The Nevernight Chronicle #2
by Jay Kristoff
Published on September 5, 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
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A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.
Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.
When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I didn’t think that Kristoff could top Nevernight. That book crushed me last year and I knew. . . I knew. . . that Godsgrave would either be even MORE soul-crushing or terrible because I didn’t think there could be an in-between.
Spoiler Alert: It’s the first one.
My first thought after finishing it was that I felt like I watched a ramped-up version of Spartacus (as in the TV show). There were a couple chapters that felt like they were EXACT COPIES of a few episodes (but with a Mia Corvere twist, of course). This book definitely had strong Roman/gladiator themes going on which I loved but were also more familiar than I expected (granted, I love watching historical dramas and Spartacus and Rome are two of my favorites so that’s likely why).
Godsgrave didn’t hold back with the emotion either. Where Nevernight established that Mia is the baddest of the bad, its sequel made her question everything she ever knew — her family, her history, her revenge. Friendship was a means to an end but it wasn’t all at once. Mia couldn’t just be Mia the Blade, Mia the Assassin. And somehow Kristoff showed this in a million different mind-blowing ways.
Because talk about plot twists.
I mean it was one after the next for a while (mostly near the end) and sure, I could guess some of them because I was HOPING they would come true but in the moment? My brain just melted.
Also I need to mention Ashlinn just for a sec because this girl has grown on me and now if something happens to her I will be a very unhappy reader.
Where Nevernight set me up for craving a sequel above all other things, Godsgrave left me with a million questions. The VERY ending means that the wait for book 3 is going to be pure torture (which I’m sure was the intention), but mostly there were bits of history and the world revealed this time around that were never fully expanded on. I need more about the darkins. I think Mia needs more about info about the darkins.
And then there were the footnotes. I loved them in the first book and this time they were just as funny but more spread out. I didn’t feel like I was constantly jumping to the end of the page to read a hilarious history lesson but when they were there, they were definitely worth reading.
But at the end of the day, it’s the writing that wins these books over for me. The writing style Kristoff employs is unlike any fantasy I’ve read and just hooked me from page 1. Not only that, but each character is so intricately layered that just when I think I understand one, something new comes to light. This world is so rich and vibrant that you’ll be alongside Mia for the whole ride and wonder why you’re not in Godsgrave at the end.
Honestly I’m trying REALLY hard to not just straight-out gush about this book. I finished reading it right before my shift started at work and spent the 5 hours following that in a bit of a daze where I recommended the series to basically everyone I talked to (I work in a library, I thought it made sense).
If you had ANY doubts about Nevernight, the sequel will wash them all away. I can’t recommend this series enough and hope y’all can get your hands on copies of Godsgrave as soon as it’s out in the world!