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Defy
Defy
Defy
Audiobook9 hours

Defy

Written by Sara B. Larson

Narrated by Rebecca Mozo

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

4/5

()

About this audiobook

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?

LanguageEnglish
Release dateJan 7, 2014
ISBN9780545677400
Defy
Author

Sara B. Larson

SARA B. LARSON is the best-selling and critically acclaimed author of the YA fantasy Defy trilogy and the Dark Breaks the Dawn duology. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband, their four children, and their Maltese, Loki. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction.

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Reviews for Defy

Rating: 3.9452954048140043 out of 5 stars
4/5

457 ratings52 reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I have just finished reading Defy, by Sara Larson and, even though I liked it, I kept thinking that this book could have been one of my favorite books of all time. I did enjoy reading it, but it was not as good as it seemed. This book, if anything, had the potential to be great. The first third of this book was amazing. Imagine Mulan sent to the Middle Ages under an unjust king who mistreats orphans and forces boys to join the army and girls to worse fates. The girls’ fates are a bit too far-fetched, and I question the stability of a kingdom that mistreats its orphans in such a way, but I understand that it is an excuse to trigger the start of the book. Obviously, the main character disguises as a boy to join the army instead. This is possibly one of my favorite premises. Aside from this, some descriptions about the world could have been nice. I somehow felt that nothing in the world was described, which made it harder to feel that I could step into the book. The book started losing its appeal when the first significant character died (sorry, no spoilers here). It was obvious that he would die from the start, and George R. R. Martin has ill-accustomed me to expect something different to the most obvious outcome. The end of the book was also quite easy to guess: the prince’s involvement in the kidnapping was clear from the first moment, and as soon as another character mentioned his brother, I knew what his fate would be. YA does not have to be unpredictable, but Defy may have been too predictable. Then, out of the blue, half of Alexa’s acquaintances already knew that she was a female soldier, and they were absolutely fine with it. That part made me groan; the plot was typical and incoherent. In a patriarchal society where female orphans are used as mere breeders, it is simply impossible that none of the men react negatively to the protagonist’s secret. Some distrust, threats, blackmail, treason, or any other reaction from some characters would have made it more credible. Add a risky scene where the character closely escapes death, and then we’re talking fun. If you manage to suspend your disbelief until the protagonist’s endless trip through the jungle with the story’s two other significant characters, you will see a strong and independent Mulan become a damsel in distress where she stops being able to take care after herself. Also, they have been kidnapped by an evil sorcerer, but they behave like children during a school trip under a tolerant teacher’s supervision. Don’t take me wrong; the book did promise a lot in terms of plot at the beginning, hence my frustration that the plot disappeared after the first few chapters. In the jungle chapters, the narration was most lacking. If Alexa is not used to forests, she should be alert with every noise, be afraid of the animals and insects, or anything that made me feel that she was indeed in the jungle. It did get better as soon as the characters get out of the jungle, but I almost stopped reading before reaching that part. I would have accepted the missing mid-plot if the characters had been believable and unique. At some points, I thought that Bella had to decide between vampires and were-- I mean, Alexa had to choose between the ruler’s son and her fellow soldier. The romance would have been a nice addition to the plot with good characters, but not the only thing that happened. I would have liked Alexa to do something with her life, go on adventures, and be proactive rather than only think about her two guys’ torsos and eyes. This brings me to the prince. Since when does a cold relationship with a member of the royal family turn into romance within days? Also, all these first impressions about him, his tantrum-throwing, and silly jokes about the prince were simply inconsistent with his real personality. The book tried to make him appear very smart to be able to feign his tantrums and insufferable attitude, but then he became the perfect, flawless character whose personality was almost as weak as Alexa’s mid-book character. Give me flawed but honest characters and I will love them for their flaws; give me self-pitying characters whose only occupation in life is navel-gazing, and I will not like them. The prince lied to Alexa and kept hiding information from her, and yet she fell for him immediately rather than look at her friend and fellow soldier. I am being slightly unfair here; the book does have great things. I would have wanted it to be perfect, to re-read it in five years and still enjoy it. The second third of the book could have been summarized a bit and Alexa could have been more proactive during that part, and I would have loved the book. My suggestion? Read the book, skip the middle as soon as it gets slightly boring, and read the end. *Then* decide if you want to move on to the rest of the series. You can always go back to the jungle scenes and read them if you feel really curious, but you are not missing much.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Alex's is with HER brother, Marcel. They are in the prince's guard. Their parents have been killed. They are thrust into a situation filled with intrigue and secrets as they protect Prince Damian. Filled with action and twists and turns, Alex fights on even as HER brother is killed. She must keep her secret while she slowly finds out that Prince Damian is keeping a few of his own. Good action, enjoyable read.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    I read this trilogy within a week and loved it at first, but there is too much sacrifice and death for me. Too many characters that I liked died along the way.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    The book was good and the person reading it wonderful. She made the story Filices Spence her tone throughout the book had me at the edge of my seat at times and the book itself I couldn’t put down
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Great book. Ready to listen to next one. Finished this in 2 days.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I absolutely LOVED this book! The writing kept me intrigued and the story line was so interesting I could not wait to see what happened next! The speaker had a great speaking voice as well. There is nothing worse than a good story being voiced by a terrible speaker! Can’t wait to listen to more books by this writer!
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    This easily became one of my favorite books. Think Mulan meets Hunger Games meets Twilight meets Merlin. The author really drew me in to the characters and plot. I loved that it was clean yet mature. The narration was also great! Five stars! I am starting the next book right away!
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    1/5
    TRIGGER WARNING for rape and abuse. And not just hinted at. The breeding house scene is too much for me, and not necessary to be explored in such explicit details in a YA novel. The readers, especially teenager, are able to understand the situation without being explained what will happen to a FIVE YEAR-OLD orphan girl in the breeding houses.

