Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff

SYNOPSIS:

A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Conquer your fear, conquer the world.

Mia Corvere, destroyer of empires, has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry do not believe she has earned it.

Her position is precarious, and she’s still no closer to exacting revenge for the brutal death of her family. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it is announced that Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself into slavery for a chance to fulfil the promise she made on the day she lost everything.

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, secrets are revealed and the body count rises within the collegium walls, Mia will be forced to choose between her loyalties and her revenge.

***

Genre: NA Fantasy

Page count: 455 (Paperback UK); 464 (Kindle edition)

Year of publication: 2017

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“All must fall so one may stand.”

Hello, people! Guess who’s been destroyed by a book? Yes! You’re right! Me!

Jesus Christ, I didn’t know how numbing this would be…

It was…something…wow.

I confess I had an idea what I was getting myself into, I wasn’t completely clueless. I’ve been previously warned and I do take the warning seriously, but WHAT DID I READ??

For real, if I thought the Nevernight was dark and brutal, well, this one was definitely the 2.0 version of it.

It was gruesome and bloody.

“And yet you paint your hands in red for them, when you should be painting the skies black.”

But I sincerely loved it. It was really good.

I wasn’t even ¼ in the actual story, but I managed to be disgusted. That’s a new record for me, I’m not that easily disgusted by things. But oh well, there’s a beginning for everything, innit?

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The general atmosphere seemed to be closing in more and more, everything felt extreme and desperate. Nothing was as it was left in the first book. Everything seemed anarchical.

This instalment, unlike the previous one, gave away pertinent details of a world inspired by Roman times (you know, back in the day). The hierarchical structure of the society, the cruelty of bloodthirsty games, the lawless mentalities, the rich and the poor. The clothing. The food. The names.

Everything was inspired by a time of ancient cruelty, the panem et circenses of a world long dead but still not forgotten.

Even so, the author managed to build around and over all that to create a whole new cruel world. It was really impressive, actually.

This book is ugly, don’t act like I haven’t warned you if you choose to pick up the series.

The main motif of the story was mostly the struggle. The struggle to win the fight, to solve the problem, to break free. Mia was making dangerous decisions, playing very dangerous games, reckless and heartbreakingly shocking. I’d lie if I’d say I haven’t gasped once or twice.

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New characters entered the picture, some good and some bad at the end, but all of them a mixture of uncertainty, distrust and charm.

I wasn’t able to like any of them, not because they weren’t likeable – because some of them were, no joke there – but because I was scared that if I let myself like a character I might get stabbed in the heart multiple times.

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And thank god I did that because otherwise I would’ve died.

“Memory is a traitor, and a liar, and a good-for-nothing thief.”

Don’t get attached to characters, people! They might seem so lovable, but you’re going to suffer if you do so!

But apart from all the murderous, bloodthirsty and blood-filled aspects of the book, this was also a book of trying to find the self.

Mia is shaken, unsure of who she was anymore, confused and thrown from one side to the other without finding a real solution to thousands of problems she mostly created for herself.

Through all the madness and betrayal of the action, a turmoil of feelings enveloped Mia and she had to sail through all of them while managing to stay alive.

Now, take this from me, Mia Corvere is the baddest bitch in business and I would personally die for her, but some of the decisions she made in this book made me question her apparent judgement.

“Because the voices in your head that say otherwise are just fear talking (…). Fear is a coward.”

This was an amazing book, I think my favourite of them all. But – truth be told – you have to be aware of the trigger warnings I’m about to enlist:

  • Vulgar language;
  • Sex;
  • Abuse;
  • Slavery;
  • Violence.

Funny enough, the list does go on.

But if you have the guts to get through all this, then you’re good to give Godsgrave a chance.

I know, all those trigger warnings sound unappealing and, in their essence, they are, but this is a well-written book with three-dimensional characters, good world-building and fine observations (and lots of smut) and in my humble opinion, it really deserves to be read.

Just saying. Keep an eye open for this one, it’s quite something.

“The brightest flames burn out the fastest (…). But in them, there is warmth that can last a lifetime. Even from a love that only lasts the nevernight. For people like us, there are no promises of forever.”

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