Ignite (Defy Series #2)

Ignite (Defy Series #2)

4.5 23
by Sara B. Larson
     
 

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Alexa continues to harbor a secret love for the newly crowned King Damian, yet she remains by his side as his guard and ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion's people. However, when a new threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on the once friendly nation of Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem

Overview


Alexa continues to harbor a secret love for the newly crowned King Damian, yet she remains by his side as his guard and ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion's people. However, when a new threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on the once friendly nation of Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem. Once again the fate of her country hangs in the balance. Will Alexa be able to protect her king and uncover the true enemy -- before it's too late?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for Ignite :

"[A] fast-paced fantasy novel laced with political intrigue." -- School Library Journal

"Alexa [is] . . . an interesting, multilayered character, a valiant fighter with heart." -- Booklist

Praise for Defy :

An Indie Next List Selection

"A wonderful tale of adventure, romance, and embracing your true self. Alexa is a heroine readers will love to follow!" -- Marie Lu, bestselling author of the Legend series

"Defy by Sara Larson is an amazing, fantastic book. It has everything you'd want: intrigue, awesomely real characters, suspense, and a captivating plot. All in a world that comes to life in your mind. Highly recommended." -- James Dashner, bestselling author of The Maze Runner

"Grand adventure, romance, and thrilling political intrigue." -- Booklist

"Powerful and narratively satisfying." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"[A] riveting fantasy." -- Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Patricia K. Landy
Larson has managed to create a mysterious war between two allies. Hector’s reign of terror is over, and now His Majesty Damian and his most trusted guard delve into the situation and attempt to unravel the mystery: why are their once-trusted allies, Blevon and Dansii, attacking their village; whom may they trust; and is there a connection between Lady Vera and her taster’s death? Bodies disappear and the part King Armando plays in the mystery only escalates his position as the evil king. Alexa, is Damian’s partner, is feared to be a lone black sorcerer. She loves Damian, but can she have a romantic relationship with him without putting his life in danger? Damian loves Alexa, but even though some problems resolve themselves (they find Jax, Damian’s brother), the two find themselves discussing future dilemmas: betraying a peace treaty; imminent war; and “Hope that somehow we could conquer everything together.” Reviewer: Patricia K. Landy; Ages 12 up.
VOYA, December 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 5) - Erin Wyatt
Alexa no longer has to keep her gender a secret now that Damian has claimed the throne as King of Antion in this second installment of the series. When a group of mysterious strangers arrives from Dansii, it brings upheaval to the kingdom attempting to heal from a long war and the brutality of the previous leader. Attacks and assassination attempts come from allies, and the young brother of the king is kidnapped. A type of wizardry that has never been seen before seems to be at play when Vera and Rafe start using mind control to terrorize and torture as they bend people to their will for an unrevealed, but certainly malevolent, purpose. Alexa jumps into the fray to protect the king and the kingdom. Alexa and Damian continue to try to define their relationship and feelings toward one another. Although Alexa has initially decided she should follow her duty of protecting the king rather than pursue romance, the smoldering feelings between the two comprise a large subplot of the story. While this episode of the series reaches a conclusion of the main storyline, the groundwork is certainly laid for the action and conflicts to come in volume three. Although this book was not quite as strong as the first installment, the intrigue and action found within the pages of this fantasy novel make the book a quick, engaging read and one that fans of the series will definitely be seeking. Reviewer: Erin Wyatt; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
11/01/2014
Gr 8 Up—Resolute heroine Alexa Hollen returns in this sequel to Defy (Scholastic, 2014). Damian's betrayal still stings and Alexa continues to deny her love for him, but an uneasy peace with Blevon launches the female King's guard into emotional turmoil: Someone is attacking distant villages of Antion, a young prince is kidnapped, and Blevon appears to be the culprit. Meanwhile the Dansiians, responsible for the black sorcerer Iker's devastating involvement with Damian's father, have sent a delegation to Antion under the pretense of forming an alliance, but the enchanting Lady Vera reveals a more sinister agenda. This fast-paced fantasy novel laced with political intrigue spends a lot of time in Alexa's head as she is torn between her duty as the finest personal guard to her king and a desperate desire to be with her soul mate. Jealousy is a common theme with these realistic characters, whether it's Alexa, Damian, Rylan, or Lady Vera, examining the complicated ramifications of one person's decisions. Antion's politics add a level of depth to the world-building without being too distracting or overbearing. Readers who enjoy love stories that include multifaceted relationships and a suspenseful plot will be enthralled.—Jamie-Lee Schombs, Loyola School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
2014-10-01
A girl fighter fights evil in a midseries time filler. Disfigured by scars and outed as a girl, superb sword fighter Alexa is King Damian's most valued guard. Though Damian relies on her completely as a soldier and adviser, the awkwardness between the pair encroaches on their every interaction. Alexa has told Damian she doesn't love him, convinced that a relationship would destroy her beloved king (she feels she'd be bad for him, for no apparent reason beyond her disfiguring scars). Every time she sees him, Alexa is struck with such blinding physical pain—in her chest, stomach, gut and skull—that readers might wonder if she should visit a doctor. A visit to the kingdom by villainous, alabaster-skinned desert people leaves the kingdom in danger from a wicked seductress and her brother, a malicious goon who tortures his own henchmen for kicks and giggles. Though the dastardly fiends don't appear to be dark sorcerers, they certainly have mysterious powers almost impossible to resist. Still, no dark magic or potential war with the Blevonese can distract Alexa from her Very Important Love Triangle with two bland blank slates. Adequate heroic fantasy only for those who must have every girl-with-a-sword. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545835633
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
11/24/2015
Series:
Defy Series , #2
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
43,607
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author