    After about 10% in, I lost interest. I don't think it's for me. Or for younger readers. Or for older readers. From what I've read, there is too much abuse and the plot it very immature, insta-lovey and over-dramatic.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    The story was very interesting and left me unable to stop listening.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Parts of it were truly great! And other parts dragged a bit. This is just based on my preference and in no way is meant to criticize the author!

    At first the romantic interest arc was done with a light touch, then all of a sudden everyone was in love.

    Also, almost everyone written about knew the main character was a girl so it wasn't that much of a secret?
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    Defy, ignite, and endure have the making for a great story including a love triangle, adventurous fighting, and an interesting idea of sorcerers but in every aspect it fails to satisfy. The love triangle had very little drama, the "best" fighter was constantly restricted and captured mostly due to her own mistakes and failures to respond to situations. And magic with little rules or true uses throughout besides fireballs from dark sorcerers. The main character internal dialog is mostly self doubt and annoying wants thats she doesn't act on. And When she no longer pretends to be a boy she crys every day even though she was able to keep her emotions in check for years before her discovery. Just disappointing to read the more you dive into it.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Very well done! Clean romance & interesting plot. There was romance but it didn't overwhelm the storyline. This isn't the sweet rainbows and sunshine story, but realistic heart ache as a consequence of the evil villainous king.
    There is talk of a breeding house where women are raped and their purpose is to have as many babies as possible . The evil kings purpose was a effort to raise the baby boys up to be soldiers. It reflects how terrible the king is.
    It is not discussed in detail so its not graphic at all. You just know there is this awful situation that is mentioned a few times and your heart breaks for these girls . I recommend this book. But the sensitive topic mentioned could be a trigger for some and inappropriate for young teens/preteens depending on maturity.
    Great plot!
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I loved this audio book! It lead to some sleepless nights (because I couldn’t stop listening) and some long and hard work days (I work 12 hr shifts!). I can’t wait to listen to the next book.
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    1/5
    Read my full review here.

    I had such high hopes for this, but I actually struggled to finish this book.

    To begin, we are given absolutely no reason as to why there’s even some huge war that’s been going on for years and years. There’s no reason. Because of this, I couldn’t even understand what the point of the whole plot was. King Hector definitely needed to be overthrown…but why hadn’t he been sooner when he was a rapist and a murderer? Makes. No. Sense.

    Alexa should have been very Mulan since the story certainly set her up to be a similar character, but she couldn’t have been more different. She doesn’t stand up for herself when people who are supposedly her friends slut shame her. The characterization isn’t consistent. And I don’t for one second believe that she’d fight for the Blevonese army when one of their sorcerers killed her parents. What? How about no. Larson rather weakly tries to fix this plot hole by having Alexa mention it to a Blevonese Commander, but that’s it. We get no answers.

