Series Review: Defy & Ignite by Sara B. Larson

Defy (Defy, #1)Defy
(Defy #1)
by Sara B. Larson
YA Fantasy
Hardcover, 336 Pages
January 7th 2014 by Scholastic Press

Summary

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?
  
Ignite (Defy, #2)Ignite
(Defy #2)
by Sara B. Larson
YA Fantasy
Hardcover, 304 Pages
December 30th 2014 by Scholastic Press

Summary

Murder, kidnapping, and forbidden romance abound in this thrilling sequel to Sara B. Larson's acclaimed YA debut, DEFY.

Alexa continues to harbor a secret love for the newly crowned King Damian, yet she remains by his side as his guard and ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion's people. However, when a new threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on the once friendly nation of Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem. Once again the fate of her country hangs in the balance. Will Alexa be able to protect her king and uncover the true enemy -- before it's too late?
  

My Review

This review is for the Defy Series to this point, so both Defy and Ignite. Defy and Ignite took the characters on a journey away from their home and back again. The journey was filled with danger from those who would seek to destroy them from both outside and inside their party. It was also a journey that posed a danger to Alexa's heart. There was intrigue, friendship, battles, family, loss, magic, and love. What I loved most was Alexa's fierceness, her loyalty, her exceptional fighting skills, and at the same time, her softness.

This series has been different than others I've read. The setting was interesting with both very depressing descriptions as well as hopeful ones. The plot continues to grow and bend as the series moves forward. There are still so many mysteries and I felt the plot thicken and the villain become a little more clear during Ignite. I wasn't sure about the love triangle. It is there, but I knew which way Alexa would lean. There were some places where I wished Alexa and some of the other characters had made other choices or realized sooner what was going on, but their mistakes also made the story feel more realistic. I did know some things were going to happen and I would have liked a little more depth there - or at least for there to be more surprises.

I loved Prince Damian. I loved how he could convey so much in a simple touch or look, and sometimes with a word or two. I also loved that Rylan was such a good guy and there for Alexa. Alexa was just awesome! I love fierce heroines who are just as good, and in this case, better than the boys with certain skills. The villains were plenty chill-worthy and the heroes were plenty altruistic without being overly so. 

I can tell from where Ignite left off that there is definitely more challenges and danger ahead for Alexa and I'm definitely curious as to how it all works out. I have a ways to wait since the third book is estimated not to be released until January 2016. If you enjoy reading stories in the fantasy genre that aren't completely taken over by the fantasy aspect, with a fierce heroine, magic, and a destiny to fulfill then you should like this series. I also just have to say that I really like the book covers as well. Makes me curious about what the next one will be... :)

Content: Some innuendo, seduction, violence, but otherwise clean.
Source: Purchased and from the publisher through NetGalley, which did not affect my review in any way.

Check out Author Sara B. Larson's Dream Cast today as part of my Blogoversary here. Have you read these? If you did, what did you think?

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