Format Read: ARC Edition (448 pages)
Genre: Adult/ Fantasy/ Thriller
Series: Book One of The Nevernight Chronicle
Source: Publisher Request
Rating: FOUR STARS
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?
"People often shit themselves when they die."
I don't read high fantasy often, but was mesmerized by the rich history and details that the author was able to get through without it ever detracting from the flow of the narrative. Although Mr. Kristoff has coauthored Young Adult books before this is a vulgar and explicit adult fantasy. It has violence, emotion, magic, blood, sex, romance and enough surprises so that it never felt long. I enjoyed the fighting just as much as the emotional moments and sex scenes. Mia has to conquer her fears so that she can be the best competitor at the Red Chruch assassin training school. The Shahid's (teachers) at the training school are unique, quirky and OK with accidents leading to dismemberment of death.
"Someone calls you a cunt, you take it as a compliment. As a sign that folk believe you're not to lightly fucked with."The description and footnotes helped the book flow seamlessly through character development and history without bogging me down. The footnotes included lighthearted humor, and I found myself laughing at times. The characters were numerous and often dangerous but unique and purposeful. My favorite was a shadow cat, named Mr. Kindly who served as Mia's faithful companion. I enjoyed the magic described and the rivalry's of the students at the Red Church. I'm looking forward to learning more about how Ashkahi magic can be harnessed and used.
"And last the language of cats. O yes, cats speak gentlefriend, doubt it not--if you own more than one can cant see them at this particular moment, chances are they're off in a corner somewhere lamenting the fact that their owner seems to spend all their time reading silly books rather than paying them attention the attention they so richly deserve."It throws you into a well of the story, then allows you to slowly climb out by teasing out whats happening among well written action. The only complaint I had was how quickly the narrative changed perspectives, sometimes on the same page, it would surprise me and make me go back a page to be sure I didn't miss anything. The ending tied many elements of the story up nicely, but I'm excited for what's to come. I'm sure the next book in series will have tons of surprises and more wit for me to enjoy. This book has something for everyone, and I would recommend this to Fantasy readers who enjoy dark action packed adventures that don't take themselves too seriously.
I received this Advanced Readers Copy from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jay Kristoff is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of THE LOTUS WAR, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE. He is the winner of two Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, nominee for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named multiple times in the Kirkus and Amazon Best Teen Books list and published in over twenty-five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 13030 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.
He does not believe in happy endings.