Sara B. Larson is the author of the acclaimed young adult fantasy Defy and its sequel, Ignite. She can't remember a time when she didn't write books -- although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband and their three children. When she's not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting of her sugar addiction. You can visit her at www.SaraBLarson.com.

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Ignite 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
IHOP More than 1 year ago
Let me start this review off by pointing something vital out: I HATED Lady Vera. I visualized throttling her every page since I discovered her literary existence.  Right, just needed to get that off of my chest. This book was such a fast and fun read. I read it until 2 am (yup, one of those books) and picked it up first thing when I woke up. I practically slept with it, I didn't wanna put if down. It starts out with Alexa being her typical stubborn self, convincing herself that she isn't good enough for Damian (can somebody say dramatic much??) and thus crushing Damian's heart in the process. I just kept seeing him turn these big beautiful blue (3 alliteration points to me) puppy dog eyes on her (not that he did, he put up his mask of indifference, but a girl can dream). Then Damian is attacked (for reals this time, not something he staged). But, right before the assassination attempt went off, Lady Vera Crack Head (probably not her last name) walked into the room and charmed the hair off of everyones' head except for Alexa's (and someone else...maybe...maybe not...you find out for yourself, stop making me do everything for you xD). All you really need to know are these key things. Take note. Grab that pen behind your ear and jot this down: Jax is the cutest little boy. Damian has the biggest heart...and blue eyes....and muscles (what?). Alexa can kick some serious behind. Rylan may be jealous because of reasons. Tanoori has a crush (But who you ask? Some dude *shrugs*). Eljin likes picnics...except when he doesn't (show up, that is). Vera, though she is a ginger like me, is forcing it. Quite literally. Rafe, I don't know who you are, but I will find you, and I will kill you. The only thing I didn't like about this book was what I've been WISHING to happen since Defy. Can you guess? Lemme tell you, close your eyes, and picture this. Damian and Alexa face off in a sword fight. It may sound weird, but I'd really enjoy that. I think I may get my wish in the next book ;) Happy Reading!!!
SammiiTX More than 1 year ago
Usually, the sequel never stands up to the original. That is true in most cases, but not in the case of Ignite by Sara B. Larson. I devoured this book in a matter of hours! The story once again drew me in. The compelling sequel is filled with magic, romance, adventure, and some mayhem. Ignite will draw you in and hold you captive until you read the final line of the book. So in my other review I mentioned the stupid love triangle. That is no longer a problem in Ignite. Yay! Someone won, not going to say who, but there was a definite victor by the end of Defy, even if Alex doesn’t want to act on it.  Which, that’s another thing! Can I smack Alex? If someone loves you, then be with them! Don’t be stupid and deny your epic love story because you’re scared of what people will think. If it’s meant to be, then people can suck it and deal with it. Alex made some pretty crappy decisions in this book, if I do say so myself, but it is written in her nature to be the person that she is. She is fierce when it comes to protecting the ones she loves. She doesn’t want to lose anyone else, so she does the best she can to protect those near her.  I will say that I am proud of Alex. She decided to come out as a girl and act herself, instead of some persona that she was putting on for her safety. Though, it does introduce some complications. Like being the only female on an all-male guard that suddenly think she’s weaker and lesser than them because she is a female. She is still the same person she was in the last book, only a little more scarred. Which if you’ve read Defy, you would understand. Damian is still the same secret filled person that he was in Defy, only now more so. He needs to be, but he still wants Alex and he will do anything to be with her. But, now Alex is hiding from him so he really can’t be with her. He still was a bit of a poophead though, because he didn’t really try. Alex did push him away pretty harshly, but FIGHT FOR HER, dangit. It’s not that hard! He’s king now, so he has a lot more responsibilities, but putting Alex as your right hand woman was a little harsh. You could’ve been a little nicer about that one, Damian. The story had more plot twists in it, though. I was able to predict more of this story. I really don’t enjoy predictable stories, but sometimes you just keep reading because you are so caught up in the story. And that is how Ignite was for me! I was entertained and captivated the whole way through. I might’ve groaned at some of the scenes, but I was smiling, laughing, and all around enjoying myself for more of it.  Ignite is a compelling sequel to Defy and definitely worth the read. If you were on the fence after reading Defy, just give Ignite a chance to impress you. It will be worth it, I promise! Now, to wait for the third one… ¿