    I do like that once friends revealed they always knew she was a girl and they tried to treat her like glass, she tells them off. I like how Larson has a main character who’s curious about sex and explores that part of life. Bonus points since her self-esteem issues aren’t magically solved because guys love her. I also respect all that she’s done to protect herself from the fate of other female orphans, but that’s it. Otherwise she’s a really one-dimensional character.

    The love triangle really annoys me. I don’t believe the romances at all. Rylan is really just a jerk; he slut shames her for being attracted to someone that isn’t him. Wow! What a winner. He apologizes later after he treats her very poorly for the majourity of the book, so it’s okay right? Alexa sure thinks so. Damian lies to Alexa and uses her to help him kill his father (his own Aunt tells Alexa she thought that was what Damian was doing). Half the time he’s rude so when he isn’t it doesn’t seem genuine. I almost liked them - they can relate to one another because they're both orphans, and have to hide who they are - but no. I just don’t believe it.

    That’s one of the biggest problems with the book. I almost liked Alexa, but I didn’t. I almost, sort of, liked Damian at the end, but I didn’t. I almost liked the plot, but I didn’t. There were too many issues, and a lot of problematic behaviour by characters we are supposed to care about. I couldn’t get into the story at all. The book tried to promote gender equality, but didn’t really. There are so many plot holes and inconsistent characterizations, but the only way Larson tries to fill in these holes is by having one character point it out to another character. BUT NOTHING IS SOLVED OR EXPLAINED. The pacing of this story is also quite slow. Some big things happen in the first few chapters, but they don’t really feel big and the rest of the book is sloooww.

    Overall, Defy had a lot of potential, but didn’t achieve anything. Apparently there’s going to be a sequel, but I can’t imagine where the story could go since it didn’t do much in this one.
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    1/5
    The author seemed to think that adding more and more trauma to each character's backstory would make them more interesting and/or deep. I really tried with this book. I even got nearly to the end! But once I realized there were ANOTHER TWO BOOKS to slog through, I had to let this story go. The political intrigue was well thought out but the romance was cringe worthy, the main character had SO MUCH potential only to turn into the regular "boysboysboys" YA romance lead, and the ending was completely unsatisfying, even in the recognition that there were two more books to follow. I love young adult fantasy. This was just not a good book. I know this author can do better, and I plan to follow them to see if they hone their craft more in future books.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    When Alexa's mother and father are killed by an evil sorcerer, to avoid being used as a breeder (yep, that's a thing), she cuts her hair off and poses as a boy, and she and her twin brother, Marcel, join the king's army. Because her father has been teaching her to wield a sword for years, she is better than most, and is appointed to the elite prince's guard. For three years Alexa has gone by Alex and has pretended to be a boy, but she's 17 now and is finding that fact harder and harder to conceal, and events are about to make that even more difficult..I have mixed feelings about this book because I liked Alexa alright, but when her gender is revealed, her actions are harder to understand, I don't want to give anything away, but it's this fact that makes the love triangle that follows harder to connect to. I just didn't feel the heat. The plot was enjoyable, and I loved the action scenes, it was just the romance I didn't engage with.Because I liked more about the book than I didn't, I'm giving this book a 3.5/5 star rating, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series. 3.5/5 stars.*** I would like to thank NetGalley, Scholastic Press, and Sara B. Larson for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Only by disguising herself as a boy is Alexa safe from a fate worse than death. Fortunately, her impressive fighting skills quickly earn her a place in the elite prince’s guard. In that position, she’ll have to decide where her loyalties lie, with her prince or her kingdom. Her decision will influence the fate of her world. Also, there is a love triangle.

    That’s what the book should have been like, anyway. Oh, and by the way, a love triangle. Instead, the love triangle took over the book. There wasn’t much misplaced romance in the middle of danger, but there were moments when I wondered why we were spending time on this. The fate of kingdoms was in the balance! I didn’t care much which of the men who somehow fell in love with the boyishly disguised Alexa ended up with her. Given how much of the story was devoted to this love triangle, I was extra annoyed by the ending. Character’s who create their own romantic problems are one of my pet peeves.

    The love triangle was especially disappointing given how good the rest of the book was. The writing was vividly descriptive, drawing me right into the constant action and intrigue. I loved the characters and the character development. The plot wasn’t too novel or surprising, but it reminded me of Tamora Pierce’s books in a great way. Were it not for the love triangle, I easily could have given this four or five stars. It wasn’t the worst love triangle I’ve ever read, with a reasonably decisive heroine. However, my interest in her love life paled beside the fascinating political intrigue which I wish had gotten more attention throughout the book.

    This review first published on Doing Dewey.

    1 person found this helpful

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Originally Published on Tales to Tide You OverThis is a strange but wonderful book that does not hesitate to force the characters to face harsh reality. At the same time, it’s a complex, twisty story with the main character Alexa, who is living the life of a man to avoid the fate of anything female in her kingdom, largely kept ignorant, a fact that infuriates her even on those rare times when she can see the logic behind the decision. I had a little trouble at first with the modern-feeling character voice in what was clearly a medieval fantasy, though not completely in the Western European sense. The nontraditional climates, integration of natural hazards, and a diverse racial cast for viable social reasons soon drew me in, and after a while, the voice grew on me, especially as the story is very deeply from Alexa’s perspective.That deep perspective caused a problem for me because it seemed as though the book was girl/female bashing, to the point that I made that exact comment in my notes. Alexa is not only passing as a male, but she equates her female self with all the traditional, and untrue, stereotypes of weakness both emotional and physical. This stood out even more strongly because of the modern voice, but here’s the thing: I soon realized it was not the author making a statement about girls. It was Alexa being true to her circumstances and what they’d taught her about the value of being female in her kingdom. There is no question about what that value is as her choice to hide as a boy was to escape the breeding houses where any captured fertile female is forcible impregnated to breed more soldiers for an unending war. Not exactly the life one would aspire to. Instead, she’s a member of the prince’s elite guard, impossibly good at everything and never fails…until she does.Her rejection of her female self gives her something to overcome while being thrust from the study of war and constant practice into the reality of fighting off assassins undermines her superhero status in the beginning, which is a difficult place to grow from.The story rips her from everything she knew, undermines her understanding of the war, the people around her, and even her own position as she’s thrust into a complex world of hidden information and moral grays where before her path was clear, if not easy.The hormonal parts might be a little overdone in my opinion, but both her emotions and her knowledge become suspect, creating a strong tension. As she learns more about the war, she also discovers parts of herself she didn’t recognize, or had no explanation for. I figured out some of what was happening faster than Alexa did, but I had the advantage of distance.She’s knee deep in trouble pretty much from the first page, and her relationship with Prince Damian grows from something as simple as disgust into so much more as she becomes more aware of the world around her. Meanwhile, she has connections, both good and bad, with every member of the guard, we meet other people in her life only briefly, but their introductions are memorable so the ones that show up again are familiar the second time.This is a tangled, complex novel with real losses and major events that blend together into a compelling story. Add to that strong characters who you come to love or hate, and a world rich enough so we see glimpses of their mythology to explain climate differences, and I think this is a story that anyone with an eye for a good fantasy should enjoy. Just remember to listen to the other characters when Alexa starts assigning weakness to every female characteristic. It’s her problem, but you’re so deep in her viewpoint that it seems more. Despite that causing a problem for me as a reader, I have to applaud the ability to immerse me that far into the character’s mentality.P.S. I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I really loved this YA novel. It's a page-turning adventure with a plot that revolves around a personal journey and the fight to save the kingdom of Antion. The lead characters are 17 year-old Alex/Alexa and 23 year-old Prince Damian, but there are many other well-developed supporting characters that really help support the themes of love, courage, loyalty, and honor. The setting feels medieval with castles, guards, and many sword fights, but there are additional elements of magic/sorcery and cruelty (i.e., "the breeding house") that make the book feel magical and dystopian at times. (Best for older YA readers as "the breeding house", although a small part of the story, involves rape.)

    1 person found this helpful

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    I liked the romance, but the love triangle was just one guy having a crush on her and her falling in love with the other guy while having the first one in the back of her mind. Not to mention that it took like 10 chapters to get interesting. But it was a good book overall

    1 person found this helpful

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    Maybe it was the narration ('m listening to the audiobook), but something about Defy is very wooden to me. Other than it being in a jungle, I have no image of what the setting looks like. I don't relate to (or care about) any of the characters. It's a very strange combination of dystopia and fantasy, and it doesn't quite come together. There were a couple time where I thought ,"Oh, that sentence is a little clunky." If I have brainpower to think about grammar, it's not a very engaging title.

    1 person found this helpful

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    one of the best books I'v listened to. so much emotion and feeling. can't wait to listen to the next one.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Defy introduces us to a brave, proud warrior who is forced to hide her true identity for her own safety. She's proved her fighting ability and won a position among the Prince's Guard and is known to be one of the best swords person in the kingdom. Unfortunately, the Kingdom is suffering great upheaval and considerable uncertainty as the King becomes progressively more despotic as he forces young women into brothels and arrests those with magical powers. The King is aided by a dangerous advisor with magical abilities.When the Prince is kidnapped by the rebels, our heroine is taken with him. She learns that the Prince is working with the rebels against his father, with the purpose of ridding the Kingdom of inequality and to allow magic to be accepted and used. In order to survive and to help her Prince, our heroine must learn to use her skills and develop whatever magic she might have - and to return to the Kingdom, use her new skills for the young Prince. Defy is a fun, witty, adventure story - a real delight!
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    1/5
    Diese und weitere Rezensionen findet ihr auf meinem Blog Anima Libri - Buchseele

    Hätte ich das Buch zu einem anderen Zeitpunkt gelesen, wer weiß, vielleicht hätte es mir deutlich besser gefallen. Aber wer meinen Post „Das YA-Debakel oder Wie sich meine Leseliste spontan halbierte“ gelesen hat, der wird mitbekommen haben, dass Sara B. Larsons „Schwert und Rose“ zum denkbar ungünstigsten Zeitpunkt den Weg in mein Regal gefunden hat.

    Okay, ich bin an dem Dilemma selbst schuld, ich hätte eigentlich schon bei der Inhaltsangabe stutzig werden müssen, immerhin ist von dem „romantischste[n] Fantasyabenteuer des Jahres“ die Rede mit einer Protagonistin, die „zwischen zwei Männern, die um ihr Herz kämpfen“ steht… Hätte ich mir denken können, dass das nicht mein Ding ist, aber – wie so oft, wobei ich ja Besserung gelobt habe – habe ich diese Teile gekonnt überlesen und mich von der restlichen Inhaltsangabe, dem Cover und den guten Bewertungen einlullen lassen… Hätte ich mal besser die Finger davon gelassen.

    Ich bin mir sicher, dass „Schwert und Rose“ noch viele, viele Leser begeistern wird, denn es hält, was die Inhaltsangabe verspricht und ist wirklich überaus romantisch – eigentlich ist es nicht außer romantisch, denn die Dreiecksbeziehung überschattet schnell jeden Ansatz irgendeiner anderen Handlung (wobei die Handlung auch erst nach gut einem Drittel des Buchs überhaupt mal in Gang kommt). Nur wirklich romantisch ist die – meiner Meinung nach – eigentlich auch nicht, denn nicht nur ist sie quasi nur in Alexas Gedanken existent, es ist auch von Anfang an klar, auf welchen Kerl es hinauslaufen wird, bleibt der andere doch derartig blass, dass weder Leser noch Alexa selbst einen wirklichen Grund haben, ihn als Romanzenmaterial in Betracht zu ziehen.

    Dabei ist die Ausgangssituation so gut! Nach dem Tod ihrer Eltern gibt sich die 14jährige Alexa mit Hilfe ihres Zwillingsbruders als Junge aus und tritt der königlichen Leibgarde bei. Okay, das ganze erinnerte mich irgendwie schon ein wenig an Tamora Pierces „Alanna: Das Lied der Löwin“ (naja, vielleicht auch ein bisschen mehr als ein wenig…) aber das hat mich ja nur in der Hoffnung bestärkt, dass es hier einen wirklich vielversprechenden Ansatz gibt! Aber nein, es ist nichts weiter als ein mehr oder minder phantastisches Geschichtengespinnst, das die Autorin hier um eine blasse, völlig konstruierte Dreiecksgeschichte webt.

