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#Book Review #Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer #YA Fantasy @Bloomsbury YA

From New York Times bestselling author Brigid Kemmerer comes a brand-new blockbuster fantasy series about a kingdom divided by corruption—and the girl who will risk everything to bring the system crashing down.
The land of Kandala is recovering from a devastating plague, with a cure so rare that only the wealthy can afford it. Tessa is one of the many in the lower class, whose parents were killed for distributing the cure on the black market. She continues their legacy by stealing supplies to give to those in need, along with help from her partner, the suave and mysterious Weston Lark.

As rumors spread that the cure no longer works, Tessa hatches a dangerous plan to infiltrate the castle and break down the class barriers for good.

Set in a fantasy world startlingly similar to our own, Brigid Kemmerer’s new series illuminates the divide between those with power and those without. . . and what happens when someone is brave enough to flip the system.

My thoughts:

Absolutely loved it! Fans of Bridget Kemmerer are going to be delighted with this new series.

A spellbinding tale of love, trust, and courage, Defy the Night is set in a fictional Kingdom of Kandala, where people are dying of mysterious fevers. The only real cure, Moonflower, grows in only two sectors of the vast country ruled by young King Harristan and his brother, King’s Justice Corrick. Unfortunately, the poor do not always have the means to buy the cure, while all the rich care about is a steady, reliable supply. Nobody wants to die and nobody wants to see someone they love suffer.

Tessa Cade’s father was an apothecary who tried to distribute the elixir made of Moonflower petals to as many people as he could. When Tessa’s parents were killed by the patrol, Tessa found courage to continue their work by stealing supplies, preparing potions and giving them away to the most needy. She is added by her faithful partner Wes, Weston Lark, someone she trusts with her life, even though she’s never seen his face without a mask. Both of them know it’s a drop in the ocean, as people are becoming more and more desperate and ready to revolt…

The story is told from two equally compelling points of view: Tessa’s and Corrick’s. Based on the blurb, I expected Tessa to be more of an adventurous risk-seeker, while she turned out to be somebody extremely compassionate and people-oriented, kind and…soft. Corrick appeared to be a more complex character- he’s torn between what he sees as his brotherly duty and his desire to lead his life according to his principles, a normal human desire to trust/be trusted and the need to be seen as a strong ruler capable of maintaining order. Although King Harristan remains a bit of a mystery in this book, it is clear he’s a multi-dimensional character.

The main intrigue in the book is the disease itself and our protagonists trying to find the best way to defeat this cruel and relentless enemy, while also helping to keep the country stable. A large portion of the book is set in the Royal Palace, so expect a fair share of political intrigues. One of the topics raised in the book is that it isn’t easy to lead a safe and prosperous country, let alone a country ravaged by a health crisis.

Bridget Kemmerer’s writing style is as entertaining and captivating as always. The pace is fast, although the book isn’t all about action- there’s the emotional side: affection, friendship, loyalty, grief, and worry. The twists kept me on my toes and there’s clearly plenty of them coming in the next book, which I’m already looking forward to!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Defy the Night is out on September 14th, 2021.
​Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

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