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't wait for the next one!
Anonymous 6 months ago
A must read and im only half way done! Some hints are on the review below that starts with "Im just gonna start this review off with this....." read that review its so much more worded than i can do at the moment( take the praise!!). Thank you for reading this review and hopes it helps.:} Posted by EllaBlackRose
Anonymous 9 months ago
It had me enthralled throughout the whole series.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Karen at For What It's Worth and Mary at The Book Swarm occasionally post twitter-style reviews. Karen calls hers Short and Tweet, and I am going to borrow that review style here. I wanted to read Ignite because I enjoyed the first one, the strong main character in Alexa. I didn't really remember much from the first book besides that, but this one drew me in well. It gave enough recall in a natural way so that details came back. my tweet (longer) review Alexa is still guarding the king, the man she loves, but pretending like that's not an issue. I love how this continued and the romance arch was great. And it was a new dynamic since everyone knows that Alex is Alexa now. I got caught up in the book again and will def be continuing. There are so many challenges they had to overcome and mysteries to solve in this one. A good amount was solved and there was def enough questions and things that I will definitely continue.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love pulsing book
SmalltownSR More than 1 year ago
Great story line. The only couple of things keeping this from being a 5 star book, is that I skimmed the parts (and there are a lot of them) about Alexa wanting to kiss a certain man ALL the time. Also, she is supposed to be the best warrior in the kingdom, but she's so wishy washy with her emotions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KatsNook More than 1 year ago
Ignite is the second book in the Defy series and it continues with the action, suspense and romance that I loved about Defy! What did I like about Ignite? The Story You must read the first book to understand the story of events, so my review will be spoiler free. I loved that Ignite picks up where it ended in Defy and how this was fast paced. King Damian is rebuilding the kingdom with Alexa by his side. She continues to be a member of his guard and sacrifices her happiness for the sake of the kingdom. But now a new threat has come and the safety of King Damian is in jeopardy. This book was an emotional ride as I watched Alexa’s heartbreak at the thought of losing Damian. She has to make some hard decisions in this book that either way will leave her in pain. The romance between Alexa and Damian continues to be passionate. With the loss they both have had Alexa and Damian really deserve some happiness, so I hope the author ends this series with a HEA for them. The Characters Alexa is still one of my favorite female YA characters. She continues to be a member of the King’s guard despite the people’s views of the proper role for women. Despite all the whispers and disapproving looks Alexa walks with her head high. She is one of the best fighters in the kingdom and she puts her loyalty to the king above her own happiness. What didn’t I like about Ignite? I found nothing wrong with Ignite! The Defy series is fantasy filled with action, suspense and romance. The world that author Sara B. Larson has created is rich in detail but easy to follow. The ending of this book wasn’t a dramatic cliffhanger but it leaves a wide range of possibilities for the next book Endure, which releases in January 2016. I can’t wait to read the next book and I highly recommend this to fans of YA fantasy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So completely in love with this series! I have to say, this second installment in the Defy series was magnificent! As in the first book, I was able to predict much of what was doing to happen, but those items I couldn't left me in shock. Perhaps my favorite thing about this series is how easy it is to read. The vocabulary used throughout the story really helps you to see the full picture while not boring you to death. Just like the first book, I remain in love with the characters. Even our new evil friends played a great part! I'm really excited for the third book to come out to see what happens to Alexa and her unfortunate "promise" she was forced to make in order to help Antion! One of my favorite series ever; please Ms. Larson, get everything wrapped up and deliver book 3 to us ASAP!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even better than the first book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sweeterica0712 More than 1 year ago