    Oh, und noch einen Punkt gibt es! Der hätte eventuell wirklich Potential gehabt, wäre er nicht völlig unsinniges und dadurch geschmackloses Mittel zum Zweck gewesen: Das Bruthaus! Es ist der Grund, aus dem Alexa überhaupt entscheidet sich als Junge zu verkleiden, es ist das, was den bösen König böse und die guten Helden gut macht, mehr als zwei kurze Erwähnungen am Rande ist es aber nicht Wert. Im Bruthaus werden junge Mädchen und Frauen gefangen gehalten, die – wie auch immer – in den Fängen der Armee gelandet sind. Denn das Königreich befindet sich seit zehn Jahren im Krieg und im Bruthaus sollen neue Soldaten gezüchtet werden – klingt logisch, nicht?

    Nein! In diesem Zusammenhang ist das grenzenlos unlogisch! Würde der Krieg nun schon seit Jahrzehnten, vielleicht sogar Jahrhunderten andauern, okay, dann hätte so ein Bruthaus zumindest einen strategischen Sinn. Dauert der Krieg aber „erst“ zehn Jahre an und hofft man immer noch, dass der Krieg bald vorbei ist, dann ist das totaler Quatsch! Wie lange, bis man ein Kind als Soldaten nutzen kann? Ach, keine Ahnung, aber meiner Meinung nach, macht dieses Element in diesem Zusammenhang überhaupt keinen Sinn. Es dient ausschließlich dazu, dass Alexa einen Grund hat, sich zu verkleiden, es macht deutlich wie böse der böse König doch ist und macht die, die gegen dieses Bruthaus sind, zu Helden.

    Ach, und es räumt die anderen weiblichen Charaktere ganz geschickt aus dem Weg. Denn natürlich darf an keiner Frau außer Alexa auch nur ein gutes Haar gelassen werden! Alexas Mutter ist tot, die Königin ebenfalls, sodass die älteren/weiseren Frauen schon mal weg sind. Die meisten anderen Frauen stecken im Bruthaus, sind also hilflose, wehrlose Opfer. Und die Frauen, die sich am Hof aufhalten? Dahergelaufene Flittchen, auf die Alexa herabblicken kann, weil deren Art, sich vor dem Bruthaus zu retten, ja so verabscheuungswürdig ist im Vergleich zu ihrer Art (die ja auch noch ihre anhaltende Unschuld und Jungfräulichkeit garantiert… Hm… Scheint auch so eine Voraussetzung für YA-Heldinnen zu sein: Sex ist böööse! :?: )

    Naja, lange Rede, kurzer Sinn: „Schwert und Rose“ von Sara B. Larson hätte mir vermutlich auch zu irgendeinem anderen Zeitpunkt nicht wirklich gefallen, denn die Geschichte ist langweilig und völlig vorhersehbar, geht unter dem viel zu unglaubwürdigen Beziehungsdreieck unter, der Plot, wenn er denn irgendwann mal ins Rollen kommt, kann nur aufgrund von Alexas völlig schwachsinnigen Entscheidungen funktionieren und überhaupt ist hier vieles nach dem Prinzip „reim dich oder ich fress dich“ von der Autorin so zurecht gebogen, dass nichts an der Geschichte wirklich natürlich wirkt. Schade… Aber mich bestärkt das nur in meinem Schluss, meine Lektüren im YA Bereich deutlich einzuschränken und sehr viel vorsichtiger auszuwählen.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    A fun, quick read about a girl disguised as a boy who becomes a warrior and the guard of a royal prince (whose is handsome and has quite a few secrets himself!). I know several other reviewers have compared this book to Mulan, but the tale I was reminded of was actually Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness. Either way, this was a fun and quick read, a few of the characters and plot lines felt underdeveloped, but overall a good read.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    I enjoyed this quite a bit. It had decent world building without a lot of boring information. The characters had personality without feeling too bogged down in thought. It's a great fantasy with a little romance, and has a wonderfully strong female hero. I will be watching for the next in the series.

    I would recommend this to fans of Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper, Kristin Cashore's Graceling, A. C. Gaughen's Scarlet, and Jennifer Nielsen's The False Prince.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I received a free copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my review.

