Defy the Night Readalong Day 1!

Stunning photo by @onetruedaydreamer

Hello Fairy Friends!

It’s day 1 of our Defy the Night readalong. Are you excited? I’m a big fan of the Cursebreaker series by Brigid Kemmerer and this is one of my most anticipated releases!

Before we get started, how are you all doing? I hope your week is off to a good start. Did you read any good books at the weekend? Let me know in the comments below!

As today is the 1st day of our readalong, we’ll be reading Chapter 1 to Chapter 8. Grab a drink, a blanket, get cosy, and let’s dive into this dark fantasy world. When you’ve finished today’s section, catch up with me in the comments down below so we can discuss the beginning of the book. Happy reading!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer from chapter 1 to chapter 8. Please only read on if you have finished this section!


Wow, I am obsessed with this book already!

We begin with Tessa, an eighteen-year-old girl who is sneaking into a workshop outside the Royal Sector, where she prepared an elixir created from dried moonflower petals used to prevent and cure the sickness that has swept across Kandala. The petals are rare, hoarded by the rich who drink too much of the concoction, leaving those who can’t afford it to suffer. She knows less is more, and that the royals could help more people.

Tessa is anxiously awaiting Weston’s arrival. A year or so older, he greats her with breakfast and a side of witty banter. The dynamics between the two are great, with Tessa – like me – getting flustered at Weston’s jokes. The only catch is that they don’t know what one another looks like, they have never taken off their masks and hats, not in the years since Wes saved Tessa’s life. Tessa isn’t even sure Wes is his real name. Is anyone else desperate to know more about Weston? I sure am!

최고 Im Intrigued GIF들 | Gfycat

Shifting points of view, we meet our second protagonist, Corrick, the King’s Justice, a brutal prince who rules by his brother, King Harristan’s side. Their parents were loved and betrayed, and Corrick believes that cruelty and fear work better when ruling a kingdom. Is he going to cause havoc for Tessa?

There is a lot of political tension between all of the Consuls, all related to the distribution of Moonflower petals and the building of a bridge.

Tessa and Wes help those in need of the elixir, visiting Gillis and Kendall. Despite taking the elixir, Gillis suddenly dies, leaving his mother distraught and cursing the King’s name. As they leave, the mother is killed by guards.

Soon, we meet Quint, who I adore already. Quint is the Palace Master and Corrick’s only friend. He’s honest, witty, and observant. Allisander, one of the consuls, is going to raise the price of his supply of moonflower petals by 20%, which is a big increase. Is anyone else weary of this character?

The day after Tessa watches Gillis die, she hears the news of eight captured smugglers from Steal City. She’s so distraught that she heads to the warehouse, sobbing when Wes doesn’t arrive. Soon, he appears and sees her without her mask for the first time. Tessa tells him that she’s his closest friend. He won’t take his mask off, but he leans down to kiss her, stopping a breath away before saying not never, but not now . . . the tension! I am swooning over these two! Who else loves this romance?

Meanwhile, on a darker path, Corrick is questioning the prisoners who were captured in Steal City, including Lochlan who attacks Allisander through the cell bars. Harristan has received hundreds of requests to pardon them, but Corrick is a harsh King’s Justice. They are to be executed. What’s everyone’s first impression of Corrick?

Tessa watches the execution, and as the prisoners encourage the crowd to rebel, it soon gets out of hand. Three prisoners escape, including Lochlan. The royals and consuls are arguing between justice and retribution, and Harristan agrees that they need swift, brutal action, which Corrick will hand out.

Tensions are high in Kandala, does anyone have any theories about the sickness? And what of the characters we’ve met so far, does anyone have any favourites?

I am so intrigued by this book, and I am loving both points of view. I can’t wait to read more!

I’ll be back tomorrow with my thoughts on the next few chapters!



36 thoughts on “Defy the Night Readalong Day 1!

