Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer – ARC Review


My Rating ~ Five Stars

RELEASE DATE:  14 September 2021

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Pages: 496


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.



Thank you to Bloomsbury Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review!

A sickness has been sweeping through the land, killing swiftly, and the only cure requires Moonflowers. Unfortunately the moonflowers aren’t easy to come by, especially if you don’t have enough money, and the rations handed out by the king are not enough to keep many people from dying. Tessa and Wes are determined to help as many people in the common area as possible, even if that means facing possible execution when stealing moonflowers from the Royal sector. 

The King and his brother, Corrick, the King’s Justice, are known for their cruelty and swift punishment of thieves. After their beloved parents were assassinated, they decided the only way to rule the kingdom was with fear and violence, especially when the cure for the sickness is so limited. 

I wasn’t in the mood for a political intrigue fantasy, but Brigid PUT ME IN THE MOOD. Defy the Night is an incredible Robin Hood style story with some twists that made my mouth drop open. 

There were some brilliant characters but writing any type of review on those characters, without giving away one big plot twist, is just too difficult! 😅  The story is told in two points of view – Tessa and Corrick, the King’s Justice. I really enjoyed the way Brigid skilfully showed both sides of the political situation. Although the people living in the common area rightly deserved more medicine, they thought there was a black and white solution to the problem – the people in the Royal sector were just greedy, they didn’t understand the intricate power plays going on that could have seen no medicine for anyone. 

If you’re looking for a clever book full of mystery, heart stopping moments and complex characters, make sure you pick this one up! 


Image from my Instagram account

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