    This is a book that I will be fangirling over for a while now! I have been looking for a great fantasy novel that will once again spark my interest in fantasy and this book totally delivered!

    For a full review: please visit my blog at bookreviewsfromachristiangal.blogspot.com
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    Plot: 3 stars
    Characters: 4 stars
    Style: 3 stars
    Pace: 3 1/2 stars

    Netgalley E-Arc.

    Aside from some formatting issues (clearly caused by someone slapping a file together and never actually opening it on a device to see that oh hey, random spaces inserted in the middle of words all over the place!), this wasn't too bad. But it never really got GOOD either. It was just the enjoyable side of dull, with a forced love triangle and baddies with no redeeming qualities, and almost no character growth. Meh. Stylistically, there were pieces that clearly had more polish put on their description, but overall, it was lackluster.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    I should've run at the mention of a love triangle.I started Defy with incredibly high expectations. I was expecting a book with the awesomeness that was Mulan, along with a bit more romance than Mulan actually had. But this quickly went out the window, when almost immediately we're faced with Ryan, love interest number one. No matter how much Alexa says "I am all for duty, love won't get in the way of that", it always did. She would go off on tangents thinking about the color of his eyes and how kind and sweet and caring he was, but the thing is we never actually saw it. As if that weren't enough, suddenly douchy Prince Damian starts showing an interest in Alexa, too. Forget about the fact that Alexa is disguised as a man. She absolutely swoons and flushes over this Prince who's flirting with what is supposed to be a man. As if that isn't enough, Damian lies, deceives, tricks, and hides the truth from Alexa and she still seems to be attracted to him! What is wrong with this girl?“A week ago, I wouldn’t even let myself admit that I found any man attractive. And now my heart couldn’t seem to remember how to beat normally whenever Rylan or Damian came near me.”Rylan was the sweet and caring guy (think Mike from Twilight) and Damian was the dark and mysterious one. When they find out that she's actually a woman (this isn't a spoiler), they both fight for her attentions. And guess what? She gives them both hopes. I was reminded of that scene in New Moon where Bella's at the movies with both Mike & Jacob and they're both just waiting to hold her hand... Yeah that's how their relationship felt like to me.The fact that we're faced with a love triangle from the very beginning was discomforting to me. I was expecting action, adventure, some sort of struggle for Alexa, but everything seemed to come naturally for her. She's an excellent fighter! She's cunning! She's the best solider out there! Is she sick? Well don't worry because conveniently, there is a healer right there to help! UGHIf there's one thing that I absolutely deplore about this book are the breeding houses.I refuse to believe in it. I refuse to believe that people could just give up their wives and daughters to be raped repeatedly until they produced children. Just because the King said so? Give me a fucking break.I won't deny that there were some good things, like for example Alex & Marcel's relationship.They had a wonderful brother/sister relationship together. It was really sweet.I also really enjoyed Alexa's relationship with the other guards.I will say this over and over again. This book wasn't bad at all. It just wasn't what I expected. I was expecting something less romantically influenced, instead I got the exact opposite.Rating: 2 stars
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Despite the uncomfortable, but few mentions of the breeding houses, which really could have easily not existed in the story, Defy was a really good book. I thought, although there is a slight love triangle, that the romance was actually cute. I caught myself smiling when reading Defy, something I haven’t done in a while. Alex or rather Alexa was a good heroine. I liked her and it isn’t often that I find a lead character I like just as much as the love interest, if that makes sense. But this is book one, so hopefully I’ll still like her later on. She has a good head on her shoulders. She’s tough. And she, even after losing her brother, remained determined when anyone else might have given up. And even when she is offered a different, higher position (winkwink), she chooses to remain a guard. I adored Damian. He was the most interesting character and also one of the most mysterious because once you thought you had him all figured out, more secrets would then come to light. I want, need him and Alexa to be a couple. I didn’t care all that much for Rylan. He seemed like just another angry, scorned suitor once he figured out Alexa’s feeling for Damian.Almost everyone, of the ones the mattered, seemed to already know that Alexa was indeed a girl. Of course it doesn’t matter much in the end, but I’m curious to know exactly how much time she would have had until someone, like the king, would have discovered the deception. All in all, I liked Defy. I’ll probably continue on with the next book.