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.
Title: Defy the Night (Defy the Night, #1)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publication Date: September 14, 2021
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
A great start to an intriguing series. Full of morally gray characters, heart-pounding action, and sweet sweet romance, this is one to check out!
The thing I loved, perhaps the most, about this book was the overall morally gray-ness of it. Most, if not all, of the characters are not completely good or completely bad. They’re somewhere in the middle. Most of them are just trying to do the best they can with what they have. Sometimes it’s good things. Sometimes it’s bad things. And sometimes it’s gray things. I would say our lovely love interest is at the top of the morally gray character list.
Corrick, Corrick, Corrick. I love this man so much. For pretty much the entire book he feels lonely, conflicted, angry, etc. I just wanted to wrap him up in bubble wrap and keep him safe. Speaking of Corrick, I really liked the romance in this book, but I’m hoping for more in the next book.
The brotherly love in this book was real. As I mentioned, all the characters are morally gray, but I was really happy the king and prince are not made out to be complete villains. Typically, in plots calling for a revolution, it’s our main character and her village trying to overthrow the monarchy. I’m not saying that’s not what’s happening here, but I’m also not saying it’s not. Again, morally gray.
This book was not too surprising. What I mean by that is the plot twists were not surprising. Honestly, I’m not even sure they were meant to be. That being said, I really wasn’t mad about not being completely thrown for a loop about something. It was nice to feel in the know and didn’t take away from the action and suspense so I was alright with it.
There was a bit of a slow start to this book. It wasn’t enough to make me lose interest, but I would have liked to jump into things a little sooner.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a new world with conflict, fear, and left much to be hoped for in the future. I can’t wait for book two!