by Sara B. Larson
Publication Date: December 30th 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Find This Book: Ignite
As you may know, I was given an ARC of Defy back in 2013. You can read the review here if you’re interested: Defy Review
So I decided to follow up on the series and read book two!
This book was nowhere near as awesome as Defy was, but it was still good. I know I had lots of questions after I finished reading Defy, and I don’t think any of them were answered in book two. I’m still not sure if you’re born a sorcerer or learn how to be one, or how one becomes a certain type, and apparently I also don’t know how one can have powers and NOT be a sorcerer. Additionally, I felt like the characters had become more flat, less three-dimensional from last time. I remember being stunned with Defy, there was a badass swordswoman, there were different types of relationships expressed, they lived in a tropical jungle AND there was magic. But we’re two thirds of the way done with the series and I still don’t see or understand the politics/relationships/cultures of the three different kingdoms. World building is crucial to any book, but this particular series is ABOUT the 3 kingdoms and war. Their world building seems crucial to the plot and is pretty nonexistent.
The plot of this book is that now Damian is king, there needs to be delegations from the surrounding allied countries just to reestablish connections with the new ruler. People from Dansii and Bvelon both show up, oddly around the same time, and it turns out the Bvelon soldiers are under a sorcerer’s control to attack the king. An attempt on the king’s life would be bad enough, but he’s the newly established monarch so his country is already unstable, and the Bvelonese were the people they literally just stopped fighting a war with in book 1. Basically, something’s fishy. Additionally, the Dansii couldn’t just send a normal delegation, they had to send a young pretty woman to seduce Damian, and to the torment of Alexa, she is successful in controlling the king. More complicated relationship stuff happens between Alexa, Rylan and Damian which eventually resolves itself to the conclusion of book 1. Alexa is still a badass swordswoman, but now she gets disrespected by the guards and the commoners which literally makes no sense because the guard knew her and was friends with her and respected her before she revealed her true gender. Being a girl doesn’t suddenly change the fact that she can kick all of their butts because she’s the best swordsman in the kingdom. So that was annoying but expected I suppose.
I also liked how Alexa’s relationship with Damian’s little brother was expanded upon. Their sibling bond is really cute and a great contrast to her complicated relationships with Damian and Rylan. The little brother looks up to Alexa and she helps him train and they platonically love each other and trust each other. When he is in danger, his life is put above all else. Not because he is heir to the throne, but because she cares for him. I will probably get around to reading book 3. Hopefully I will finally get some answers to all of my questions as well as a conclusion with some closure!