A throne sits amongst a destroyed and crumbling building in orange sunlight while moonflowers fly out past the title towards the reader.

About the Book

Title: Destroy the Day (Defy the Night #3)
Published: 2024

Cover Story: Who Will Sit On The Iron Throne?
BFF Charm: Make It Rain
Talky Talk: Hopeful Hardship
Bonus Factors: Unlikely Friendships, Friendships, TEABS
Relationship Status: I Swear Fealty To The Crown

Careful, Sweetie: spoilers! This is the third and final book in the Defy the Night series, so if you haven’t read the previous two, you should probably hop back in the TARDIS and go curl up by the pool in the library with the first book before continuing.

Cover Story: Who Will Sit On The Iron Throne?

Someone was taking some serious inspiration from the Game of Thrones series finale. The more I look at it, the more I like it; it fits thematically with a lot of what goes down in the book, it still features those pesky moonflowers, and it matches the other two covers.  

The Deal:

We pick right up a few weeks after the second book ended (with a cruel cliffhanger!). Grieving Tessa and guardsman Erik Rocco are the dubious guests of the manipulative pirate-king Rian, unable to book return passage home; Corrick and Lochlan are imprisoned and must outwit the cruel Oren Crane, pirate-uncle to Ostriary king; and, Harriston has been dethroned and is trying to put together a rebel army with zero money, zero weapons, and zero clues.

The people of Ostriary are eager to forge a new alliance with Kandala, but who is there to trust? How will Corrick and Tessa make their way back to each other? Who will sit on the throne of Kandala when the dust settles, and will the populace stop getting poisoned by rich, greedy a-holes long enough to just live their freaking lives?!

BFF Charm: Make It Rain

BFF charm holding an umbrella

Everyone is at their lowest, but you might argue that is when you find out what a person is really made of, and the actual character growth everyone experiences was worth the wait for this dang book. Tessa started off the series as an eternal optimist but—sorry, hon—kinda naïve and short-sighted. In the past I lamented some of her decisions, but she really impressed me this time around. Corrick, meanwhile, finally understood what Tessa was trying to teach him about not making every person around him an adversary, and I was just so pleased with his progress. Harristan has always cared, but caution has often overruled action, and he secretly worries he’s a coward but I think his actions would prove otherwise.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

The possible romance for Harriston that seemed to be sparking in book two reached full-fledged flames in this book, and the sweetness of it made me smile (write that down; IYKYK).

I won’t lie to you: Tessa and Corrick are not together for a good chunk of this novel; HOWEVER, it actually flew by so quickly, and I was so intrigued by how other things would play out, that I didn’t even really notice! I know some struggled with the amount of romantic tension in Defend the Dawn, but they had ironed out most of their relationship issues right before Corrick went overboard. Tessa assuming Corrick was dead kinda smoothed away any remaining rough edges from their relationship, as now she just desperately misses him.

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve read enough Brigid Kemmerer novels to know she would never play with my heart that way or if it was telegraphed in the text itself, but I was never really concerned that I’d be heartbroken, and, honestly, that made the time everyone spent apart bearable.

Talky Talk: Hopeful Hardship

Kemmerer doesn’t shy away from putting her characters in dark places, but there’s always an undercurrent of hope and resilience that makes her novels a source of comfort as well as entertainment. Again, character deep-dives are her strong suit, and while the plot threads came together in a satisfying—albeit sometimes convenient—way, what I loved the best was how no one was really the same as they were when the series started, and that growth was measurable and made sense within their character arcs.

Once I started I couldn’t stop—my other favorite thing about Kemmerer’s writing is that it’s so engaging and easy to slip into; everything is neatly paced and the writing flows so smoothly you really get so immersed in the worlds she’s creating.

Bonus Factor: Unlikely Friendships

Loki in a prison outfit and Mobius in a suit from LOKI show.

Pairing Lochlan and Corrick together in a perilous situation and forcing them to work together was my emotional catnip! Their journey from enemies to reluctant allies to two men who finally take the time to look past the posturing and see the human underneath—I am not ashamed to admit I shed some happy tears at how frickin’ adorable it was.

Bonus Factor: Friendships

Chandler and Joey from Friends hugging

I also have to give a shout-out to the non-adversarial friendships, too. Many books spend a lot of time developing romantic relationships and forget that complex platonic relationships can be just as rewarding to read about. My girl Brigid always delivers a myriad of strong friendship bonds like those between Tessa, Olive, and Erik, and Harriston with his guards, Thorin and Saeth (loyal because of the job, yes, but put that to the test when their families are being starved and interrogated for that loyalty).

Bonus Factor: TEABS

Painting of a woman holding a book lying on a green couch. Called "Decadent young woman. After the dance" by Ramon Casas i Carbó

Some things go down at the end I was not expecting and had me hard blinking at certain parts (THEY DID WHAT NOW??), but I closed the book satisfied and a bit wrung-out, knowing my time with these friends was now over.

Relationship Status: I Swear Fealty To The Crown

There’s some questionable things in your past, Book, but I have faith in the leadership moving forward, and would gladly pledge my loyalty to you and all the non-a-hole citizens of Kandala.

Literary Matchmaking

Song of the Current (Song of the Current #1)

I have fond memories of Song of the Current (Song of the Current #1) by Sarah Tolcser and you may want more sea-faring adventures and normies falling in love with secret princes!

Seafire (Seafire #1)

The stakes are high and the tyrant and beytrals harsh in the fantastic Seafire (Seafire #1) by Natalie C. Parker.

Crier’s War (Crier’s War #1)

There’s something rotten in Crier’s kingdom in Crier’s War (Crier’s War #1) by Nina Varela.

FTC Full Disclosure: I purchased my own copy of this book. I received neither money nor peanut butter cups in exchange for this review. Destroy the Day (Defy the Night #3)is available now.

Stephanie (she/her) is an avid reader who moonlights at a college and calls Orlando home. Stephanie loves watching television, reading DIY blogs, planning awesome parties, Halloween decorating, and playing live-action escape games.