Book Review

ARC Book Review: Defend the Dawn (Defy the Night #2) by Brigid Kemmerer

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 496 pages
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: September 13th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


To save their kingdom, they must embark on a dangerous journey…

The kingdom of Kandala narrowly avoided catastrophe, but the embers of revolution still simmer. While King Harristan seeks a new way to lead, Tessa and Prince Corrick attempt to foster unity between rebels and royals.

But the consuls who control the Moonflower will not back down, and Corrick realizes he must find a new source for the lifesaving Elixir.

When an emissary from the neighboring kingdom of Ostriary arrives with an intriguing offer, Tessa and Corrick set out on an uncertain journey as they attempt to mend their own fractured relationship.

This could be their only chance to keep the peace and bring relief to the people of Kandala, but danger strikes during the journey to Ostriary, and no one is who they seemed to be. . .

Thank you to Bloomsbury and Netgalley for an eARC.


This was almost a miss for me, buuuut I liked the second half so much more that I’m anxious for the finale. And what I did most love was the writing. Kemmerer is a brilliant writer and I love how smooth and easy it is to follow her story and be tucked into the pages.

This book had very slow pacing. The entire first half was dedicated to getting onto a ship. At least interspersed were some total character upheavals. I think the progression focus was on who Corrick and Tessa are becoming. That mindset really helps set the scene for how a lot of these moments occur. I wish there was a toooouch more romance, but I feel it in my bones that it’s coming!

There’s even a third POV thrown in that was fun to figure out and to see another side to the world that was needed to keep the pace for book three. I think there’s SO MANY places that POV could go and I can’t wait to get to know them even more. I already love this character as much as Corrick and Tessa so it was exciting to have that added in as well.

While it took a long time to get to the ship, I do love a good boat book. There’s the right amount of drama and intrigue. Characters getting to know one another. And allll the secrets revealed (like what’s behind the door?!). I thoroughly enjoyed how this played out and even though the ending left me going WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, I know the next book will deliver too.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: some mild
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Violence: medium
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of life, battle scenes, physical altercations, weapons violence, kidnapping, poisoning

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2 thoughts on “ARC Book Review: Defend the Dawn (Defy the Night #2) by Brigid Kemmerer”

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