Defy the Night Review// welcome to the world of political intrigue and top tier romance

Fall fantasy season is offically here!

I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge seasonal mood reader. The warm summery/spring months are fully contemporary mode, with the fall being dedicated to spooky reads and a bit of fantasy. I’ve accumilated quite the list of delightful reads that I am so excited to dive into!!! One of the first fantasy books on my list (mostly because it was due back at the library asap) was Defy the Night! And I’m delighted to share that it did not disappoint in the slightest!

Book: Defy the Night

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Published September 14th 2021 by Bloomsbury YA

Format: ebook

content warnings

death, murder, gore, violence, torture

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. (from Goodreads)

Fair warning, if you are looking for action packed fantasy adventure, then this is not going to be your jam. That isn’t what this book is, and it never claimed to be it. Instead, it is a thrilling adventure of tangled webs, scheme sandwiches, political intrigue, and a perfect dash of betrayals. Every secret led to the next, making for an all around captivating read. 

Even though there were not battles galore or tons of action, Defy the Night never felt slow. Yep. We hit the Goldilocks of pacing, my friends. This one was “just right.” Things never dragged, even when some development was reliant on conversations. The actions weren’t rushed either, each event unfolding in due time. The chapters were short(ish) and flowed together so nicely, with banter and vivid writing (not heavy at all!) that made for a truly captivating read. AND! Apparently this book is nearly 480+ pages??? It didn’t feel long at all (or look that long! thanks ebooks!) and I was able to fly through it in one day! I seriously could not get enough, I never wanted to leave the world Kemmerer created. 

The characters! They were literally so well crafted. Even when they made ~interesting~ life choices, their motivations were always so clear. Every move, every action was taken with intention and care and I’m just so impressed with how well these characters were written. I couldn’t help but root for them! They were fully fleshed out, witty, and all around everything I could have hoped for. 

Also. THE ROMANCE?????????? OH. MY. GOD. I don’t even know where to begin describing it but it was so good. Maybe enemies of circumstance?? But also… banter. BUT SERIOUSLY IT IS SO GOOD!!!!!

Lets talk about worldbuilding for a second. There were so many key players on the field, so many locations, so many things to keep track of. But it was so easily spread out — not an ounce of infodumping to be seen — making the high fantasy world of Kandala a place you want to explore endlessly. 

Honestly I feel like this could be a standalone. With the way everything was wrapped up, I feel really satisfied. I know what happens, there is a promise of hope. But also, I wouldn’t be mad if there were more books. And by “wouldn’t be mad” I mean that I would eat up the rest of the series by the bucketful. Not to be dramatic or anything.

Ok. Wow. I loved this one. Seriously. I didn’t know what to expect going into it, but I ended up being wholly dazzled. Everything, from the thrilling romance to the political intrigue throughout, was executed in such a brilliant manner. The characters were idiots a solid chunk of the way, but in an endearing way that made you love them. Gah! It’s just so good!!!!

Have you read Defy the Night? What did you think of it??


11 thoughts on “Defy the Night Review// welcome to the world of political intrigue and top tier romance

    1. thank you, thank you very much. i’ll be sure to add that very special talent to my resume lol. yea from the synopsis it does give off very basic ya energy, but the execution is there for what it is. especially if you are looking for political intrigue, i think you’d jive with it! happy reading : )

      Liked by 2 people

  1. So glad to see you loved this! It’s on my TBR and I was excited to read this, but now I serioulsy cannot wait! Political intrigue and betrayals??? And what you said about the characters?? I need to read this!! Amazing review!


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