Defy the Night (Defy the Night #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

“Mind your mettle, Tessa.”

Plot Summary

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.

My Review

During a mysterious and deadly sickness, the kingdom is on the brick of the edge. The only cure resides on a flower that, when consumed, seems to appease the fever and keep people alive. This leads to riots and fights for power. The lands that grow the flowers are powerful all the while the others are going through difficulties. The king and the King’s Justice execute whoever smuggles the flowers. They’re seen as ruthless and heartless, feared and hated by everyone.

Tessa and Wes are best friends (perhaps even more) and saviours to a lot of people. During the night, they steal flowers to give them to the poor who are sick and can’t afford to buy the flower, risking their necks to do so. To protect each other’s identities if one of them is captured, they wear masks so they never actually see each other’s faces.

After one devastating act by King’s Justice, Tessa sees herself sneaking inside the castle and everything changes.

I received this book in my FairyLoot box. I was a bit nervous to pick it up though. I absolutely loved A Curse so Dark and Lonely from this author until the third book. I was so upset by it. I truly hope these series will end up strong.

I was engaged in this story from the beginning. It’s a dual POV, from Tessa and from the King’s Justice and it starts out so strong. The end of each chapter ends in a cliffhanger which immediately leads you to the next one.

I could put this book down. It was engaging, with a really good plot twist (I was convinced it was one thing and it ended up being another. Love when that happens!).

So far, there aren’t any magical elements in this story, so I’m a bit confused as to why this is in the Fantasy genre.

I’m really excited to read the next one. Really hope it’s as good as this one.

Highlight Moments

– Tessa and Wes friendship and chemistry

– When Tessa finds the body hanging in front of the walls

– Tessa and Corrick first encounter

– When Corrick kills the prisoners and Tessa finds him almost crying

– The workshop scene

– The mob attacking Corrick

– The King and Tessa’s agreement


“A spark of rebellion is all it takes to defy the night.”

“Kindness leaves you vulnerable, Tessa. I learned that lesson years ago.”

“I’ll never be free of this. Of who I am. This will be my life as King’s Justice: Cruel Corrick, the most feared man in the kingdom, and somehow also the most alone.”

“True leadership is not determined by how brutal you can be,” she says, and her tone is still quiet, but full of steel. “True leadershipis not determined by killing those who oppose you.”

PLOT: ★★★★
COVER: ★★★★★

Did you like this book?

Defy the Night Series

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s