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Publisher's Summary

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, Alexa 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 Alexa, 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 Alexa 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, Alexa 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?

©2014 Sara B. Larson (P)2014 Scholastic Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    239
  • 4 Stars
    136
  • 3 Stars
    67
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    232
  • 4 Stars
    117
  • 3 Stars
    44
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    211
  • 4 Stars
    123
  • 3 Stars
    54
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    13
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lynn
  • Massachusetts, United States
  • 01-04-15

It was good but.....

I did like this book however, I felt like the character went from a stone cold fighter to an over emotional teenage girl. By the end of the book there was someone crying in every chapter and it was usually the main character. It felt like the author was trying way to hard to make this book sappy by the end. I'm hoping there will be a little less of that in the next book.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Could have been a great story

Any additional comments?

The first third is well written with a spin off 'Twelfth Night.' But the whole middle is muddied by gushy overstated imaginations of romance, with overuse of the body's temperature, "heat rushed up my arm"... "heat exploded in my stomach"... heat here... heat there. Stop already! I had to turn it off. But after I cooled down, I realized the plot finally reached a turning point - it was probably going to start moving again. The last half continues with the adventurous climax we anticipated, but sadly the heroine's character is scared by the over-drama of the middle. The ending tries to take itself serious, but I wanted the heroine to have changed a bit more by the end.
The narrator was good, but the over dramatic emphasis on certain words started to be noticeable and exaggerated the moodiness of the heroine.

Not recommending it.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Strong beginning... Fell.so.short.

Would you try another book from Sara B. Larson and/or Rebecca Mozo?

I probably would be wary to try another one of Sara B. Larson's books.

What was most disappointing about Sara B. Larson’s story?

She had such a good start, great story background, great ideas, but instead of focusing on those great ideas Sara decided to focus on the weak character connections.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Great concept !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

it was ok.

To much boy drama that ruins the story line and takes away from the magic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Story? Great. Narrator? Death.

I really had high expectations for this story, and it didn't disappoint. Magic, old kingdoms, secrets, a girl pretending to be a boy and who is in a love triangle - everything a lover of fantasy could want!

Except the narrator. Holy. Night. Until the very end it sounded like she was super ticked off at everything. Alexa's voice was deeper than both Damien and Rylan's voices, which weirded me out. Her narration was clipped. In fact, I'd say most of the characters had an edge to their voice. It definitely distracted from the story, in my opinion.

Will I be reading the sequel? Yes. But I Am staying far, FAR away from the Audible version and purchasing it on my kindle.

Highly recommend for kindle!!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Might have been better with a different narrator

The voice for the girl was thicker than all other ( mostly men) characters. The story was ok, not great. There are so many great stories out there and this one wasn’t really that amazing. I won’t be listening to book 2. I might try reading it at some point.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Recommended

If you like action, sword fighting, magic, and romance then this is for you.

While not the best audible book I’ve listened to, this was still highly enjoyable. You have a kick butt female lead (disguised as a man), lots of action/adventure/magic elements, and a love triangle. I stayed up multiple nights listening to this instead of sleeping because the story drew me in. There were a few elements of the story that were unpredictable though many were clearly foreshadowed/easily predictable. Also, as another reviewer mentioned, the lead is very emotional in the second half of the story. While it was somewhat justified due to the trauma/stress, it did get frustrating that she started off as a strong courageous lead and then needed male encouragement for her future decisions. It provides a nice clean ending (no cliff hangers) while also leaving it open for future books. I plan on listening the rest of the series next.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Everything you could ask for in a book.

This is everything you could ask for in a book: Adventure, romance, great plot, I couldn't put it down.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

wrapped up nicely

Would you listen to Defy again? Why?

I would not relisten as sections get very slow, but overall, the story was good and perhaps the point of the slow parts were to give lots of backdrop for a series? It did finally wrap up in the end to a decent story, just slow getting going.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • Bronx, NY, United States
  • 10-04-16

Started off good but...

Would you try another book from Sara B. Larson and/or Rebecca Mozo?

Not sure

Would you recommend Defy to your friends? Why or why not?

I wouldn't recommend - it starts off good but as it gets going it just gets really cheesy and cliche. Alexia constantly getting worked up because a prince she just barely started to get to know hasn't bared his soul right away. It could have been good

What aspect of Rebecca Mozo’s performance would you have changed?

She was over dramatic in parts and it detracted from the story

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No