Ignite . . . this was THE book of 2015 for me. As soon as I finished Defy, I began a count down for this one and waited and waited. Only now I'm stuck in a similar situation again. Ignite was even better than Defy was, which is really saying something, and I'm not entirely sure I can comprehend the awesome I just read. Regardless, all I know is the rest of 2015 has some insanely high standards to live up to - because I'm really not sure it gets much better than this. High fantasy is my favorite and will always remain so. However, Sara B Larson writes her own special breed of high fantasy that blows the socks off of basically everything else I've read lately. I love the intricacies of the plot and the subtle romance that plays such a large role. The everything about Ignite was beyond awesome. I loved how the plot from book one only fed into this one and was made even more awesome. Readers really get to learn more about the world in Ignite, and I loved that. This one answers as many questions as it asks however. And I am really eager for most of those answers. The stakes are high in this one, and it really takes off at full speed. I read straight through without putting it down for a moment. Ignite is a book that reminds me why I love YA and those with strong heroines. Alexa holds her own, and I love that we see her weakness in this one. It only serves to make her stronger.  Larson's sophomore novel was even better than her first. I have all the feels and I think Ignite broke me. It was just so perfect and everything that a book 2 in a trilogy should be. Hitting book 2 right on the head speaks so much for Larson's talent, and I cannot wait to see what other amazing things she does in the future.  Alright, I'm shutting up now. If you need me, I'll be over here rambling some more, dying for book 3.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved Defy and loved Ignite even more! Great plot and romance. Good balance of both. Glad that Alexa always stays true to Damian and doesn't try to drown her sorrows by getting together with Rylan when she wasn't with Damian. Feel sorry for Rylan though and hopes he finds love in book 3. Hope more comes out about Alexa's "powers", if any, in the next book. Would like to see Damian use his as well to help his country and would love to see them both fight together. Would really love to read Damian's point of view and would love an in-between novella. Not sure if this series is just a trilogy or will be more books than 3, but would love more and can't wait for the next one. Hopefully won't have to wait too long!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Addicted_Readers More than 1 year ago
5 BLISSFUL STARS IGNITE was amazing, absolutely A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!! I mean, WOW, there really are no words to put my feelings into check! Oh, it was powerful, and beautiful, and showed that love can conquer all! I was moved by this story. It was like an invisible hand was guiding my feelings and emotions, string them along and spinning them so fast I could hardly keep up. It was breathtaking, and gaspful, and oh, so dam painful, but by the end, it was utterly blissful! Sara Larson packs a powerful punch in this utterly hypnotic second installment in the DEFY series!! The writing was just as alluring and sweeping as the first time around! The world building unfolded nicely, and evenly flowed into the second book. The action and adventure just kept coming, with just the right amount of breaks to keeps us entertained, yet, gave us a little breathing room to interrupt what we just read. The plot had me spinning in every direction, as the twist and turns just kept coming, and had me in amazement as they unfolded into their pure awesomeness!!! THE PLOT Alexa has saved her kingdom from destruction by their own vicious king. She defeated the vile and deadly black sorcerer in order to save her people and the ones she loves. She helped bring peace and freedom to her people, and put the most amazing king any kingdom could have on the throne. But it all came at a price, and the cost for that victory was high, and all Alexa's sacrifices will forever be branded into her heart and soul. She battled with all her might to achieve that tranquility, but it's about to be threatened, again... The peacefulness the kingdom of Antion has come to know is about to come to an end. Their comfort and security is about to be breached. And again, Alex must step up and show her loyalties by defending her kingdom and the king she would give her life for. But their is something more sinister at work then anything they've ever experienced. And many innocents may suffer casualties, because their kingdom is on the brink of war, again... But the battle that Alex wages with herself is what weighs her down. Her love for her king comes rushing to the surface every time he's around. Feels she knows she shouldn't feel, and fought so hard to keep buried since he claimed his rightful place on the throne. But as every passing day comes, so do her feelings, threatening to take over, threatening to take what is hers, threatening to claim what has been given to her. But that is something she cannot allow to happen. She is unfit to be queen. She is just his scared guarded, burned, and... ruined. But King Damion feels differently, and he's love has never wavered, and is a constant reminder of what she yearns for, but is forbidden... Alex will have to put all her reservations and feelings aside, when threats from every direction arise. They are unsure of who is the enemy and who is ally. But whatever power is running rampant within their kingdom, it is unknown, and very powerful. And has the potential to bring their kingdom to it's knees, if not stopped. Alex will have to rely on herself and her friends if she as any chance of locating this threat and ending them before their kingdom falls under the