Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer
Mind Your Mettle
I was fresh off gushing about “A Curse so Dark and Lonely” when our Queen Bee surprised me with the opportunity to read the newest upcoming release by Brigid Kemmerer “Defy the Night.” There was not one thing that would have kept me from devouring it as quickly as possible!
Set in times maybe the tiniest reminiscent of current events there is a mysterious sickness ravaging the land. The main ingredient in the treatment is scarce and people are dying. Our main character Tessa and her partner Wes work to steal the much-needed miracle ingredient to brew medicine to distribute to those who are not lucky enough to receive doses provided by the King. They must do so in the middle of the night while avoiding the King’s patrol, or risk meeting a fate similar to Tessa’s parents, Death. After a disastrous night where all their carefully laid plans go wrong Tessa must make a last-ditch effort to get into the palace to continue her work. It is then she is captured by the ruthless King’s Justice (and brother) Prince Corrick, who is known for showing no mercy to those seen to be working against the crown. When she is not immediately punished she discovers that everything she knew was nothing at all. She must continue her work in a different way, and with unexpected help. In a twist I was not expecting we are also given Prince Corrick’s POV which allows us to see the inner workings of royals who were given power far too young and are struggling to maintain peace while doing what they can for their people who desperately need answers.
What I have learned after now reading two of Brigid Kemmerer’s books is that she has absolutely perfected the ability to create meaningful relationships in just a few pages. I was invested in Tessa and Wes’ connection almost immediately and when things went awry my heart broke as if I had been with them through an entire series instead of mere chapters. And though the romance in her books is noteworthy, she was also able to show the multi-faceted relationship between Prince Corrick and King Harriston. The brotherly love they share for each other is unshakeable, but they are not only family they are King and King’s justice, and as such there are obstacles that most never face. The strain is real and secrets are necessary, but they are always revealed in time.
While I have seen that Defy the Night was not based on Robin Hood, this was a captivating take on rob the rich to help the poor. Tessa was a heroine that despite tragedy is able to find the strength to keep going for a cause she believes in. And Prince Corrick is cast as the evil dictator, that has more to him than even he realizes. If you want a fantasy novel that is full of heart, will make you cry and then put you back together I highly recommend Defy the Night!