Defy the Night (Defy the Night #1)

Content Overview

Overall Content



Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking


Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty


Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood


Potentially Intense Themes


**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

Defy the Night (Defy the Night #1)

Brigid Kemmerer

From New York Times bestselling author Brigid Kemmerer comes a blockbuster fantasy series about a kingdom divided by corruption, the prince desperately holding it together, and the girl who will risk everything to bring it crashing down.

The kingdom of Kandala is on the brink of disaster. Rifts between sectors have only worsened since a sickness began ravaging the land, and within the Royal Palace, the king holds a tenuous peace with a ruthless hand.

King Harristan was thrust into power after his parents’ shocking assassination, leaving the younger Prince Corrick to take on the brutal role of the King’s Justice. The brothers have learned to react mercilessly to any sign of rebellion–it’s the only way to maintain order when the sickness can strike anywhere, and the only known cure, an elixir made from delicate Moonflower petals, is severely limited.

Out in the Wilds, apothecary apprentice Tessa Cade is tired of seeing her neighbors die, their suffering ignored by the unyielding royals. Every night, she and her best friend Wes risk their lives to steal Moonflower petals and distribute the elixir to those who need it most–but it’s still not enough.

As rumors spread that the cure no longer works and sparks of rebellion begin to flare, a particularly cruel act from the King’s Justice makes Tessa desperate enough to try the impossible: sneaking into the palace. But what she finds upon her arrival makes her wonder if it’s even possible to fix Kandala without destroying it first.

Set in a richly imaginative world with striking similarities to our own, Brigid Kemmerer’s captivating new series is about those with power and those without . . . and what happens when someone is brave enough to imagine a new future.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

“When there are calls for revolution,” I say to him, “we should be riding at the front, not hiding in the shadows.”

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) I love a book that makes me excited to read it. I’d put this down but keep thinking about it until I could get back to it. 

 A strange fever has ravaged the kingdom and the Royals are nowhere near to solving it. Tessa lives in the Wilds and with her best friend Wes, they deliver stolen medicine to those that need it. Corrick is the King’s Justice which means he takes care of the awful responsibility to those who go against the crown. Corrick and his brother, the king, are barely holding the kingdom together.

I love Kemmerer’s ability to grab me from page one. I love outlaws and revolutions and people fighting for the good of all. Who doesn’t love a good Robin Hood theme? Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor (instead of money it’s the fever cure) will never get old. She did an amazing job with each character, bringing in back stories and showing us the good and bad sides of each one. 

The story is fast-paced, addictive and easy to follow. It has surprising twists and a sweet romance all while taking us on an adventure that will grab you from the start. I have already pre-ordered the hardback copy, you should too! Click on the links below!

Content Summary: Very little language, and intimacy. Kemmerer tends to have a few descriptive details in fighting and blood and in this book, dead bodies. It’s not severe but still might be too much for some.

Thank you to Bloomsbury YA for the gifted copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The book releases September 14, 2021.

Detailed Content Review



H***- 7


A**- 1

B****- 1

D***- 2


Religious Cursing




L***- 17

Derogatory terms etc-

Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking

A young man drinks alcohol. A young woman also. 

A young man pours wine then needs something stronger so pours brandy. 

Wine is served. A young man drinks. 

A young woman and young man drink wine.

A young man drinks brandy. 

A young man drinks brandy. A man drinks too.

Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty

*No LGBTQ+ aspects included* 

A young man kisses a young woman. 

In a scuffle, the fabric over a young woman’s chest is ripped, exposing her breast. 

A young woman servant bathes a young woman. 

A young man grabs a young woman and kisses her. His tongue “teases” hers. He places her on the table and they touch each other then kiss. 

A young man kisses a young woman. 

Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood

The parents of two young men were “assassinated right in front of us. Shot through the throat… The arrows pinned them upright, their heads hanging cockeyed, their eyes wide and glassy as they choked on their own blood.” Then an arrow is shot at one of the young men but his brother covered him with his body. The one protected ripped out the arrow from his brother and stabbed a man in the neck. 

A man shoots a woman with an arrow, killing her. 

A man kills an entire family for their fever cure. A young man sentenced him to be fed to the lions. The man screamed for mercy while being torn apart. The young man vowed to never do that again. 

A young woman’s parents were both executed in the street while she was near. 

A man hits a man against cell bars twice, then he is punched in the wrist (breaking bones) and he lets go. 

8 people are scheduled for execution for smuggling. 

A man hits a prisoner on the head, another shoots an arrow at him, killing him. A man hits a woman over the head. A man shoots a woman, many in a crowd get trampled.

An assassination attempt ends with many men dead and one man’s neck cut, blood poring over the table. 

A person was hanged. The body is bloated and purple with a crooked neck. A dagger sticks out of each eye, bloody which means they did it while the person was alive. The body eventually decomposes with many others. 

A young woman breaks into a residence and is tied up with a bag on her head. 

A young woman punches a young man in the face, then in the gut. 

A man allegedly beat a woman and raped her. He was executed. 

A woman in a cell has a cracked lip, bruised face and bent arm. A man has two broken arms, a broken nose and a lot of blood on his clothes. Another man is unconscious and bloody also. A man’s face is covered in bruises. A man holds his broken wrist. 

A young man quickly cuts two men’s throats. Blood covers his bands. 

A building is lit on fire. There are explosions. 

A man shoots a young man twice with a crossbow. A young woman throws a rock at the man’s head. The young man shoots him in the face with the crossbow. The young woman stabs a man in the neck. Three men die. 

A man pushes a man then kicks him in the gut and throws him to the ground. 

A young man head butts a man. The man punches him in the gut. Again. Then a crowd beats on him. He is beaten unconscious with a dislocated shoulder and more. 

A man punches a man. Blood pours from his nose. 

Many attack a building. There are explosions and screams. Everyone is running as people are being killed. A young man tackles someone, a knife piercing flesh is heard. A crossbow hits a young man. Arrows are shot back and forth. 

The bodies of a man and woman are seen. Both throats are cut. Many bodies litter the ground. Many people are tied and have crossbows aimed at them. One is shot and killed. A large fire is fueled by a Molotov cocktail-type bomb. Another is shot and killed. 

A young man demands a man’s arms to be broken but instead has him break a finger, then another one. Two bodies are seen, one with an arrow, one with an ax to the head. “Tissue and bone glisten…” More bodies are seen.

Potentially Intense Themes

Two young men’s parents have been murdered. 

A fever is ravaging a kingdom, killing many.

A young man dies from the fever. His mother is distraught and angry. 

**Any quotes from the book are taken from the advance copy and therefore may not be fully accurate or correctly compare to the final copy of the book.

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.