Published: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Series: The Nevernight Chronicle #2
Pages: 448 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.5/5.0
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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.
Set in the world of Nevernight, which Publishers Weekly called “absorbing in its complexity and bold in its bloodiness,” Godsgrave will continue to thrill and satisfy fantasy fans everywhere.
Godsgrave is the much anticipated sequel to Jay Kristoff’s 2016 hit, Nevernight. Kristoff’s work has previously been geared towards the young adult crowd, however, the Nevernight books ARE NOT YA FANTASY. Get this outta your heads, folks. This book isn’t for the faint of heart and contains copious amounts of violence, blood, and/or gore. Usually all three at once.
Mia Corvere has gone from apprentice assassin, to Blade of the Red Church, to a voluntarily enslaved gladiator. It is only fitting that a book so clearly inspired by Rome would have at least some gladiatorial combat featured, but an entire book where such is the game was nothing short of this reader’s delight. One of the very first scenes in Godsgrave is where Mia sets herself up to encounter a particular slaver in the Wastes, eventually making an arrangement with the slaver that she would be sold as a gladiatorii. This seems odd, right? Fortunately, this absurd act will get her closer to her heart’s desire than ever before if all the cards fall into place. Of course, there are struggles, subplots, and the ever present flashback segments that reveal ever so much about dark of eye, dark of hair, Mia Corvere. (And yes folks, in my head that little bit rhymed).
Mia is one of those characters that are just really fun to read about. You basically never know if she’s about to knife someone and there’s an instance in Godsgrave where you think she’s just gone full on backstabbing beastie, but she’s really not! It was great. I was 100% fooled. I wish Eclipse had gotten more development – she remains flat compared to Mister Kindly and his overabundance of sarcasm and questionable advice. The come and go nature of the shadowy companions in this installment lessened the overall amount of page time they both had, though the absences were relevant to the play of the story. The characters introduced in Godsgrave were fantastic, particularly Sidonius who started out being another crude muscle head, but was really just loyal to the wrong people.
I gotta say, Kristoff has succeeded in impressing me yet again. At this rate I’m actually going to have to read his other books just to see if they’re anywhere near this good. She comes across as this crazy tough, fearless girl but her inner thoughts are nothing but fear and fury. Her past haunts her more than anything, but it also drives her forward. Without that I think she would be mostly empty. It leaves me wondering how things will wrap up in the final book! I would highly recommend this series, particularly if you want to see an epic battle between mere mortals and an epicly sized sand beasty reminiscent of the worms from Dune.