DEFY THE NIGHT
BY BRIGID KEMMERER
A fantasy series about a kingdom divided by corruption, the prince desperately holding it together, and the girl who will risk everything to bring it crashing down.
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.
Defy the Night helped to remind me of why I fell in love with YA to begin with. It was a well thought out story about love, people doing their best to survive and how it costs nothing to be kind.
Tessa was the biggest cinnamon roll with an even bigger heart. Every night she would risk her life to bring the cure to those that couldn’t afford it. She offered what she could to others while expecting nothing back in return. Tessa was smart as a whip, not one to be taken advantage o. When she’s suddenly thrust into this political game she’s more than capable of fending for herself. She could hold her own at court and really helped them see things in a new light.
Corrick is unfortunately very well known and not in a good way. As not only the King’s brother, but his Justice, he’s done some not so great things. It’s all in an attempt to keep the people of Kandala in order though. He was thrust into power at such a young age after the assassination of their parents. Both him and his brother were given quite a crap hand. Sickness has spread throughout the kingdom with only a single antidote and few sources to obtain it. People were dying and desperate, doing anything any everything to survive. I felt so bad for Corrick. His situation seemed impossible and I truly don’t know how else things could have played out. Political games were being played and no one was winning.
The romance was perfection. From the start you could feel the tension and it definitely delivers. I wasn’t quite sure where it would go since we had two love interests, but it didn’t disappoint. We have some YA approved steamy moments that never got too hot, but nonetheless had me begging for more.
Defy the Night had a few twists and turns that kept me guessing. Right from the start I thought I knew how it would play out, but Kemmerer got me good. The writing was fantastic with the perfect pacing that made me not want to put it down. It combined all of my favorite classic fantasy elements into a new an exciting series I can’t wait to continue.