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I Belong


Review: Ignite by Sara B. Larson

IgniteTitle: Ignite

Author: Sara B. Larson

Genre: YA High Fantasy

Series: Defy (Book #2)

Publication Date: December 30, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 0545644747 (Scholastic)

ISBN-13: 978-0545644747 (Scholastic)

Reviewed by: Bridget

Synopsis:

Murder, abductions, and forbidden romance abound in this thrilling sequel to Sara B. Larson’s acclaimed YA debut, DEFY.

Alexa remains by the newly crowned King Damian’s side as his guard, ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion’s people, despite continuing to harbor a secret love for him. However, when another threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on their newly forged allies from Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem. With the fate of her nation hanging in the balance once again, will Alexa be able to protect her king and uncover the true enemy — before it’s too late?

Quick & Dirty: Amazing sequel that lived up to all my expectations. Brimming with magic, romance, action, and betrayal this is one of my favorite high fantasy series of all time.

Opening Sentence: The heat in the hallway was stifling, even though it was well past midnight.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

In the land of Antion, there has been much unrest for many years.  They had a tyrant of a king who led people by fear and was in no way a good man.  But hope has finally come to the people in the form of a new leader, King Damian.  In every way possible he has tried to make amends for all the crimes his father committed. Things aren’t perfect, but their country is finally on the mends until a new threat surfaces.  A threat that can destroy all of Antion, and there is only person that can save the day — Alexa Holden.

Until very recently everyone thought that Alexa was a boy. To avoid the awful breeding houses she hid her identity and joined the army with her twin brother.  But with Damian as the new king she no longer has to hide who she really is. There is no one that can match her skill with a blade and there is no one that is better fit to protect Antion’s new king.  She is devoted to rebuilding her kingdom and will let nothing get in the way, including her feeling for Damian.  She knows that for the kingdom to truly flourish Damian will need to marry someone fit to be a queen, and Alexa doesn’t fit that mold.  But when their new allies attack their boarders, Alexa knows that something isn’t quite right. Alexa must uncover the truth and face a more deadly enemy then ever before.

From the first moment I met Alexa, I instantly loved her.  She is a strong independent woman that is easy to look up to. But she also has a lot of girly insecurities that make her a believable character.  She is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to battle and sword fighting, but when it comes to acting like a lady she doesn’t really have a clue what to do.  While she wears the scars on her face proudly, she can’t help but be self conscious about how it makes her look, which is something I think most people can relate to.  No matter how amazing you are at certain things you are never 100% comfortable in your own skin. You are your own worst enemy when it comes to criticizing yourself and Alexa struggles with this like most people do.  With her amazing strengths and relatable flaws she is a very well rounded character that I completely adore and respect. I can’t wait to see where her story goes next.

Damian is such a dreamy guy.  I fell madly in love with him in Defy and my fondness for him just grew in Ignite.  Physically, he is a total hottie with a chiseled face, amazing body and piercing blue eyes, it’s hard not to find him attractive.  But what I loved best about him was his overwhelming sense of goodness.  He was raised in a terrible environment where he had to constantly fear for his own safety from his crazy father, but that in no way made him bitter.  His sad past actually made him a more compassionate person and a wonderful leader.  He has a great love for his nation and all those that reside in it.  His relationship with Alexa has had a lot of bumps along the way, but I don’t think there are two people that are more perfect for each other.  They have amazing chemistry and they complement each other perfectly.  From the very beginning I have been team Damian and after reading Ignite my feelings haven’t changed.

Rylan is such a great guy.  He is loyal to a fault and an amazing fighter. With his sweet personality and good looks he doesn’t have a hard time attracting the ladies. As another guard of the king he has been close with Alexa for years.  They have always been really good friends and Rylan would do anything to protect Alexa.  Rylan obviously has feelings for Alexa and has for a long time, but she just looks at him as a friend.  I adore Rylan but personally I just don’t think he is for Alexa. I felt that in Defy the love triangle was a lot bigger part of the story then it was in Ignite.  For all of those that read the first book and were disappointed by the love triangle, I think that you will be much happier with the second book.

Ignite was a fast paced story full of adventure, betrayal, romance, and action. I personally loved Defy and couldn’t wait to get my hands on of copy of Ignite and suffice to say I was not disappointed.  I was eager to see where Larson took the story since the end of Defy wrapped a lot of things up nicely, but I knew there was more to come.  I loved how she added new villains and expanded the world even more. The romance developed nicely and was done perfectly.  Pretty much from the first page I was hooked and I couldn’t seem to put the book down.  There were great plot twists and an ending that left me dying to see what happens next.  This series is one of my all time favorite high fantasy series and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a beautifully written story full of imagination and romance.

Notable Scene:

“You have brought peace between our two nations at great cost,” the man said in that same voice, chillingly empty of emotion.

“The cost, though great, was worth the result, I hope” Damian said, sounding a bit more cautious.

I hazarded a glance at Eljin again to find him staring directly at me. He shook his head infinitesimally and widened his eyes. A warning.

“If you believe the result was peace, you are mistaken,” the man responded and my head snapped forward again. The expressionless void was still in his eyes as he stared up at Damian, but he adjusted his stance, tensing slightly, and my blood ran cold. I began to pull out my sword but I was too late.

“There will never be peace for you or your kingdom.” He whipped out his sword and lunged so fast that Deron, who had reached for his own sword a second to slow, was unable to deflect him. The blade sliced through his bicep as Deron threw himself backward to avoid being run through. “The blood of your people will water the jungle floor!”

Defy Series:

1. Defy

2. Ignite

glitter crown

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FTC Advisory: Scholastic provided me with a copy of Ignite.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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