Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: (The Nevernight Chronicle #1)
Pub. Date: August 9th, 2015
The first in a new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author.
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?
This book is brilliant. I thought about it constantly when I wasn’t reading it, and I still play over scenes in my head a week after! It’s incredibly easy to get lost in and to visualize the scenes, and that made for a very interesting and enjoyable experience. For me, it made my dark little heart sing and I couldn’t have been happier!
The writing is all dancing shadows and devil’s lair. There’s nothing pretty or peaceful about it. It’s gritty and dark and honest to the point of gruesome details and macabre images that you just can’t shake. And if you’re like myself, one to dance with those shadows, than this is the book for you. If not, your little heart may stop where it rests. The tone may be shocking to readers because of how raw it is. The author doesn’t shy away from honest, gruesome details such as when people die, their body loosens and can’t exactly keep in what it was holding. And this dark, brutally honest tone is set right from the beginning, when our MC Mia finds out all on her own what bodies do when dying, dead. This was so utterly satisfying for me because I have been searching for a dark read like this for as long as I can remember, and nothing else will ever even begin to compare to how dark and brilliant this novel is. Which is why I was eager to keep reading; I flipped through pages like I couldn’t bare to breath without getting some more dark details in my soul. I WANTED MORE. I wanted all the gritty, raw details on death and poisons and manipulations, on everything their wickedly talented teachers taught them. I also wanted it to be longer, which is why I’m grateful there will be more books.
What really got me hooked right from the get-go though, is the cat. Mr. Kindly is my favourite character, merely because he is literally made of darkness and he’s a devious little thing. There’s more to him, I can feel it. He helps Mia however he can, siphoning her fear so she doesn’t have to deal with it, being her eyes and years when she sleeps or can’t do it on her own. But still, he’s made entirely of shadows and darkness, and kindness isn’t something I can him giving out unless he gets something in return. I’ve got my eyes on the little guy, because I have many, many suspicions. And I love him all the more for it.
As brilliant and lovely as this book is, I must admit that the beginning confused me. We would get flashbacks, and then be in the present where it would be a play on words from what had happened then and what was happening now. It was interesting and definitely engaging, but confusing because I didn’t entirely understand where the story was going or why it was happening. I caught on quickly though, and once it made sense everything fit and fell into place.
Overall, Nevernight is a compelling, dark tale full of murder and competition, death and heroics. This gritty, brutally honest and gruesome story is one that will stick with you for as long as Mr. Kindly hangs on to Mia’s shadow. The promise of darker shadows and murderous plots for the next book definitely have me eager already. If you think you can handle the dancing shadows, be my guest and enjoy your journey into Nevernight.