deadly clutches of the enemy.... AHHH, that was just beautiful!! It stole my breath away with every page, and had me enchanted by it's beauty. Before I started this series, I was sure I wasn't going to like it as much as I hoped. But the second I started reading, and got to know Alex, and her challenges, and her fierce, unwavering strength, and the worldbuilding it was built around, I just knew this story was going to steal my heart away. And steal it, it did!!! Overall, IGNITE blew me away, and had me on my toes the entire book, screaming for just one more page. I love these characters, and the world setting, and the strong fierce demeanor they carry, along with the compassionate, yet deadly way about them. The writing was swift and engaging, and totally addicting. The plot was full of depth and development, and the overall feel of the book took me back to the beginning and made me remember why I love this series so much. Entering the first page was like I never even left. I'll be in dire anticipation until book 3 releases and blows me away even more then this one!!! NOTE: I received a physical ARC from Scholastic Press for reviewing purposes! All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way!
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Ignite by Sara B. Larson Book Two of the Defy series Publisher: Scholastic  Publication Date: December 30, 2014 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): Murder, kidnapping, and forbidden romance abound in this thrilling sequel to Sara B. Larson's acclaimed YA debut, DEFY. Alexa continues to harbor a secret love for the newly crowned King Damian, yet she remains by his side as his guard and ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion's people. However, when a new threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on the once friendly nation of Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem. Once again the fate of her country hangs in the balance. Will Alexa be able to protect her king and uncover the true enemy -- before it's too late? What I Liked: I know I gave this book and Defy the same rating, but this one is definitely better than the first book (and I mean that nicely, not snidely). I liked Defy a lot, but I wanted more from the story, and less from the romance. One reason why I loved Ignite as much as I do is because the romance is much more clear-cut (thank God). In Ignite, a new threat has arrived. Blevon seems to be threatening Antion, burning villages and sending parties to attack the king. Meanwhile, a beautiful noblewoman named Vera has been given refuge at Antion, someone much more suited for King Damian. But Alexa knows that Vera has a secret motive to seduce the king, just like she knows that Blevon can't be behind the attacks - someone much more powerful must be manipulating the country. But how many players are in the game, and how many threats can Alexa uncover? Larson up the ante in this book, putting Antion and Blevon at odds. Everyone in Antion wants to go to war with Blevon, but Damian (and Alexa) don't believe that Blevon is at fault - perhaps a black sorcerer is. All the while, Damian is falling into the web of Vera, who seems to have power of her own - or is Damian just that captivated by her? Not to mention that one of the royals is held for ransom, and by a very powerful enemy... who wants Alexa in exchange for the royal. Phew! Lots of crazy going on. Plenty of deceit, ransom, murder, angst, heartbreak, and action. I read this book in two sittings (only getting up for lunch and things), and it went by really quickly. The plot is very fast-paced and interesting.  The romance - let me talk about that for a bit. It might seem like the romance is all sorts of twisted, right? Damian, Alexa, and Rylan were locked in some sort of weird love triangle in Defy, but no longer. Personally, I didn't think it was much of a love triangle at all - to me, Damian always seemed to have Alexa's heart. But then there's the matter of Vera seducing Damian in this book - pshh. We can deduce that this is a plot twist of a sort, with no real feelings involved. I'm all for Alexa and Damian in this book (and series), though I don't mind Rylan as much as I did in Defy (hate Vera though). The romance between Damian and Alexa is very angry and passionate and raw and sweet all at once - love! I like Alexa more in this book. She continues to show her toughness, her strength, her grit, but she also breaks down a little and shows a softer side. To Damian, whom she really loves, but she pushes him away, thinking of what's best for the kingdom. To Jax (Damian's little brother), who wants to learn to be as brave as she. To her friends, and even those who aren't her friends. I like that Larson really spearheaded the issue of Alexa being a female in the King's guard - the author brings this up a lot, which makes the issue more authentic and plausible. I really like Damian, though sometimes I find it hard to believe that he is the King. He seems and acts too young sometimes - not in an immature way, but in a, well, young way. However, I so want my own Damian. Is that too much to ask for? The book ends on an okay note, though there is definitely room for another novel. It's not a cliffhanger, not quite, but there NEEDS to be more to the story, to resolve the conflict at the end that