In my early days of requesting books for review I didn’t pay much attention to whether or not a book was a later part of a series – which has often been frustrating. Ignite, by Sara B. Larson, is the second book in her Defy series. A series I haven’t read prior to this.
Alexa is dedicated to Damian who has been newly crowned as King of his realm. Alexa vows to guard him and to help him rebuild his territory (known as Antion). But a new threat to Damian and Antion arises and Alexa suspects that it’s not as clear-cut as it might seem on the surface. She needs proof of her theory however, which might leave Damian alone and undefended. To complicate matters, Alexa is in love with Damian but she doesn’t want him to know or it might negatively affect their professional relationship.
My basic reaction while reading this was that there was nothing here that felt particularly original. Bearing in mind that this book is more than five years old now, perhaps it was slightly more original when it first was published.
What we have is a strong young woman, good with some old-fashioned fighting (notice the bow and arrow on the cover?), who must be a leader and must be tough even when under extreme adversity. But she’s also feminine, with longings for a particular man. It’s classic YA fantasy in the age of Hunger Games – capitalizing on a specific character type and some general fantasy world-building.
And that’s really what this boils down to, for me. This felt like something I’ve read before. On multiple occasions. I didn’t find too much new here, but if I had read this book before any number of other YA fantasies, then perhaps this would be the one to stand out. It was a fine read, but I suspect I won’t remember much about it this time next year.
Looking for a good book? Ignite, by Sara B. Larson is the second book in her Defy series, and if you like YA fantasy with strong young girls who won’t admit they’re in love with the lead male in the book, then you’ll enjoy this.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Sara B. Larson
series: Defy #2
publisher: Scholastic Press
hardcover, 304 pages