The Nevernight Chronicle #1
by Jay Kristoff
Published on August 9, 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult
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In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.
Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.
Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?
I thought quite a bit about what to say for this review. Because, you see, Nevernight destroyed my capacity to love any more fantasy novels.
Well, not really, but I like to think as much.
For the first third of the book, I wasn’t actually sure if I liked it or not. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was that made it so intriguing so I kept reading. Through the night. Let’s just say coffee was involved in mass quantities. And when I finished, I don’t recall actually registering that the book was over. That there wasn’t a sequel yet. That I should have waited to read it until I could binge ALL the books.
Kristoff’s writing isn’t like anything I’ve ever read before. It wove between dynamic action and flowing storyteller. The world built from a single moment into a being so vast that it couldn’t possibly fit in one book. This is a world of unusual magic, deadly sand krakens, assassins, and a young woman who’s going to watch the world burn (to be fair, she’ll probably start the fire too).
I LOVED Mia. Like, if I have to rank my favorite assassins, Celaena from Throne of Glass finally has competition. Actually, someone please write that — a face-off between those two would be epic. Mia is brutal. Cunning. A murderer. But underneath she has a heart and draws the line mentally between the innocent and guilty. She’s driven by revenge and I have no doubt she will get everything she wants.
Her romance of sorts with Tric wasn’t something I expected, to be honest. Nor was that ending because DAMN. You know that feeling you get when it’s like the author wants you to suffer? Now triple that. And it was done so in such a subtle way — one moment it happens and the next the story keeps rolling — that your brain doesn’t feel the impact until pages later.
Actually, that pretty much describes this entire story. I felt so immersed in Mia’s head that everything hit me in a delayed fashion so I was constantly at war between Mia’s (mostly) calm persona and ALL OF THIS EMOTIONAL TRAUMA, GODS WHY?!
Nevernight, aside from wrecking my reading for the week, also features footnotes throughout the novel to provide insight on certain aspects of the world. These are told in a highly humorous and sarcastic tone that instantly reminded me of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (in fact, I read most of them in the voice of the narrator in the movie version). While they usually took me out of the story because of the vast difference, and sometimes I would ignore them completely until I’d at least finished the scene, they worked. And I liked that the commentary was so different from the rest of the book, lightening some of the darker moments.
So, I should mention, before even READING this book, I pre-ordered 3 copies. Not one. Three. I subconsciously knew this book would require extra attention on my shelves, joining the ranks of books by Sarah J. Maas and V.E. Schwab. If you don’t have a copy of Nevernight already then you are seriously missing out. So go, lose your mind over this book, and in the words of Mia’s mother, always remember: