Grade: 3 Butterflies
Series: Defy #1
Author: Sara B. Larson
Publisher: Scholastic Press
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 love fantasy, absolutely love it. It is my favorite genre and when I saw the premise of this book my attention was instantly grabbed. It took me a while to get to this book, but I was happy with reading it. Overall this was a solid book. It was an enjoyable read, the plot was fast paced and enjoyable, I never lost interest in reading, and the world was really interesting. However, I think this book would have benefited from more; more pages, more character depth, and more world.
To start off, the plot was fast paced and interesting. I speed through this book and never lost interest in it. I liked where the plot went and enjoyed reading it! It was good! However, I believe this book would have benefited if another 50 pages were added. I just felt that the book speed through scenes that could have been longer.
Also, added to that, I believe that if more pages were added then the characters would have benefited. The characters were enjoyable and I liked them (except the Alex). However, they lacked depth. They had some depth, like the prince and Alex, however, they could have much more. Also, I just I didn't feel connected to them. Throughout the whole book I was never on the edge of my seat in worry over the characters and that really bothered me. Books are so much better to me when I am emotionally connected to the characters.
Another thing I didn't feel connected to was the romance in this book. I liked Alex and the Prince together. However their relationship moved really fast, too fast. I didn't get to savor the romance. And while their relationship did have some depth to it I was never connected or invested in it. It just moved too fast for me to appreciate it. That didn't affect my reading experience during this book but the second one seems to hinge heavily on the romance. So, during the next book this might become a problem.
I feel like thus far all I have been doing is bashing this book, but I really did like it. It did have its flaws, but I still really enjoyed reading it. I liked the fantasy world, the plot was good, and the characters were decent. I would recommend it to any fantasy lover and I will be continuing the series because I've seen some good reviews for the second book.
This book got.....