Genre: Fantasy Age Range: YA Star Rating: 4 stars Series: yes - first book in trilogy
A spark of rebellion is all it takes to DEFY THE NIGHT.
In a kingdom where sickness stalks the streets and only the richest can afford a cure, King Harristan and his brother Prince Corrick are forced to rule with an iron fist.
Tessa Cade is a masked outlaw marked for death, but she likes it that way. Together with the mysterious, handsome Weston, she robs from the rich to help the poor, distributing food and medicine to those who need it most.
As it becomes clear that the only way to save her people is to assassinate the King, Tessa must face a deadly mission that will take her to the dark heart of the kingdom . and force her to work with the very people she intended to destroy.
Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
This book review is probably going to be a bit of a funny one because I think it would have been four stars if I hadn’t read it when I did (there was a lot going on in life and ruining my focus.) It has so much that I love in, so many concepts and ideas that usually would have kept me rivetted, it’s simply that I could not do anything for a sustained period for about a week, which meant I read this book in a really bitty style. So yeah, looking forward to a re-read at some point.
Brigid Kemmerer is brilliant at writing difficult brothers (I’m sure she can do other combinations, but I’ve only read her attempts at two royal brothers with tensions and both are excellent.) This time, there is clearly so much love between them, but their roles and responsibilities are straining that, forcing secrets to be kept and suspicions to arise. The fact that you can see how much they care is what makes the fact that they are trapped between a rock and a hard place so much more heart wrenching when it forces them to act as they do.
There is a lot of political intrigue in this, with people scheming in the royal councils and exacerbating the problems borne by the commons. There is the consul you hate and distrust, and then the others where it’s hard to know what side they’re on generally (beyond “their own.”) There’s a lot of undermining each other, and the King.
(I hope Harristan gets a POV in later books because I want to know what’s happening inside his head! And see his side of the brothers’ relationship. Yes, that really was my fave bit of the whole book. I love dynamics like that.)
I am excited for the second book (I think we’re getting the Cursebreaker spin-off series first though.)
Read my reviews of other books by Brigid Kemmerer:
Forging Silver into Stars (chronologically after Cursebreakers):