#Review Defy by Sara B. Larson

#Review Defy by Sara B. Larson

#Review Defy by Sara B. Larson

Defy by Sara B. Larson

Series: Defy #1

Published by Scholastic Press on January 7, 2014
Genres: YA Fantasy, Young Adult
Size: 336
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Amazon :: More Info ::
PJV Rating: 3.5 Stars
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, 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?

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.

3.5 Stars

Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

THe Iron Knight

PJV Quickie: Slow to start…but the end knocked my socks off!

Title: The Iron Knight
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #4
ISBN: 0373210361
Publication: October 26th 2011 by Harlequin TEEN
Received eARC from NetGalley, published earlier on Blogger platform, but eaten some how, so republishing review.
Links: Author Web >> Author Twitter >> Purchase Book >> Goodreads
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review

And here I sit pondering THE IRON KNIGHT by Julie Kagawa. What can I say? Can I gush {insert gush here} ? Can I rant {insert semi-ranting lunacy here} ? Or should I just lay it out?

Lay it out.

Decision made.

For starters this is a great series. If you are not familiar with Julie Kagawa and her faeries STOP NOW and go and read them. They have some small problems, but this is a wonderful series and highly recommended to lovers of young adult and paranormal.

THE IRON KNIGHT is the fourth in the series, written as sort of a compendium to the trilogy that features Meghan Chase. THE IRON KNIGHT is from Prince Ash’s perspective and is very different from the original trilogy (In Meghan Chase’s POV) which had its own draw. And while different from the trilogy — I loved it.

I thought it was well written and Kagawa wrapped it up in the perfect package. I have to say, she has clawed her way up to the top of my list as one of the best young adult authors on this planet.

Read the series. Fall in love with Prince Ash…it’ll only sting for a few seconds.

Ash is on a journey. To survive the Iron Lands and keep hold of his love, Meghan Chase, the now Queen of the Iron Lands, he must become mortal. The fae, at least the normal fae, cannot survive in the modern landscape of the Iron Lands. Yet, Meghan cannot leave, she is their Queen, without her the land will plunge into chaos and a leader might arise that will put all of Faerie in jeopardy. Ash must sacrifice his immortality and gain a soul or give up Meghan entirely.

There is talk of a gauntlet at the end of the world. No one has ever returned – yet rumors say this is where you can gain a soul, something all fae lack. Determined, Ash sets out for the End of the World, Puck, whether to assist or just pester to the point of insanity, decides to join him. Along with Grim and a few unexpected companions the group must make their way across lands that are wild and dangerous, to cross a river of dreams and enter a world that hasn’t been seen by many who lived to tell the tale. All for love. For his soul. There is no guarantee that he will survive, there isn’t even a guarantee that Meghan will wait for him, but Ash knows it is the right thing to do.

I’ll state from the get-go that this is a book that takes a little bit of effort to get into. Ash is on a journey, so much like the great and epic journeys of fantasy literature they do a lot of traveling from place to place, battle to battle. This is not for a lot of people – especially those that are used to a little bit of romance mixed into the plot. The first three novels had journeys but they also had the underlying tension between Meghan, Ash and Puck. Meghan is not on this journey. It is a tough beginning which I’ve heard a few people mention had them putting the book down after the first fifty to give it time to steep (myself included). I have to say though…CARRY ON, push forward and do not let it faze you, because once this novel gets rolling there is no stopping it.

Throughout the pages I kept thinking, “how will she {Kagawa} do it?” “How can this possibly end well?” I had my doubts, I really did and one of those doubts, Kagawa even delved into. It was my doubt from the beginning when I knew he wanted his mortality. Would an immortal creature be happy as a mortal? It would be like a human suddenly losing their hearing or more subtly their taste or feeling. I feared for the ending of this book and was held in an anxiety induced prison until the final pages…but it was a perfect execution. Kagawa didn’t hold anything back as per her usual style and what she put forth in THE IRON KNIGHT was better than I expected.

Recommendations:

Not to be read out of order, this book needs the prior books to make sense. Recommended for fans of this series and if you are a paranormal romance, young adult fan I would highly recommend reading book one.

Like This, Like That:

‘City of Ashes’ (Mortal Instruments) by Cassandra Clare
‘Ballad: A Gathering of Faerie‘ by Maggie Stiefvater

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