wan't quite wrapped up. The book has a bit of a bittersweetness [is that a word? Should be] to it, but not to the point where you like OMG THIS SUCKS. Just... book three. There needs to be a book three. What I Did Not Like: I can't think of anything specific that I didn't like - I wish the author could have included just a little more background of the events that happened in book one? Only because I really could not remember many things. For example, Alexa's parents, their death... this comes up again, in Ignite, and I wish I had remembered more from Defy. Of course, this could just be me! Would I Recommend It: If you read book one, you MUST read book two. It gets better in book two - take that as you may. If the romance bothered you in book one, relax, it clears up in book two (in a really obvious way). If the fantasy bothered you, then keep reading because things get rocky between countries. Basically, it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep reading this series, whether you liked book one or not! Rating: 4 stars. I really hope there is a book three, because this series just CAN'T END YET. I mean, it could, but I feel like there is a much more fulfilling ending to come... so, everyone, cross your fingers for a book three announcement!
TheNerdyJournalist More than 1 year ago
I liked "Ignite" even more than I loved "Defy." And I liked "Defy" a lot. I admit that I was terrified of the potential for second book syndrome, but the potential for swine flu didn't stop me from going to Mexico a few years ago, so I shrugged off my fears and requested the ARC anyway. I'm so glad I did, because "Ignite" exceeded my expectations! From the beginning, there's a sense of urgency that only increases as the story progresses. The story starts almost a month after Damian's coronation in "Defy," and it looks like he's a damn good king -- much better than his father. But neither the reader nor Alexa is fooled for a second into thinking Antion is safe yet. Heck, the doors are literally burst open within the first three chapters, and blood is shed soon after. Sorcerers are the last thing Alexa has to worry about this time as she deals with enemies with even worse abilities. Throw in a kidnapping and a couple of death threats, and the stakes are about ten times higher than they were in "Defy." Just like in "Defy," Alexa deals with everything thrown at her with bravery and determination. She's loss too many people already, and she'll do anything to keep the rest safe, especially Damian. I cannot express how happy I am that Larson didn't let Alexa become a broken-hearted, backboneless protagonist who does nothing but mope and weep and whine because she let go of the boy she loves. (I'm still mad at Alexa for letting Damian go in the first place, though.) My biggest fear for "Ignite" was that Alexa would attempt to treat her heartache by hooking with someone else. She remains loyal to Damian in all aspects of the word. Mini rant: I hate it when female protagonists do that! It does nothing to soothe their heartache, and ends up hurting both love interests! I thought Rylan was a good friend in "Defy," but I didn't like him as a love interest. He earns some major brownie points this time for continuing to look out for Alexa, remaining a loyal Antionese guard and not attempting to make a move on her. He may not think Damian is good for Alexa, but he respects Alexa enough not to interfere. My heart even hurts a little for him. I hope gets over Alexa and finds a wonderful girl who loves him back. I commented in my review "Defy" that "the romantic element of the plot overpowered the action at times." That isn't an issue in "Ignite." The plot -- and Alexa -- stays focused on the primary conflict and there's almost nonstop action-filled scenes. That being said, I love the romance in "Ignite." The tension and chemistry between Damian and Alexa is hotter than ever. The anticipation of the moment they reunite was killing me. (view spoiler) There are just two little things that I feel are missing from "Ignite." 1. We don't learn anything about Alexa's powers. Well, technically we don't know that Alexa has powers, but there were some major hints in "Defy" about the potential of Alexa having sorcerer abilities. I was really looking forward to the development of these potential powers, but they were barely mentioned. I think her sorcerer heritage was mentioned maybe once or twice in the whole novel. 2. There wasn't enough character development. Alexa shakes off a lot of that awkwardness and uncertainty that she had in "Defy," but she hasn't reached her full potential as a badass female protagonist -- but that's what book three is for. The development that was really missing was Damian's. Other than having a whole lot more weight on his sexy, muscular shoulders, he hasn't changed that much. *cough* Whaaat? Did someone say sexy? Psh, wasn't me... Bottom Line "Ignite" exceeded my expectations with raised stakes and more action around every corner. Alexa is as brave and badass as ever. My support for Alexa and Damian is as everlasting as their love for each other. I'm also delighted to see that he's an amazing king -- not that I ever doubted him. There are a few things missing from "Ignite," but I have no doubt that my concerns will be resolved in the next book, which I am eagerly awaiting.