  1. The story has a great start. I am inmediatly drawn into the world, characters and storyline. The writing style is easy to read and the perspective changes between Tessa and Corrick. I am just wondering if Wes is actually the king or the prince . My guess is the prince…. I think the sickness is caused by someone profiting of the moonflowers and may be part of the consul. I think Allisander is now portrayed as the enemy but will be helping in the end. Or maybe he is the decoy, I just have the feeling the writer tries to hard to make him look bad and the real bad guy still has to show their true colours. Can’t wait to proceed with reading =D

    1. I agree with you – I think Corrick is Wes too. As soon as his reddish brown hair was mentioned at the execution, considering that feature was noted in Wes too!
      But a part of me also wonders if it’s too obvious and is what the author wants us to believe for now.
      Super exciting to unravel this story!

  2. Hello Nicole and everyone reading along ?

    I like the story so far! The more I read the more I want to continue reading.
    I can’t help but feel that Wes(ton) is actually Prince Corrick. The way he and Tessa always wear masks even when they’re alone…. ?

    My favorite character so far is Quint, the Palace Master. I’d like to learn more about him and about Consul Roydan.

    See you tomorrow, love Sandy.

  3. i suspect that Tessa’s Wes and Corrick’s Quint are the same person, just a suspicion for now. It sounds pretty interesting so far, i am excited when and how Tessa and Corrick will come in contact.

  4. I’m enjoying this book so far. I love the concept! I’m interested to find out more about this sickness, a bit odd that it starts as the King and Queen dies. Corrick doesn’t actually strike me as cruel and evil, but trying to do his best with the role he has. We will see!
    Loving the relationship between Tessa and Wes!

  5. Such an information heavy start to the book. Definitely have some speculation about Wes’s identity so we’ll find out if I’m correct! The Consuls are definitely shifty, particularly the ones who have control over the Moonflower supplies. Do not trust!

    1. Also – I agree, Quint is up there for favourite character so far. No theories about the sickness yet, but I don’t trust those Moonflower sectors!

  6. For the first sort of three captors I wasn’t really too sure about this book as I was confused by the two switching scenes, however I’ve stuck with it and am completely amazed at how this book is turning out 🙂
    I’m intrigued as to why Wes won’t take his mask off after all this time of them working together and the connection they have however there must be something related to the royalty side as there’s always two sides to a so story

  7. This seems like one of those political fantasies, which I always get confused by so hopefully I can keep up with it and it doesn’t get too complicated XD. I like Wes and Tessa’s dynamic. Wes seems so great and I really hope he is end game because I don’t like love triangles!!!

  8. This is such a complex and intriguing opening! A lot of politics and duality…I think a lot more of these characters are masking their true selves than just Wes! It’s a brutal place with heartless rulers…I can’t wait for Tessa to turn it all upside down!

  9. I’m loving the political aspects of the book, though recently reading The Cruel Prince might have something to do with that!
    I find it really interesting to see how these plots and schemings play out, it makes me wonder about the parallels with our current governments in real life…?
    My guess is that Wes=Corrick. Then again, that might be a deliberate diversion from the author to throw us off the scent. I stg, if Wes does turn out to have a wife and family I’m gonna throw hands.??
    So far, I’m realllyyyy loving this book and can’t believe how gripped I am already!

  10. This had such a great start! Definitely a lot of chemistry between her and Wes, wonder who he really is!!

  11. This is the first time in months I’ve managed to do the readalong, and I’m excited to be back ?

    This was a great start to the book. I really feel for Harristan and Corrick, being thrown in to their positions so suddenly at such young ages. Yes they’re harsh, but they clearly feel it’s the only way to maintain control and not be taken advantage of by conniving consuls.

    I love Wes and Tessa’s banter. Looking forward to seeing their relationship develop ?

  12. Enjoying this so far! I really have strong suspicions that Wes and Corrick are the same person tho…?
    I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes!

  13. It’s been so long since I’ve read a retelling (which are my comfort reads), and the fact that there is so much political intrigue has gripped me immediately. I’ve already found myself flipping back to the map at the beginning of the book and making theories about what’s going on with the sickness, and what causes it to affect certain areas more than others.

    Along with that, I’m already in love with Tessa but can’t wait to learn more about the mystery man, Wes. On one hand, I’m currently running (and hoping) on the theory that Corrick is Wes though and I would love this because it would present an interesting duality between Corrick and Wes as a person since their personalities are so different from each other, I’d love to read more. On the other hand, I would love to see the interaction of the characters with Corrick, Tessa, AND Wes, and see how their perspectives change from their initial state and ideals to the end of the book.

