A fantasy series about a kingdom divided by corruption, the prince desperately holding it together, and the girl who will risk everything to bring it crashing down.

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.


4,5 stars

Writing this without spoilers will be difficult so I won’t say much about the plot and twists and turns.

Suffice to say that I had, for once, guessed one of the major plot twists (pat on the shoulder).

The plot in a nutshell revolves around Tessa and Wes, stealing moonflower to give the remedy to poor people dying of a fever in the kingdom of Kandala.

Tessa is orphaned after her father, an apothecary, and her mother were caught and killed by the night patrol doing just that: stealing moonflower to help the poor.

Something drastic will happen and Tessa will be so desperate that she’ll enter the royal palace, knowing that she risked execution.

I’d certainly read the next book and will just hope that Brigid Kemmerer won’t do a 180° turn with some characters like she did with “A Heart so Fierce and Broken”!

Please Mr Kemmerer, don’t ruin that excellent series!

And that’s what I truly loved about Defy the Night!

The statement that no one is totally white or black but rather in shades of grey.

Corrick and Harristan, the prince and the king, were feared by their subjects. But really, they had to make hard choice managing a situation that was out of control. They had no universal solution to eradicate the fever.

Both prince and king were trapped between the people’s need and their consuls demands.

On the one hand, two consuls had the monopoly of moonflowers, the only remedy working against the fever. And they had demand because they had a huge leverage.

On the other hand, the citizens who could buy the remedy. But of course, the poorer you were, the unlikely you had funds to save yourself.

And in between, the king and the king’s Justice (prince Corrick) could not be lenient when people stole moonflower. Even if it was just to save their loved ones lives and not to sell the medicine. Because if you let them free with just a tap on the hand, what would stop others to steal?

Even if king Harristan and prince Corrick despise being harsh, even if they wish to be good and loveable, they can’t seem to have a choice.

But are they bad men? Or just good men dealt with a bad hand in life and doing their best to be fair?

And what does this reveal about our governments and the pandemic situation throughout the world?

With the “rich” countries able to but the vaccine and give it to their citizens while the poor countries have their people dying for lack of medicine.

And within wealthy countries, the governments face opposite forces, torn between the health sector and experts, tired to the bone, asking for lockdown and extreme measures and between business managers, not wanting to shut down their business or the people who just want to live freely.

My conclusion was that I wouldn’t like being in a government and making choices right now!

Now, back to Defy the Night.

The plot is helped by great characters.

Tessa, caring, wearing he heart in her sleeve, alone in the world aside for her friend Wes. She desperately wants to heal people and that will make her make bold moves.

Wes, Tessa’s friend, who is risking it all too to help people. Of course, there is also a budding attraction between these two.

And prince Corrick, the King’s Justice.

Known for his cruelty and swift justice. But if Corrick is true to his title of executioner, he never really chose that role. Deep down, that’s not who he is. Or rather, that’s not who he wants to be.I read Defy the Night in two days, really captivated by the fluid writing and the setting eerily similar to what we know for two years now. I loved the characters, the organic growth of the various relationships and above all else, that the book made me really think about choices, about what’s “good” and what’s “bad”.

I’d certainly read the next book and will just hope that Brigid Kemmerer won’t do a 180° turn with some characters like she did with “A Heart so Fierce and Broken”!

Please Mr Kemmerer, don’t ruin that excellent series!

Thanks for reading!


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  1. I always appreciate when an author can show how complex characters are, beyond good guy and bad guy. If you’re making tough decisions for the greater good, does that make you a bad guy? Sounds like this was done well by Kemmerer!

  2. “MIND YOUR METTLE TESSA” I loved this book so much and I’m so curious and desperate for the next book!