Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer

Defy the Night is the first in a new series by Brigid Kemmerer, author of the highly acclaimed Cursebreakers novels. The story takes place in the Kingdom of Kandala, a far-off land plagued by a contagious disease of mysterious origins and deadly effect. Its only cure? An elixir made out of moonflower petals, a resource of limited supply that is overconsumed by the rich and unattainable to the poor.

The novel is told from two perspectives. There is the courageous Tessa Cade, an apothecary who spends her nights sneaking into the royal sector with her mysterious partner-in-crime, Wes, stealing medicine to distribute among the poor. We also see the story through the eyes of Prince Corrick, the loyal brother to the king of Kandala, tasked with the role of ensuring order in a kingdom divided by desperation and mistrust.

Brigid Kemmerer excels at writing YA fantasy novels that take it to the next level, and Defy the Night is testimony to her skill. Here, the classic tale of Robin Hood is refreshingly retold with vivid writing and fully realised characters. Its action-packed scenes are perfectly balanced by points of political drama and intrigue. Though some readers may worry such moments may feel drawn out or tedious, the worry is unfounded as Kemmerer masterfully crafts a fleshed-out political landscape that only adds more complexity to the story. With action-packed writing, swoon-worthy romance and the odd twist that will leave readers reeling, Defy the Night is the perfect escapist novel for fans of YA fantasy. Recommended for readers ages 13+

Xiao-Xiao Kingham works as a bookseller at Readings Kids.

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Defy the Night

Defy the Night

Brigid Kemmerer

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