    In any case, I’m super excited to read more!

  14. I loved the first chapter. It hooked me right away. I’m loving the vibe of this book so far. It’s reminding me why I love fantasy so much.

  15. I love Brigid Kemmerer’s Cursebreaker series, so I’ve been looking forward to this book since she announced it!

    I like the different point of views from two very opposite lives. I think it will give a broader overview of the world, especially since it seems like a very difficult place.

    I think Wes is being too secretive with his identity not to be someone more significant than he has said. I’m not sure who he might be. I did wonder about Harriston sleeping late. Is that because he is Wes, or because of the sickness?

    I like Quint, I always enjoy having a fun side character.

    1. I thought the same about Harriston being Wes – but then if he keeps coughing, surely Tessa would have noticed?

  16. I love the dynamic between Wes and Tessa. I can’t wait for more!

  17. I am completely drawn in this story! The similarities and contrasts between Teesa’s and Prince Corricks world/perspective are interesting. I like that through all the hardship Corrick finds strength in his brother just as Tessa finds strength in Weston. I can’t help but wonder if one of the royal brothers may secretly be Weston. It could liberate Pince Corrick from the burden of being cruel, and he never rests and may have similar features. But then, Harristan’s power to help people feels limited by political appearances and he is good at sneaking out. Maybe this is his way of doing more. I also thought about Quint who is quickly developing into one of my favorite characters so far.

    Do you think Tessa or someone we’ll meet could be appointed as the consul position for Trader’s Landing?

    Does anyone else think it’s too much of a coincidence the royal predecessors were assassinated at the start of the sickness? As much as I like Roydan and Arella they would make an interesting plot twist. Alissander and Lissa seem to have the most to gain from the sickness, and with Allisanders attitude he would make a good red herring. I can’t wait to continue reading and see how everyone develops.

    1. OMG yes! Such a coincidence – the good king goes down right before a massive sickness. And these 2 consuls are certainly on the watch list.

    2. I have the same feeling about prince Corrick being Weston instead of king Harristan. But yes, it could be either of them

  18. Loving it so far! My box came yesterday, so thrilled I get to join in while I’m on holidays.
    Ok Wes is for sure Corrick, cannot wait to see Tessa’s reaction ooohhh so much tension!

  19. ? I’m loving this story already! Dual POV is always something that catches my attention because it can really change how you view a scene from another MC’s worldview. From early on, I’ve had my suspicions about Wes & Corrick being the same person, so it’ll be interesting to see how that theory plays out. That line “not never… but not like this”? ? Yes, please. I’m in for the tension.

    Quint makes me smile whenever he appears, & I cheered for Lochlan smashing Allisander’s face because that pompous money-grubbing sack of arrogance had it coming (even knowing virtually nothing about this new character).

    Speaking of the consuls, wow. Politicians are renowned for being shifty, dirty-dealing, corrupt, selfish – you name it! This lot seems much the same, of course, to varying degrees, but I’m curious to find out who are the most versus who are the least of these.

    There’s been many pointed references to Tessa continuing get father’s journal/records, and she seems bright & capable despite her young age. Surely, the cure becoming widespread as well as, likely, the cause being determined will be her doing, but how? Will that fiery temper of hers be what puts her identity or Wes’ in danger?

    I can’t wait to read tomorrow’s chapters. In fact, I think I can squeeze in a few before dawn. ??

  20. These first chapters have been excellent! I am, like you Nicole, already obsessed with this book!

    The dual perspective is the perfect fit for the situation we are presented within this story – fair to say I’m excited to reach the point where Tessa and Corrick cross paths. I’m really fond of the writing style and the language used, it just feels like a good mix between painting a picture and expressive, and straight to the point. The characters and the relationships are interesting. I feel as if the characters are distinct from one another and while I feel as if I have gotten a good sense of our main characters I have a feeling that there is gonna be much more to them. I’m, simply put, very intrigued!

    And can we just take a moment for: “Not never, Tessa, but not like this.”

