Book Review: Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer


Title: Defy the Night

By: Brigid Kemmerer

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 448

Release Date: September 14th, 2021

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Rating: ★★★★★


Summary from Goodreads:

The kingdom of Kandala is on the brink of disaster. Rifts between sectors have only worsened since a sickness began ravaging the land, and within the Royal Palace, the king holds a tenuous peace with a ruthless hand.

King Harristan was thrust into power after his parents' shocking assassination, leaving the younger Prince Corrick to take on the brutal role of the King's Justice. The brothers have learned to react mercilessly to any sign of rebellion--it's the only way to maintain order when the sickness can strike anywhere, and the only known cure, an elixir made from delicate Moonflower petals, is severely limited.

Out in the Wilds, apothecary apprentice Tessa Cade is tired of seeing her neighbors die, their suffering ignored by the unyielding royals. Every night, she and her best friend Wes risk their lives to steal Moonflower petals and distribute the elixir to those who need it most--but it's still not enough.

As rumors spread that the cure no longer works and sparks of rebellion begin to flare, a particularly cruel act from the King's Justice makes Tessa desperate enough to try the impossible: sneaking into the palace. But what she finds upon her arrival makes her wonder if it's even possible to fix Kandala without destroying it first.


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A wonderful 5 star read for an amazingly incredible new series.

I really enjoyed this read. It was kind of hard for me to put this story in a certain genre box as it didn't have much of the fantasy element, but was also not set in the modern world. Either way, it really doesn't matter. This was a great read and I enjoyed it immensely.

The story almost parallels situations in the world today with a sickness that is plaguing the nation, killing people at a high rate and not enough medicine to go around. Politics run ramped as they always do when government is involved, but in this case, there are some people that have a heart and good prevails.

The characters blow me away. Tessa is head strong and amazing. She pushes the story forward with gusto just enough angst to keep feelings on the edge of tipping over. Corrick only wants to help his people, but his job is to execute enemies of the crown. The incredible way he goes about inserting himself into the fight as a rebel, fighting against the crown he was born under, is heroic.

The ploy is complex but easy to follow and the world building paints a wonderful picture. This will be in my top books read in 2021.

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