Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ignite by Sara B. Larson (Defy book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the first book, Defy, Stop! I don't want to ruin the story for you.

King Damien's coronation was one month earlier and so far there hasn't been a single threat. Damien had to assassinate his own father, King Hector, to keep the people of their kingdom, Antion, safe from his cruel rule. Alexa is determined to keep Damien safe, even though it means keeping her feelings for him buried and a secret from him. She broke his heart when she lied and said that she didn't love him. While on guard duty one night, Deron the captain of the guard, alerts her to a messenger at the gate. The messenger claims to be from Dansii to alert them that the delegation sent by King Armando will arrive within the next two days. Armando, Hector's brother, had never send anyone but Iker in the past. Deron and Alexa are immediately suspicious. Potential plans are discussed but Damien will make a final decision in the morning. Alexa finishes her shift but not without her thoughts straying back to Damien and the hurt look in his eyes every time he looks at her. She goes to her room to sleep for a bit but will not divulge what is bothering her when Rylan attempts to ask.

Alexa is plagued with nightmares of Iker and is awakened shortly after laying down to the news that the Dansiian delegation will arrive within the hour. She enters the throne room and the tension between her and Damien is thick. She takes her place by his immediate side and watches as the doors open. Elijan has yet to return from his scouting mission. Just then, he flies through a side door and whispers in Damien's ear. Alexa can't hear if a sorcerer accompanies them but the room is stunned when a beautiful, young woman enters. Lady Vera announces that her father is King Armando's most trusted advisor and that she wouldn't be perceived as a threat to bring words of congratulations. Alexa notices how Damien is looking at her and how Vera is sizing up Alexa. She asks for a bath before delivering her message. Damien invites her to dinner and she is shown to her rooms. After she leaves, Damien requests that Alexa and Deron guard him at dinner. Jealousy subsides a bit in Alexa when she realizes that Damien does have his guard up when it comes to Lady Vera.

Immediately after the Dansiian delegation leaves, the doors unexpectedly open again to a delegation from Blevon. General Tinso, Elijan's father, is not with them. A tall man strides in between the ten soldiers accompanying and tells Damien that he has "brought peace between our two nations at great cost." Alexa notices that his voice is empty of emotion and Elijan staringat him. Damien addresses him cautiously that the cost was worth the result. No, the man states. Peace was not the result and before Alexa can react, he drives a sword through Deron's upper arm and that says that Antion will never know peace. All chaos breaks lose. Alexa drives her sword through the back of the man who stabbed Deron. The blank look in his eyes disappears. With clear eyes, he is crying and speaks in Blevonese. Alexa doesn't understand him but Damien draws her attention. She drops just before she can be struck by a sword. Turning around, Alexa sees the man turning purple. Damien is using his powers and kills the man. All of the Blevonese soldiers lie dead on the throne room floor. Alexa asks what the dying man said to her and Elijan tells her that he said that he didn't mean it, it wasn't him. Damien will stand by the peace treaty with Blevonese but every one is to be suspicious. Before the throne room can be cleaned, General Ferraun, head of Antion's army comes in with bad news. A town on the Blevonese border was attacked by a black sorcerer. There were no survivors because he was leading a group of Blevonese soldiers.

Elijan believes that the recent attack and the one years earlier on Alexa's village are connected. Not really wanting to recall the details of the day when her parents were killed, she offers up what she remembers. Alexa realizes that the black sorcerer that day looked like Iker. Elijan adamantly believes that his country isn't behind the attacks but doesn't tell Damien why he thinks that way. All Alexa knows is that she protected Damien once before, she will do everything in her power to do it again.

Shortly after dinner begins, a guard rushes in to state that the Lady Vera's dinner has been poisoned. Her taster dropped to the floor ten minutes after taking a bite.  The room is in an uproar and Lady Vera excuses herself clearly miffed. Alexa thinks she saw a slight smile on her face before leaving. Lisbet is fetched to see to the taster. Later, Lisbet declares the taster dead. In the chaos afterwards, not only does the dead man's body disappears but Lisbet's son and Damien's half brother, Max, does as well. A full scale search of the castle turns up no signs of either. Damien calls off the search inside the castle when a ransom note for Jax is found. Alexa is forced to finally get some sleep but only on the condition that she can search for Jax when the sun comes up.

After a disastrous late night meeting with Damien where she lets him kiss her before she puts a stop to it, Damien tells her the next morning what the note written in Blevonese said. In exchange for Jax's return, kidnappers want Alexa. She is determined now more than ever to find Jax for Damien.

Who is behind Jax's disappearance? Could it be the same as the black sorcerer attacks? Is it Blevon, Dansii or someone else? Is this latest attack related to the one on Alexa's village years ago? What is the truth behind Lady Vera's visit? Does Alexa discover the truth in time to prevent another war? Will Jax be returned? Can Alexa move past her feelings for Damien or will she no longer be able to fight them?

Readers will be left clamoring for the final installment in the Defy trilogy.

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