The kingdom of Kandala narrowly avoided catastrophe, but the embers of revolution still simmer. While King Harristan seeks a new way to lead, Tessa and Prince Corrick attempt to foster unity between rebels and royals.
But the consuls who control the Moonflower will not back down, and Corrick realizes he must find a new source for the lifesaving Elixir. When an emissary from the neighboring kingdom of Ostriary arrives with an intriguing offer, Tessa and Corrick set out on an uncertain journey as they attempt to mend their own fractured relationship. This could be their only chance to keep the peace and bring relief to the people of Kandala, but danger strikes during the journey to Ostriary, and no one is who they claimed to be. . .
Title: Defend the Dawn (Defy the Night, #2)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publication Date: September 20, 2022
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
This book really upped the stakes. As if a revolution wasn’t already brewing, we now add in a mysterious visitor from the neighboring kingdom, distrust between all the leaders, and contention between my favorite couple!
There were still so many surprises revealed in this book. I couldn’t believe how much I still don’t know about the characters in this world and just secrets in general. There were a couple of curve balls thrown there at the end I was living for it. Part of me was losing my mind at how crazy things got, but also I love that things got crazy. It’s just making me want book three that much more.
Tessa and Corrick’s relationship got even more convoluted during this book. Without the alias of Weston in this book, it was just full-on Cruel Corrick which gave the book an interesting vibe. The moral grayness of Corrick and his horrible job but also his love for Tessa and Harristan is just amazing. Kemmerer weaves it all together seamlessly and gives us the perfectly conflicted Corrick who is bound to duty but tied to love.
Something about Tessa seemed a little different in this book. Somehow, she felt a little weaker. It has been a few months since I’ve read book one so maybe I’m just remembering her differently, but I feel like something about her was savvier, stronger. I didn’t dislike her by any means, but she did feel different. Judging by some things she said, requests she made, at the end of this book, maybe that weaker feeling I was getting from Tessa was strategic so she will look that much cooler and stronger in book three.
Corrick and Tessa’s romance felt like it really came to a head in this book. They had to decide if they were really committed to each other. If the other person was who they thought they were, or merely an idea, a dream of who they wanted them to be. I loved the private conversations and moments that happened between them during this book. Not all of them were happy, but they all felt necessary. Some points were brought up that had me nodding my head and agreeing with them. They had to acknowledge certain things about their relationship and figure out where to go from there. It was well done and made the ending of this book that much harder to handle.
**Mild Spoiler**Getting Harristan’s POV in this book was amaaaazing. I’ve always wanted to crack open his head and just get more of him in general so I’m really glad this book gave us that. I think it was also necessary as Tessa and Corrick were on a ship and Harristan was on land and we needed to know what was happening in both places. It was strategic on Kemmerer’s part, but I liked it for the fact that I got inside of Harristan’s head.**
Overall, perfect follow-up to book one. Perfect ending. Perfect character progression. I kept thinking, things can’t possibly get worse and I was continually proven wrong. I am literally losing my mind knowing I have a year until book three. Please, send help.