DESTROY THE DAY (Defy the Night, 3), by Brigid Kemmerer, Bloomsbury YA, Jan. 23, 2024, Hardcover, $20.99 (young adult)
An apothecary, a prince and a king fight to save their kingdom in Destroy the Day, the final installment in Brigid Kemmerer’s Defy the Night trilogy.
Prince Corrick is out of options. Held captive by the vicious Oren Crane, he’s desperate to reunite with Tessa, but will need to ally with the rebel leader Lochlan, who until now wished him dead. An unlikely but deadly pair, Corrick and Lochlan must plot their next moves carefully. . .
An island away, Tessa Cade is heartbroken and angry. Grieving Corrick, and unsure how to find a way back to Kandala, she doesn’t know who to trust. Until Rian–the man she trusts least–makes an offer: aid in a plot to finally oust Oren Crane and see what the future holds. . .
Meanwhile in Kandala, Harristan is dethroned and on the run. He’s struggling to unite the rebels in his fractured kingdom, but he finds support–and maybe more–in unexpected places.
Can Harristan be the king his people need? Can Corrick and Tessa find their way back to each other? As outside threats loom and the fires of revolution burn from within, time is running out to save their kingdom. —Synopsis provided by Bloomsbury YA
It’s been more than a year since Brigid Kemmerer’s Defend the Dawn hit the shelves and almost two and half since Defy the Night introduced readers to Tessa, Corrick and Harristan. But it’s been worth the wait to see what Kemmerer had in store for her heroes in Destroy the Day.
The series does need to be read in order, and it’s worth rereading the first two books to remind of key elements going into the third.
Once again, it’s hard to say much about the plot without giving things away. The book certainly has its fair share of twists and an ending I wasn’t expecting.
Kemmerer’s strength continues to be her ability to balance worldbuilding with plot, creating a comprehensive world and story that are both engaging and satisfying. She also gives some of her secondary characters a “glow-up,” developing who they are and providing a nice counterbalance to the three main players.
At 560 pages, Destroy the Day is not a short book, but it moves quickly and feels much shorter. There’s plenty of intrigue, adventure and a bit of romance, making this a strong final installment to an excellent YA series.
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