“Defy the Night” by Brigid Kemmerer Book Review (Spoiler Free!)

Hello! Happy weekend! Today, I’m here with a book review for a book I read recently: Defy the Night! I’ve been hearing about this book a lot, and I know that it gets quite a bit of hype. My sister read it, too, and she really loved it.

But, when a book gets a lot of hype like this, I’m always a little nervous to read, and sometimes it takes me quite a while to pick the book up, because I don’t know if it is really be as good as I imagined it being! (Still haven’t read These Violent Delights because of that!!!)

But, I ended up absolutely loving this novel, despite my misgivings. Well, here is the review! πŸ’œ

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How pretty is this cover, though! 😍

Title: “Defy the Night”

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Fiction

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

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.

My thoughts

This was such a great book!! I loved almost everything about it: the story, the writing, the romance, the plot twist (😬), and the characters ! The first fifty pages or so were a bit slow for me, but after that, I could not put the book down!!

β€œA spark of rebellion is all it takes to defy the night.”

— Brigid Kemmerer, Defy the Night

The characters

Brigid Kemmerer writes amazing characters! Just like in A Curse So Dark and Lonely, the characters in this book have flaws and tragic backgrounds, but they are also very brave.

At first, I didn’t know if I liked Corrick. But, after reading a bit of the novel, I could just see that he was really struggling. He was in a really difficult position, and he had to try to make the right decision, but it’s never really that simple. By the end of the book, I really liked Corrick!

β€œThere are too many layers here. I thought it was as simple as right or wrong . . . ​but it’s not.”

— Brigid Kemmerer, Defy the Night

Tessa is one of my favorites. She was trying to do the right thing, and she really wanted to make a difference. I also love how Kemmerer gave us two different views of the kingdom of Kandala: a view from the cruel-seeming King’s Justice, who has to punish the criminals mercilessly, and Tessa’s perspective: a apothecary apprentice from the Wilds, so that the reader can see the situation from different perspectives.

β€œI’m not a killer. I heal people; I don’t harm them.”

— Brigid Kemmerer, Defy the Night

Plot, story, and writing

I thought that the plot of this book sounded interesting. It’s set in a kingdom called Kandala, where sickness has begun to get more and more serious, because the normal cure for it, the Moonflower petals, are very limited. Like I said earlier, I thought that it was interesting how it was narrated by the King’s Justice, Corrick, and then Tessa.

β€œI think that very few people truly deserve what they get, Tessa.” He pauses, and for the briefest moment, sadness flickers through his eyes. β€œFor good or for bad.”

— Brigid Kemmerer, Defy the Night

I definitely didn’t see the plot twist coming. It was a pretty big surprise to me, and…yeah! It just gave the characters more depth. That’s all I can really say without spoiling it, though!!

I loved the writing in this book, just like everything else. It was so good! The only thing was that, and I find this often in books with multiple POVs, both perspectives sounded very similar, writing-wise. But I do realize that it is very hard to change your writing style for separate characters. I’m writing a dystopian novel with two different points of view, and I’m pretty sure they sound about the same.

β€œKindness leaves you vulnerable, Tessa. I learned that lesson years ago.”

— Brigid Kemmerer, Defy the Night

Another problem I found with this book, is that in one of Corrick’s first chapters, it introduces a lot of new characters, and I found that kind of overwhelming! I had to keep going back when I was reading further chapters, to see who everyone was.

β€œMind your mettle, Tessa.”

— Brigid Kemmerer, Defy the Night

Overall, though, I loved this book!! Again, the characters were amazing, the writing was good, and I just loved it!! I guess this is going to be a series, so I really can not wait for the next book to come out! (I’m glad that this one didn’t end on a cliffhanger, though!) It was definitely a five star read!!!

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Thank you for reading! Have you read this book yet? Did you like it? Or, do you want to read it soon? I’d love to chat in the comments!! Okay, have an awesome day!! Bye!

~ Rebekah