Before she knows it, Alexa is stuck guarding the country’s spoiled Prince Damien, with her friend and fellow guard, Rylan, by her side. Alexa tries to ignore her growing attraction to the prince and focuses on her guard duties- she’s virtually unbeatable.
But when a sorcerer sneaks into the Palalce and kidnaps Prince Damien, Alexa has no choice but to insist they take her too. Travelling in the wild jungle with both the prince and Rylan, Alexa can’t help but be torn between the two men in her life, especially since they don’t know who she is. But quickly it becomes clear that Alexa’s not the only one hiding things. Not only is her heart at stake, but so is her nation.
So…it’s been awhile since I’ve written a book review. What are those again?
Lol I’m just kidding! Even though I haven’t done any book reviews in awhile, I’ve still been reading. I just haven’t found anything that I’ve felt passionately about.
When I first heard about Defy, I was SO excited. It reminded me of Mulan, especially with the cross-dressing warrior. I love cross-dressing girls, especially when they’re trying to save the world. It’s one of my favourite tropes and anytime I read a book summary that has a girl dressing as a boy I go weak in the knees with excitement.
If only the book lived up to my excitement…but let’s start at the beginning.
I really enjoyed the first half the book. Alexa was a fiesty girl, trying to maintain her identity as Alex, while also trying to keep her feelings in check. I love the confusion that arose at this stage, as Prince Damien keeps acting in a way that suggests he knows Alexa’s secret, but Alexa isn’t sure. She’s beginning to see past the facade of Prince Damien’s spoiled brat act, and I enjoyed the beginning stages of their relationship.
Alexa is an amazing fighter, and prides herself on being unbeatable. Other members of the guard respect her and she gets put in the position of guarding the prince after an alleged attack on the prince by a sorcerer.
The setting and atmosphere of the novel is interesting; surrounding the palace, there’s a wild jungle that surrounds the city that hides lethal dangers. Despite being the best fighter in the prince’s guard, Alexa is terrified of the jungle.
On the other hand is Rylan, her friend and fellow guard to the Prince. After her brother’s sudden death at the hands of a sorcerer, Rylan is the only one who supports her and has been there for her since the beginning. Once Rylan and Prince Damien both discover her secret, Alexa has a difficult time choosing between the two men and this is where the book went downhill for me.
I loved the parts when Alexa is Alex and struggles to hide her identity from the men in her life. But when both Damien and Rylan find out she’s a girl, the book becomes all about the romance between the trio. Gone is the mystery of Alexa’s parents brutal death or the kingdom’s pressing on-going war, and everything becomes about Alexa’s feelings and battle between the two men.
Defy had a lot of potential, especially with the interesting world that Larson created, but became bogged down by the love triangle. So I left feeling disappointed by the end. The end did remind me a lot of the ending scene of Mulan, so I suppose I will end up reading the sequel.
So for that: 3.5/5
Thanks for reading,