Defy the Night is a new start to a brand-new series from Brigid Kemmerer, author of the bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely series, takes an interesting turn as it follows Robin Hood’s methodology.
Tessa and Wes steal from the rich and give to the poor. But it is not money they steal; it is moonflowers, the only known treatment/cure to the sickness devastating their land. The kingdom is separated into different lands, each governed by a noble who has to ration their monthly medicine supply. Those with money can buy extra doses, and those without get what they can get. So for Tessa, who watched her parents killed by the guard for working with smugglers to get the medicine to those in need, she has taken up the task with Wes, stealing flowers to make medicine and distributing it to those in need at night.
Tessa thinks the palace is not doing enough, and maybe they aren’t. But when she gets to the palace, she discovers that there is more going on than meets the eye.
Wes is Prince Corrick in disguise, doing what he can for his people under cover of night while living known as the cruel King’s Justice during the day. It is a title he hates, a position he hates, but after the assassination of his gentle and well-loved parents by greedy noblemen, he is forced to harden himself to protect those close to him. Unfortunately, with the sickness taking over their land and the nobles supplying the moonflower growing increasingly greedy, Corrick continues to alienate himself from his people.
What I thought was great about Defy the Night’s storytelling and the setup is that it focuses on the complexities of ruling a kingdom. Corrick and his brother are trying to maintain a balance between regions, but when their source of medicine only comes from 2 areas, it makes it hard. They must bend to the will of the greedy at the risk of their people, for the sake of people. Tessa and the realm do not see it this way; they see people suffering and their kingdom falling apart, but we, as the reader, can see the story from both sides.
Nothing is black or white here, good or bad, but it is intricate and complex. Politics are complex, and the way Tessa and Corrick must navigate through the corruption and growing unrest of the people. Tessa and Corrick have each been dealt a rough hand, and they each see the world in different ways. But together, they see more and help each other explore other avenues that could change the kingdom for the better.
Defy the Night is a spectacular new start to a new series. The world is lush, the character dynamics strong, and the plot delves into the intricate politics, no-win scenarios, and thoughtful view that nothing is quite as it seems. I am excited about the sequel.
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|Pub Date: September 14, 2021||Page Count: 496pp||Age Range: 13 & Over|
|ISBN: 978-1-5476-0466-1||Publisher: Bloomsbury YA||List Price: $18.99|