Defy the Night

Defy the Night
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Release Date
September 14, 2021
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From New York Times bestselling author Brigid Kemmerer comes an electrifying fantasy romance, perfect for fans of Holly Black and Victoria Aveyard.

A desperate prince.
A daring outlaw.
A dangerous flirtation.

In the Wilds of Kandala, apothecary apprentice Tessa Cade has been watching people suffer for too long. A mysterious sickness is ravaging the land and the cure, Moonflower Elixir, is only available for the wealthy. So every night, she defies the royal edicts and sneaks out, stealing Moonflower petals and leaving the elixir for those in need.

In the palace of Kandala, Prince Corrick serves as the King’s Justice, meting out vicious punishments and striking fear into the hearts of agitators and outlaws. Corrick knows he must play this role convincingly--with a shortage of elixir and threats of rebellion looming ever closer, the King’s grip on power is tenuous at best, and Corrick knows his brother is the kingdom’s best hope for survival.

But when an act of unspeakable cruelty brings the royal and the outlaw face to face, the natural enemies are faced with an impossible choice--and a surprising spark. Will they follow their instincts to destroy each other? Or will they save the kingdom together . . . and let that spark ignite?

Editor review

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Defy the Night was an enthralling story full of political intrigue, romance, and strife. Brigid Kemmerer did a fantastic job setting up the world of Kandala and fleshing out the characters. Tessa is the orphaned child of an apothecary and can’t stand the suffering of the poor who can’t afford medicine while people are dying of a plague. At night she and Weston Lark wear masks and put their lives at risk to get medicine to the poor for the last few years. Meanwhile, Prince Corrick was orphaned after his parents were assassinated. He and his brother have had to fight tooth and nail to stay in power amongst the squabbling consuls. As King’s Justice, he has had to be ruthless to show he can maintain control of the people.

Initially, I was surprised the book was alternating perspective between Tessa and Corrick when she loves Wes so much. She despises the awful acts of Prince Corrick so I was wondering what could possibly happen to cause her to turn from Wes and fall for Prince Corrick instead. Even when I suspected a big reveal the author did a great job making that scenario seem unlikely. The romantic tension between Tessa and Corrick was captivating.

Prince Corrick’s dilemma of how to balance how he would like to be with the people and the reality of his situation spoke deeply to me. While this seems like a plague book published while COVID was firmly still a problem, the illness was a vehicle to flesh out the struggle of his inner self versus public persona. How do you come back from a reputation for harshness, especially as revolution and violence are on the horizon? Isn’t that the time to stamp out all dissenters?

Overall, this was an enjoyable enemies-to-lovers read with several surprises along the way. Prince Corrick’s inner struggle was especially relatable. I am excited the trilogy is complete so I can binge read the rest of the series.
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