- Sara LArson
- Released January 7th 2014
- Book 1 of Defy
- 1 Star/DNF
The King has declared war against the sorcerers to avenge his wife’s death and is enlisting every man to fight in his army and every woman to become a breeder. When Alexa Hollen’s village is burned down, she and her brother make the decision to cut off her hair and pass her as a man. Her fighting skills allow her to earn an elite spot on the prince’s guard but even her exceptional abilities can’t stop a sorcerer from capturing the prince, her fellow guard Rylan, and herself. With hidden foes lurking around every corner and secrets bigger than her own, Alex must figure out how to save the kingdom she has been sworn to protect.
DNF at pg 208
Repeat after me everyone: Romance *clap* should *clap* not *clap* be *clap* the *clap* focus
You know there’s a problem when the blurb mentions a love triangle…
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.
I came for fantasy and instead I got Alexa playing mental ping-pong with her two guys. It’s absolutely ridiculous.
In the world of Defy, the King’s wife was murdered by sorcerers and so he decides to extract revenge by waging war on sorcerers. Obviously, regular soldiers can’t go one-to-one with sorcerers so the King forces every man to be in the army. But that’s not even the worst part: he forces every woman who has gotten her period into his breeding house. Yes BREEDING HOUSE! The woman are literally raped until they get pregnant and then their sons are taken away to become soldiers. Horrible, nasty, ugh.
Logically trying to avoid this fate, Alexa cuts her hair short, pretends to be a boy, and with her brother joins the army. This is obviously only a temporary solution and so the first half of the book is literally me waiting to see when people figure out she’s a girl. Honestly, that was more interesting than everything else that went on. (Side note, I can’t imagine that binding your breasts for a whole day is comfortable… #prayforalexasbreasts).
Anyways, she’s the best fighter, like she literally beat the captain of the guard when she was 14 but was too young so they didn’t make her captain. And ostensibly, she’s kept being a girl secret for 3 years by the time this book rolls around acting manly and lowering her voice (but not so much that she sounds like a girl pretending to be a boy b/c it’s not like boys can have high or fake low voice either…) Oh by acting manly, I mean not showing a single damn emotion. Nada, not even when her own brother dies. Honey… guys show emotion too you know (though not too much, gotta stay macho jkjk)
Again, she’s acted like a guy for years and then her brother dies and suddenly, all the guys around her hot. Sexual Awakenings 101: get rid of your brother and suddenly every available male is a potential mate. It’s only slightly ridiculous. And then she’s guarding the prince at night and ofc he’s shirtless and she’s ogling him and then sees him looking at her (him) like he’s into her (him). So let’s pause and take a mulan-fan-theory moment – Damion is into Alex which would make him not straight and yet that makes Alexa all hot and excited…
Basically, I got so tired with the book’s constant focus on who Alexa wanted to sleep with when the characters were in the middle of a fucking jungle. Like she gets mauled by a jaguar and you would think she would pay more attention to her surroundings but no, her head is filled with Damion and Rylan. I’ve learned nothing about why there even is a war when I’m ⅔ through the book, I’ve learned nothing about how magic works, and I’ve learned nothing about the way the palace/court whatever works. Done done and more done.