When Harristan became King after the assassination of his parents he was thrust into leadership of a kingdom on the brink of disaster. A disease ravages the land and the only way to keep rebellion at bay is to rule with an iron fist.
Meanwhile, Tessa Cade, who is an apprentice apothecary, is watching all this play out from the outside. Her neighbors are dying and the King doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it apart from killing more people. Every night, Tessa and her friend Wes risk everything to deliver the only known cure to the sickness, Moonflower, to those who are otherwise unable to afford it.
One night, after Tessa witnesses an unspeakable crime committed by those closest to the King she becomes desperate and sneaks into the palace, hoping to find answers. But what she finds is that the circumstances are more dire than she ever could have imagined.
This was my second venture into Brigid Kemmerer’s writing and, though I enjoyed the first book I read by her, A Curse so Dark and Lonely, more than I did this one, I still had a good time with Defy the Night. From the first paragraph we are plunged right into the action, and I found the first quarter or so of the book where the scene was being set really exciting! When Tessa gets to the palace the plot began to rely more on dialogue which caused it to drag some in the middle, but the pacing picked up again towards the end rounding off with some great action scenes.
Corrick’s character was the highlight of this book for me and the author did such a great job of drawing out the tension and angst from his emotions as he strove to find a solution to a seemingly impossible problem. One thing I appreciated about Tessa’s character was how she was never ashamed to cry. It wasn’t something that made her weak, on the contrary actually, as it showed a kind of strength that she wasn’t afraid to be vulnerable.
A scene from this book that really made me laugh was when, in the midst of a super tense, time-restrained, action scene, Tess and Wes find the time and privacy to have a make-out session. Everything about it was so unnecessary and laughable, almost like the author had to include it and so was just ticking the box. Also in terms of the romance, I’m pretty sure I know how that will pan out in book two, if this remains a duology (last I heard this is now set to be a trilogy?), but I’m hoping my suspicions are wrong and the author will choose to divert from the standard YA fantasy romance routine.
I’m not sure yet if I will read the sequel. I have been hearing great things though so if the opportunity does arise I think I’ll have to take it as I’m intrigued as to what happens next! Happy Reading 🙂