A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and heart-racing romance.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?
In debut novelist's Larson's riveting fantasy, the tropical nation of Antion is at war, and 17-year-old Alexa has disguised herself as a boy in Prince Damian's royal guard to avoid the nightmarish "breeding houses" that await her as a girl. When a visiting sorcerer kidnaps the prince in hopes of ending the war, Alexa becomes collateral damage. Learning of the dangerous hypocrisy of the nation's leaders, Alexa relies on her extraordinary fighting abilities to protect both the country and the prince she is beginning to love. An additional romantic entanglement contributes little, but Alexa is nothing if not resourceful. As a fighter surviving in a brutal world in which magic plays a sinister role, she relies on her own skills, perceptions, and determination to battle her way to the book's cinematic finale. Alexa's desire to reclaim her gender identity under her own terms ("I still wished things could be different. I wished I could be a member of the guard and a girl") gives the story much of its emotional sincerity and psychological depth. Ages 12 up.
It was a great quick read
This book defiantly wasn’t my favorite and at times was VERY cliche. The main character (Alexa) who is posing as a boy under the name Alex is a great heroine…then it becomes known that she is actually a girl. After that, the plot suddenly becomes really romance based and strays from the original “kicka**+ defiant” story . There were times where I was thinking “what happened to her avenging her family.” It seemed that Alexa had a complete 180 in terms of her priorities which didn’t quite fit with the flow/progression of the book. However, after a few chapters things got much better and returned to the main plot. The plot was also a little predictable especially the ending which was really annoying. If there weren’t two more books I would be much more upset since it was just a frustrating conclusion. I wish it had been slightly longer in order to allow for more world building and character development.
I know I just said some negative things but honestly this book was short, fast paced and attention keeping. Sure there were some rough moments but overall I liked it. I felt for all the characters and the concept of this plot is creative. I read it in the span of two days and I will defiantly be reading he second book. There were great levels of romantic tension and the aIl the action scenes were written really well. I would recommend it to someone who is looking for a book that’s meant to fill some free time. Don’t take it to seriously and just enjoy the fun moments in reading this book. If you hyper analyze it while reading, you probably wont like it. For this book, just go with it and don’t think to much about it. I am a huge fantasy YA fan and I would say that you wont be disappointed but it wont change your life.
No. Just, no.
I almost never write reviews, that's how much I hated this book. I went into this book expecting a Mulan inspired story. They both pretend to be male soldiers. That is where the similarities end. I am embarrassed that the main character Alexa (Alex) could be considered by some to be a strong heroin. It takes more than just being good at fighting! This book resembles Twilight more than anything but less developed and riddled with clichés. I hated the entire thing but I forced myself to the end and was rewarded with the most painfully frustrating part of the book. When our supposed heroin cries that her face was scared in the big battle and the prince won't love her anymore. Are you kidding!!! You just saved the kingdom and your ashamed of the scars that you got!! That's pathetic! Honestly, it was horrible. Don't waste your time.
I was enthralled till the end. The writing is superb and the plot not overly done. I prefer "happy ever afters", but the conclusion is surprisingly satisfying.