PJV Quickie: Defy is a fast paced, young adult high fantasy novel that deals with gender-bending. Sara B. Larson‘s debut hooks you right from the beginning but the lack of world building really took away from this story for me.

When I started Defy all I knew was that it was high fantasy and gender bending. I haven’t read a lot of high fantasy and I really enjoyed this one. There were just some things that I wasn’t a big fan of and some parts that I wish were delved into more. This book was extremely enjoyable, but logistically the world building needed some work.

Defy is very character driven and Alexa/Alex our main character is really great. She is brave and sensible. I just wished that her secret of being a girl lasted a little bit longer in the book especially now knowing this will be a series. It was a great hook for the series but finding out that so many individuals could realize it was annoying. I wanted it to be more believable to the other characters. Defy does have a love triangle and it is one of the love triangles where she only wants one of the guys, though. Surprisingly, I wasn’t a fan of the romance in this book. I liked Damian as a character he was extremely complex but I couldn’t ship a couple in which I was unsure of everything he did. Rylan, on the other hand was a character I really liked and would have preferred her to want him but there was no chemistry with Alexa.

My major problem that stops me from saying that I loved this book was the world building or lack there of. If this was any other genre it wouldn’t be as much of a deter but this is high fantasy. There is mention of magic that is never fully explained. There are lands that are never fully explained. That to me was very annoying but the fact that this whole mess has begun over a war between two kingdoms and yet that war is never explained until closer to the end. There are these back stories to characters that are hard to understand because explanation doesn’t happen much in this story.

I did enjoy Defy a lot and it definitely put me in the mood to read more high fantasy. I will most likely continue and read the sequel but I hope that explanation occurs in book 2.