Okay, so I've known Sara for about 5 years now. She lives here in Utah with me, and we get together for parties, dinners, launches, write nights, conferences, and various other things. When a fried organized an ARC tour, I signed up.
Then DEFY came up on NetGalley, so I snagged it there too. It's easier for me to read at the gym on my Kindle, and this way, when the ARC finally came, all I had to do was sign it and go through and tell Sara all my favorite parts.
And there were many favorite parts. I absolutely loved DEFY. It's a YA fantasy that fits into the genre very nicely. Let's explore a little bit.
About DEFY: 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?
I have also written a (trunked) novel about a girl who pretends to be a boy, so I loved this aspect of it. I liked how Sara handled the delicate issues of female body parts while still making this girl a boy on the outside. But Alexa is a girl, and she has female internal reactions, worries, and thoughts. This can be tricky to do, and Sara did it well.
I loved the jungle setting. I don't know why; maybe because I haven't read anything like that for a while. It was different, and for me, different in a book is always good.
DEFY is a fantasy, so it has danger, intrigue, wicked kings, and magic. And there's some kissing, which you know I'm fond of. If you like fantasies like THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS or GRACELING, you'll like DEFY.
It comes out on January 7, so be sure to get your copy!!
Also, I am woefully out of the loop. What should I be looking forward to reading in 2014??