Series: Nevernight Chronicle #2
Written by: Jay Kristoff
Published: September 5, 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books (Macmillan)
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: 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.
**** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher at ALA in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****
Sometimes when I really liked a book and it left me reeling I need to wait to review it to get my feelings together. But even twelve hours later I am still not over Godsgrave, which while annoying is actually a really good thing. Because this book, this book was so good.
Let's not beat around the bush because Jay doesn't. This book is dark. It's full of so much sex and violence that even some executives at HBO would take notice. What I'm saying is that this book is not for the faint of heart. If you don't want a super adult book that kills people left and right without a second thought or has explicit sex scenes then do not read this book. But if you are looking for a book that goes there then this is the book for you. Because Jay definitely goes there in this book. But none of it is gratuitous. It perfectly captures what it would be like for an assassin, a gladiator, a girl out for revenge. It all worked to make a dark and brutal story that I totally enjoyed.
Speaking of that story, oh boy is this a thrilling and action packed read. I remember Nevernight being a super slow book. It took me awhile to get into it but it was worth the wait. There was no waiting in Godsgrave. From the word go this book took off running with crazy action scenes, mystery, and adventure. And it didn't let up until the very end. There was so much going on in this book. When it first started there was a little weirdness because we had some before and after plot points that I wasn't sure how they were connected but they absolutely were and in a completely interesting way. I think the basis for this book is a story about revenge which I loved but this book really delved deeper than that and took it to a more political level which I kind of enjoyed even more.
The other thing this book took us deeper into was the world. Jay has absolutely created a fascinating world with this series. First off we have the setting of Itreya. it's a brutal Romanesque world that I thoroughly enjoyed and here we got to explore more of it including a much deeper dive into the city of Godsgrave. As I said there is more politics in this book so of course that was an aspect of the world that we explored and I enjoyed as well. But what I really loved about this world is the magical system, and by that I mean the Darkin. We learned a lot more about Darkin in this book but it still just brought up more questions. I am so fascinated by them and I cannot wait for the next book to hopefully get some answers because I have some theories! Seriously, the world of this book is just so cool and so creative. I love it.
Finally, we have the characters. I'm definitely a fan of the characters in this series. For one thing I feel like Jay just has a way with the snark. His characters are so sassy and sarcastic and I love it. No one is more snarky than Mia Corvere. In the course of two books I have become so in love with Mia. She's not usually the kind of strong female character I connect with. I'm not a big fan of the kickass female who only cares about revenge. But the great thing about Mia is while she is totally ruled by her desire to get back at the people who killed her father she isn't a mindless killing machine. Jay has done a great job in making her more complex and humanized her in a way that I totally appreciate. I'm absolutely Team Mia Corvere.
But Mia isn't the only complex character. The secondary characters here are thoroughly engaging and complex. Every single character here is odious in the best possible way. I seriously don't trust anyone. They're all devious and out for themselves in a way that makes them really interesting to me. Many characters from the first book are back, including the villains of Duomo and Scaeva as well as allies like Mercurio and members of the Red Church. Even Ashlinn and Jessamyn come back in this book and I kind of loved being able to see them again. But seriously I didn't trust any character in this book because they are all assassins and liars and selfish assholes. But that is a serious compliment from me.
I also want to take a second to talk about the romance in this book. I had previously mentioned that this book is full of sex and violence and it totally is. One of the first scenes is a sex scenes because Jay does not waste any time in letting you know what this book is all about. I thought I would hate the romance in this book because I loved it in the first book and reasons but I didn't. I loved it. I wanted to smoosh the characters faces together at one point because they obviously liked each other and they just needed to kiss already. But the wait was worth it. And in case you didn't know this book has a f/f romance and it is seriously excellent. I ship it so hard.
Okay, I think I have said enough about this book. Just know that it's absolutely amazing. It's a thrilling read full of action and bloodshed, has a fascinating world I want to learn more about, complex and odious characters, and a great romance. Basically it has everything.
I give Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff 9.5 out of 10 stars
Have you read Godsgrave? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!