(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: Godsgrave, Lifel1k3 (Lifelike), DEV1AT3 (Deviate)
Published by Macmillan on August 9th 2016
Genres: Epic, Fantasy, Fiction
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?
You guys! The second I saw the cover for Nevernight by Jay Kristoff I knew I had to have this book in my hands. I can’t even tell you how excited I am to get a finished copy of this on my shelves. In the meantime, I will tell you…this book did not disappoint. There was so much I loved about it that I am sure my review will be a rambling mess but please bear with me. I promise no spoilers though.
Mia Corvere is the daughter of an accused traitor and when he is executed and her mother and brother are imprisoned, she barely escapes with her life. On her own for the first time in her life, Mia has no idea how to survive on the streets and lucky for her, she meets Mercurio and he becomes her mentor and her guide to get her the vengeance she is desperately seeking against those that destroyed her life. One other thing about Mia is she can control shadows which gives her an advantage in some cases, also causes her to wonder what she really is and what it means. Her cat, who she calls Mr. Kindly, is made of shadows and guides her through the dangers of the life she has chosen.
As the story picks up, Mia is on her way to join the Red Church so she can train to become a blade. She, along with a number of other acolytes, are headed to the fight for their place in the Church and holy cow do they have a fight ahead of them. There are no holds barred and if you don’t like violence or gory situations, I don’t know what to tell you. Admittedly that stuff doesn’t bother me at all and I thought it added to the grittiness of the story. The trials all of the acolytes face aren’t at all easy and in fact, a good number of the acolytes are expected to die along the way…and they do. This helps whittle down the group size and eventually the top acolyte in each hall will be crowned the victor and be inducted as a blade.
I thought Kristoff did a fantastic job of building out this story. First, the world building was ridiculously good. From the governmental structure to the description of the surroundings, to how they travel. Second, the characters and how they all interacted with each other had me rooting for some and cursing others. Of course, you will quickly find out who Mia allies herself with and then who becomes her nemesis but in this type of world there is always the question of who can you really trust…
As for characters, there are too many of them for me to talk about all of them but the ones she gets the closest to are Tric and Ashlinn. Their friendship is one of the things that helps Mia get through the trials she faces every single day. Mia gets especially close to Tric and I liked that the relationship (if you want to call it that) makes Mia appear less hardened than she normally comes off. Don’t get me wrong, she is tough, strategic, and has hardened herself against all the things that could hurt her but I loved that she let Tric in a little bit. One thing to note here…some of these scenes are explicit. Again, not something that bothers me but something that definitely the reader should be aware of.
Ashlinn and Mia hit it off almost immediately and I think it is because they are both motivated to be at the top of the list due to their situations. I won’t go into any detail here but Ashlinn is someone that Mia relies on and trusts.
It quickly becomes apparent that there is a killer living amongst the assassins….obviously, but not the kind of killer they want. This one is killing off the acolytes and while the group is in danger everyday due to the trials they are facing, this isn’t something anyone was expecting and creates some challenges for the acolytes.
As the book wraps up I admit I wanted to learn more about why Mia was marked by the Night and able to call the dark. I am hopeful that we will get more information on what Mr. Kindly really is. I will admit I found the footnotes a bit distracting and in most cases unnecessary to follow the story. After a while I just made the decision not to pay attention to them and then eventually went back to read them.
I don’t know what else I can tell you here as I don’t want to ruin this for you at all. Nevernight is one of my favorite fantasy books this year and while it started a bit slow for me, as the story built, I found it more and more difficult to put it down. If you love the fantasy genre and aren’t afraid of a little violence, definitely check this one out. It has a fantastic story and a main character I couldn’t help but like…despite her flaws.
Thank you to Thomas Dunne Books for the review copy!