and to ensure that the reader realizes how vile the king is, there are breeding houses. (Since it takes time for babies to grow, I personally am not sure why the king thinks breeding houses are the best option for creating future soldiers; to me, conscription and training women to become soldiers would be more reasonable options).
Suffice it to say, other than its beginning, Defy didn’t resemble The Song of the Lioness quartet in the least.
Defy was released in January 2014 by Scholastic Press.
Comments About the Cover: If there’s a sword on the cover, chances are I’m probably picking up the book.