Book Review – Defy the Night

Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m really excited to be bringing you my review of the soon to be released Defy the Night, the latest novel by award winning author Brigid Kemmerer, and the start of a new exciting series. This was one of my top August reads, and I can’t tell you enough how much I loved getting lost in its pages. I’ve talked before about why I love to read fantasy, and this book just captured all of it.

A huge huge thank you to Bloomsbury for spending me an ARC of this brilliant read.

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.

Set in a richly imaginative world with striking similarities to our own, Brigid Kemmerer’s captivating new series is about those with power and those without . . . and what happens when someone is brave enough to imagine a new future.

Let me start with a simple fact: I gave this book five stars. It absolutely blew me away. Universe creation is something that Brigid Kemmerer really excells at, and I was apprehensive to see how big the synopsis set it up to me. Thankfully, there was nothing at all to disappoint me here.

The book is told from two perspectives; the outlaw apothecary Tessa, and the King’s Justice, Prince ‘Cruel’ Corrick. Alternating chapters give us an insight into the inner workings of the political court, but also the way the people are feeling about the royal family, the plague that’s killing those that can’t afford medicine, and the unintentional ignorance they have to the problems Corrick is faced with balancing out. The fact these experiences are so utterly different is a brilliant set up to a new world, and gives us an insight into the real people behind the names the people so fear, as well as the people themselves.

Tessa is assisted in her work by a fellow outlaw, Weston, from another area. They meet together to steal the precious petals, brew them for the poorest citizens, and distribute it. But it’s a risky job, and with Corrick ordering the execution of smugglers, Tessa and Wes are playing a dangerous game…

Every page of this book had me on the edge of my seat, to the point that I wondered at several points if I needed to increase my medication to balance out the stress levels it was giving me, in the very best of ways! I stayed up reading late way too many times, and slammed the book shut and pushed it away from me because I just couldn’t cope with the next pages just as many. All of the feels, all of the pages.

It’s a fabulous book, and the very exciting start to a brand new series. I can’t wait to see where this series heads, and I hope beyond hope we don’t have to wait too long for book two; this is the only downside of being able to read books in advance. It’s a very long wait for the next book!! I haven’t stopped thinking about Tessa, Weston and Corrick and the kingdom of Kandala. To meet it on the brink of disaster, and be unsure what the pages will bring, is one of the most unique and brilliant introduce to a cast of characters and setting I have ever seen.

Another huge thank you to Bloomsbury for this copy of the book, and for the delicious ‘Moonflower Elixir’ (chamomile tea) that accompanied the book. It was one of the most exciting parcels I’ve ever recieved, and I haven’t changed my mind about that having finished the book!

Defy the Night is out in paperback, audiobook and Kindle on 14th September. This is one adventure you don’t want to miss.


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