[Review] Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer

3 Things About This Book
| Morally Grey Male Character | Brotherhood!! | Star-Crossed Romance |

defy the night brigid kemmerer book cover

Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Defy the Night, #1
Published: 2021 by Bloomsbury YA
Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Book Depository

4 stars

I’m not a fan of reading books that have sequels or are a part of a series…But, darn it, here I am again, having accepted my fate that I’ll be finishing another one because of Kemmerer’s amazing writing. I don’t know how the author does it but what she does, she does right and a perfect example of her great writing is the fact that despite the number of pages, Defy the Night is a quick read that refuses to unhook its claws once it has you in its grip

Like Kemmerer’s Cursebreakers trilogy (my reviews of it can be found here: first booksecond bookthird book!), Defy the Night is inspired by tales we’re all familiar with. For this book, the specific tales are Robin Hood and Zorro. Our main characters are Tessa who’s an apothecary, and Corrick, the Crown Prince. Both reside in Kandala where the cure to the sickness that plagues the kingdom is a flower not everyone can afford. Now, this might bring to mind our current situation with covid, but fortunately, the book doesn’t read as though it’s constantly reminding us of it. I don’t know about you, but I read to escape from reality, and reading a book that keeps the pandemic at the forefront of my attention while still being in it is too much of a downer for me.

Anyway, Defy the Night is told in alternating points of view, providing insight into the thoughts and actions of the main characters. Admittedly, Tessa isn’t my favorite to read as I’m not a fan of her character, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a good one. Tessa, though naïve, has a strong sense of justice, is kind and compassionate. She’s exactly the type of character that’s needed for the role she has. However, despite her solid character and character growth, there is a startling lack of relationships between her and other characters. I hope we get to see more of Tessa interacting and forming meaningful relationships with other characters in the sequel. Otherwise, it would seem too convenient for her to get the things she does.

Corrick, on the other hand, is a complex character. He wants to be kind—to not have to carry out his tasks the way he has to, but he can’t. Therefore, he deals with it to the best of his ability for the sake of those he cares about. I absolutely adore how grey he is, that he’s not drowning in melodramatic angst, and completely love the relationship he has with his brother. He reminds me of Grey from the Cursebreakers trilogy, but with more emotions.

Honestly, aside from Kemmerer’s incredible writing, the characters are what made this book great for me. The plot was predictable, and the only plot twist that threw me off was the one early in the beginning because I expected someone else. It also takes a while for the story to move from one point to another. There’s also a lot of clichés and tropes, which isn’t unexpected considering that it’s a retelling with star-crossed romance and court politics. My investment in the characters made it easier for me to turn a blind eye to the clichés and tropes too.

All in all, Defy the Night is a solid start to a new YA fantasy series. I look forward to how the plot develops in the sequel, and I hope to see more from the secondary characters!

Thank you so much Pansing for sending me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review! Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer is available at all good bookstores.



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