Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicles, #2
Publisher: Harper Voyager UK
Release Date: September 7th 2017
A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.
Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church hierarchy think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending the men who destroyed her familia; in fact, she’s told directly that Consul Scaeva is off limits. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia suspicions about the Red Church’s true motives begin to grow.
When it’s announced that Scaeva 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 him. 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 love 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.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
Despite failing the trials at the end of Nevernight Mia has been inducted as a Blade in the service of the Red Church. After Ashlinn’s betrayal and the attack she led against the Red Church there are very few Blades left alive but Mia has managed to catch the attention of one of the Red Church’s clients. She is given a bigger job than the ones that have kept her in the backwater town the Church assigned her. She is being sent to Godsgrave, the home of the man responsible for destroying her family.
Four months later Mia has been captured by slavers and is travelling to the Hanging Gardens where she will be sold as a slave to whoever bids the highest. But Mia has a target in mind, one person she wants to be sold to who will get her closer than ever to ending the lives of the men who murdered her father.
Godsgrave is split into three parts, three stages to Mia’s journey. The first part jumps between the present day, with Mia caged in the cells of a slavers wagon, and the months before, showing us the path she took that led her to the Hanging Gardens. Like in Nevernight there is a lot of build up in Godsgrave. Jay Kristoff sets the scene and the Mia’s situation in a lot of detail but there is still enough danger and risk to keep you hooked as Mia trains as a gladiatii and finally sets about getting revenge for her family.
It doesn’t age long though before the plan Mia has concocted to get her close to Consul Scaeva goes wrong. While Godsgrave picks up a few months after the events of Nevernight it drops us right into the action. This is a book full of twists and turns as Mia uncovers secrets and subterfuge, finds answers to her questions, that shake the ground she stands on. It isn’t just her new owner who closely guards her secrets, but the Red Church Mia has pledged her life to.
Mia still seeks revenge against Consul Scaeva but she has been forbidden by the Red Church to pursue it. She knows there is still a long way she has to go before she can prove after failing her trials but she is determined to prove herself. Mia is very loyal but she only to those she can trust, only those she has faith in. The training Mia went through in the Red Church has only made her more sharp and brutal, she plays every game she can to move herself where she wants to be.
There is still a lot about Mia’s past that is still a mystery but in this book some of the mystery is revealed. Mia has always seen her father as the fallen hero of his story but in this book a different side of Darius Corvere is revealed and instead of seeing him thought Mia’s child-like memories we see him as a person.
While there were more questions asked in this book we started to get some answers as well. Mia is also searching for information about the Darkin. With Cassius dead she not only has Mister Kindly riding her shadow and eating her fear but Eclipse as well. The two daemons do not get along with one another, but I loved reading their interactions as they squabble like two siblings for Mia’s attention. Mister Kindly and Eclipse are very different, Mister Kindly more sarcastic and brash than Eclipse who is blunt but almost calm, but they are both deadly and they both serve Mia.
There were a lot more side characters introduced in Godsgrave as Mia becomes part of Dona Leona’s gladiatii. They were all incredibly well developed, with their own back stories and motives which made them more than just secondary characters in Mia’s story but main characters in their own. The more Mia trains with them the more she sees them as her friends, as her family, and she starts to question where her loyalties should lie.
In Nevernight the bulk of the story took place in the Quiet Mountain as Mia trained to become a Blade. Now Mia has been inducted into the Red Church the story moves out into the world of Itreya once more and we see more of Godsgrave and Crow’s Nest, two places where Mia grew up, two places where she once belonged. It felt like the story went in a different direction in terms of the world building, focusing on the lives the slaves lead and the lives the gladiatii lead. There was a lot of development and it made the world building heavy at times but it was brilliant to read at the same time. As in Nevernight there are footnotes in Godsgrave with more information on the setting, and while these aren’t necessary to understand the story or understand the world The Nevernight Chronicles is set in they add a new depth to the world building.
Godsgrave is a brilliant addition to what is becoming a stand-out series. I have never read a world like the one Jay Kristoff has created in The Nevernight Chronicles, and I‘ve never met a heroine as well developed and nuanced as Mia. I am hooked on this series and after everything that happened in Godsgrave, everything that was revealed and everything that’s still to be revealed, I can already tell the third book will be the best of the best.
What did you think of Godsgrave? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.
All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.