4/5 stars 

This fall is packed with some amazing upcoming books and Defy the Night is pretty close to the top of my list of anticipated fall reads. Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing, I got a chance to read it a little early and let me tell you, it definitely lives up to the hype! 

Defy the Night is a new series from Brigid Kemmerer, who is the author of the popular Curse Breakers trilogy. The story switches between two first person POVs, Tessa and Corrick in the country of Kandala, which is ravaged by an illness that can only be prevented by the petals of a moonflower. By day, Tessa works as an apothecary, making slightly phoney health remedies to make end’s meet. By night, she risks her life breaking into the homes of the wealthy elite, stealing precious and hard to come by moonflower petals and distributing it to the poor with her partner-in-crime Wes. 

In the upper echelon of society, Prince Corrick- or Cruel Corrick, depending on who is talking- is working desperatly to protect his brother, King Harriston, who was thrown into power at a young age following the violent assassination of their parents. Since their kindness did nothing to save their parents, both brothers rule with an iron fist to try and keep control of their country. 

I absolutely devoured this book and spent a couple late nights completely absorbed in the story. I thought of Robin Hood right from the first chapter, but with a lot more at stake. The events of the book take place over the span of a few days and is very fast-paced. For those looking for a complexe plot though, this might not be the book for you. The plot twists were fairly predictable (some I guessed when reading the chapter sampler), but sometimes predictable can be a comfort, and I still found it an enjoyable read.

There is some romance, but I think for the first time I wish there had been less. It can get a little tropey and almost a little blah. It doesn’t feel like anything new in terms of romance in a YA fantasy, but I still am looking forward to seeing what happens next between them.

For those who hate cliffhangers, I would say that there is some resolution at the end of Defy the Night, but it leaves space open for the sequel without any cliffhangers that will leave you freaking out (looking at you, Aurora Burning). I really hope there will be a lot more Harriston and Quint in the next book. And also more leading female characters. A majority of the female characters only make occasional appearances and play small roles aside from Tessa. That said, it does look like at least one will have a bigger role in the sequel! 

Defy the Night comes out on September 14, 2021. You can pre-order a copy from your favourite book seller. I think it’s the first time I don’t have a clear preference between the UK and US covers because both are STUNNING! Multiple book boxes are offering special editions if you’re hoping to collect them.

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