  21. What a ride already! I absolutely did not want to stop where the readalong said haha.
    The setup is amazing, Tessa, Wes, Corrick and Harristan are so interesting to read about already. I cannot wait to read more about the palace life with the prince, the king and all of the politicians around (some of them are really shady I feel!).

    Also, we are talking about some really dark set up here with the arrests, the executions…

    I wonder if we are going to read more about Tessa’s parents and everything he knew about the sickness?

  22. Hello?

    My first readalong!

    Really enjoying the book so far, had me hooked quickly ! Also love POV chapters…Im getting An Ember in the Ashes vibes!

    Wes..Corrick..Wes…Corrick? I feel the dust jacket might be a little giveaway..having only featured one male!

    Right time to sneak in a chapter during work ?

  23. Hello hello! I was away for the weekend and totally forgot this was starting Monday, so I am a day behind but working on catching up. Helpfully, this book is very readable!

    I am not completely sold on our leads yet – they’re fine, but don’t really feel like anything new, y’know? The set up thus far alsl isn’t wildly groundbreaking but Brigid’s solid writing style is carrying both well, and I do like that Corrick has every reason to be hated, he’s not a nice guy, but that we can see and empathise with why he is the way he is by seeing his perspectives.

    I definitely don’t see Wes surviving this book. Frankly, I am surprised he has made it through day one of this readalong!

  24. Catching up the readalong! Totally forgot it yesterday >>

    I really like the story, but totally miss the part were Wes can be the Prince or the King…
    I’m wondering what will happen and who are the Benefactors :o!

    Getting right back in part 2!

    good reading everyone \o/

  25. Hello everyone, running a bit behind schedule, but I think I will catch up today. Wow, the first few chapters had me questioning so many things. Why do I have a feeling Corrick is Wes? I know total blizzard and don’t make sense. But what’s all the secrecy for if he already knows Tess’s face? Also, how did he manage to get the food from the royal kitchen? Why were Tessa’s parents not pushed like others?

  26. Hi! I’m a day late, but here we go!
    So far I like the book; I like the dual POV, both MCs!
    Wes seems suspicious that maybe he is Harristan. My base for this is his blue eyes and his absolute refusal of seeing his face. I know it’s not much to go on, but still. 😀 The coughing could be a misdirection.
    I like the setup of this ‘plague’ and the world sounds interesting, hoping to read much more of it!

  27. Hmmm, I want to like this more than I actually do so far. It’s a bit repetitive and I feel distanced from the action – lots of telling. It’s a good concept for a story but not quite there for me yet.

  28. I really enjoyed the first few chapters of this book. The writing style is perfect, and the dual point of views help to give a more rounded and detailed view of this world. I like the set up and world building. I’m very intrigued by the mysterious illness, the suspicious timing for it, and the dynamic that has been created by the supply-demand of the moon petals used in the medicine.

    There is also a lot of politics and intrigues that make me think of some of my favourite books like The Cruel Prince or Hunger Games.

    Regarding the characters, I wasn’t sure what to think at first of the Wes character as I thought he wouldn’t be an important one given that he is not one of the dual POV. Then, as I saw the dynamic between he and Tessa, I started worrying that this was going to become a love triangle. But if it is not going to be a love triangle, that would mean that Wes is Corrick, which would be quite interesting. I’m really curious to find out the identity of Wes. He has to be someone important in the Royal Sector, hence the whole secrecy with the mask. But, is he Harrington in disguise (who we know had a penchant for disguising and sneaking out of the castle), or is it Corrick (but they appear to be so different at the moment), or is it Quint?

    Time to continue reading to find out!

  29. This is the first book I’m reading by this author and I’m already so hooked! I love the world and especially the characters! I love the dynamic between Harristan and Corrick, brothers who are so solidly there for each other. And Tessa/Wes is of course fabulous! Speculating about who Wes really is is going to keep me occupied for a while…I hope we find out in a spectacularly dramatic way!

  30. It has been a couple of weeks since I found a book that grabbed me and just keeps pulling me in. I am already falling in love with Tessa and Wes. I am being to think that Cory is Wes because I feel like there is so much more to his character and he is not just the king’s justice. I can not wait to see where the story goes from here!!!!!!!

  31. I’m pretty sure that Wes is Corrick but haven’t really formed much of a theory about the sickness as yet.

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