Defy the Night is a classic upper YA fantasy, complete with political intrigue/court politics, a sickness ravishing a world, and a brewing rebellion. And romance, of course.
I loved the dual POVs. The story follows Tessa, an apothecary who makes elixirs by night to give to the sick poor, and Corrick, the prince and the King’s Justice. I enjoyed reading from both of their perspectives, and I liked how their voices actually sounded distinguishable.
I loved how Kemmerer explores the brotherhood between Corrick and Harristan. And the romance is written well and doesn’t feel forced.
All that being said, the world itself feels pretty generic and doesn’t stand out from any other YA fantasy. There were some easy to guess plot twists. However, I still enjoyed the plot. The pacing is great and never too slow, the characters are engaging, and Kemmerer’s writing style feels immediate in a way that sucks you in.
I’m looking forward to the sequel to this one, too!