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?
Title: Ignite (Defy #2)
Author: Sara B. Larson
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
I'd like to thank Scholastic Press for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.
***If you have not read the first book, Defy, there WILL BE SPOILERS in this review. You have been WARNED!***
After reading Defy I wasn't quite sure where I stood with this series. I had a few issues with the main character and how she so easily fell into the "girl" position after spending years perfecting her image as a boy. It was just too easy for her. And the romance kind of irked me: The not so there love triangle that I thought could have been explored to a better degree, the insta-love that happened between Alexa and the prince. It just seemed like it needed more to it. Then there was the sorcery part of the story. I actually really liked this part and felt it could take off well in the second book if done right. So, when I finished book #1 I knew I'd want to go into book #2 and see exactly what could happen with the plot line.
Alexa has once again taken up her position at Damian's side. But she continues to thwart his advances toward her, trying her hardest to make him believe she has no love for him. Alexa feels this will keep him safe and he will have a better life for it. But she constantly wars with herself about it and has a hard time being in his presence because of it. She continues to act the part of his warrior and guard, making sure he is safe. So when a threat to her King and their lands becomes evident, she has no problem defending them both. But she questions why those who were said to be her allies have suddenly turned on them. And she knows there's more to things that meet the eye. I love how she is determined to find out exactly what that is.
Damian remains the same man we found in book #1. He is in love with Alexa, but as she pushes him away, he slowly realizes that perhaps he needs to move on. You can feel the tension between them whenever they are near each other. And, while he tries his hardest to understand nothing can ever be between them, he's really unwilling to believe it. I do love how he's melted right into the role as King. He commands well and his court are more than willing to listen to him and obey his commands.
Rylan, well, he drove me a bit batty in this book. Actually, I was really mad at him for most of it. I understand he's hurting, having had his advances towards Alexa shot down, but he spends the entire book being mad at her about it. And part of him truly believes something can sprout between them. After all, Alexa has made it clear to Damian that she is no longer interested. So Rylan is constantly mad at Alexa, giving her dirty looks and being nasty to her. Some best friend he turned out to be. Hey, I know your heart is hurting, buddy, but don't you want to see your best friend happy? I had no empathy for him at all. I wish Larson would have made him more accepting. A best friend who truly wanted what was best for Alexa rather than a jealous, angsty teen.
This book delves more into the sorcery were were introduced to in book one. But this book introduces something no one has ever seen. I did figure out the power from pretty much the beginning, when we meet Vera. Unfortunately, we never learn the source of the power, which doesn't seem to be anything similar to the black magic we saw in book #1. At the end of the book it's still a mystery how the enemies are able to wield this power over people. I needed to know at least a bit of this Give me something that leads me wanting to read the next book. Though I see that leaving the reader in the dark might make them more interested because you really do want to know what it's all about. I like a little mystery, for sure, but I need a bit more to make sure I'm reeled in tight!
I enjoyed this book more than the first one. I felt like there was more action and it moved a bit faster. I enjoyed seeing the characters we met in the first book and learning just a bit more about some who had only skimmed the surface. I really want to know more about Tanoori and Eljin and how they will help Alexa and Damian to save their kingdom which is under attack from allies who now seem to be enemies. But once again, I'm left a bit baffled as to the world that has been built. It's a jungle, where there's a castle, and it's hot, but they have fires and fur covering the beds? I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be seeing. I'm also a bit confused by the "breeding houses" which have been destroyed and now all the "prisoners" are living in tents? Why are they not better taken care of after basically having been enslaved? And how do they now fit into the story since Damian has basically destroyed their reason for having been in the palace grounds in the first place. How are they feeding these people? Are they contributing to the society at all? I need more on this end.
I will say there was a little too much of Alexa worrying over romance. The Kingdom is under attack, threatened to be overtaken by others, and she keeps worrying about how to hide her love from Damian or how much she just cannot seem to stop loving him. It hinders her character development. I want to see a strong character, who can put aside her woes about the boy she loves and realize there are much bigger things to worry about. But she becomes weak when she constantly worries over who has Damian's affections or why she even bothers to keep her love for him a secret.
Those who enjoyed the first book in this series will like this one, just as well. I can see there has been some growth in the direction of the book and with the sort of cliffhanger ending, I do feel the need to continue on when the next book is released.