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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?

464 pages, Paperback

First published August 9, 2016

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About the author

Jay Kristoff

38 books23.9k followers
Jay Kristoff is a #1 international, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of fantasy and science fiction. He is the winner of eight Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, has over two million books in print and is published in over thirty 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 12,000 days to live.

He does not believe in happy endings.

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5 stars
42,462 (48%)
4 stars
29,434 (33%)
3 stars
9,311 (10%)
2 stars
3,022 (3%)
1 star
2,464 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 14,260 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews294k followers
August 10, 2016
"The three suns hanging on a chain about his throat tried to gleam, but the clouds in the crying sky told them no."

If I were to write a review in the style of this book, it would begin something like this:

I turned these pieces of former tree, the midnight ink recounting a narrative tumefied by metaphoric wanderings. It pained, O readers, it pained! Persevere, I thought. Quitting now would be a mark of failure, like a baby bird that flutters its wings for the very first time, stretching them out with the promise, the hope, of flight, only to return, defeated, to its nest.

I didn't finish it. Judge away, O readers, judge away, but I could not force myself through. It was a nightmare. I was so freaking bored. And I had to go read the blurb to remind myself what the book was about. Nevernight is so difficult to get through that I got to a point where I was just counting the pages until I could return to Tana French. Ulysses is easier to read than this book.

You know what it reminds me of? Shatter Me . A denser version. I once said that Shatter Me was not a novel; it was a collection of similes and metaphors that do not make sense. That is a fantastic description for this book! A collection of similes and metaphors that do not make sense. Clearly this works for a lot of people, but it was not for me.

The book is heavy. Lots of descriptions, overuse of similes and metaphors (did I mention that they don't make sense?) until I had no idea what was going on. I read sentences and thought "Huh?!" It hurt trying to figure out what Kristoff was saying.

There were the ones that I understood but were so eyeroll-worthy that I wished I didn't:
"Mia sighed. Took her temper by the earlobe and pulled it to heel."

And then there were all the ones that I really just didn't understand:
The girl felt the words in her chest. In the deepest, darkest place, where the hope children breathe and adults mourn withered and fell away, floating like ashes on the wind.
If her face were a puzzle, most would put it back in the box, unfinished.
Something had followed her from that place. The place above the music where her father died. Something hungry. A blind, grub consciousness, dreaming of shoulders crowned with translucent wings. And she, who would gift them.

No, seriously, what the fuck is happening?

And everything is so overwritten and melodramatic. To borrow the quote Anna used: "She introduced her boot to his partner's groin, kicking him hard enough to cripple his unborn children."

???????????????? Just say you kicked him in the balls! ^This does not better writing make.

I can't do it. I'm going to go bury myself in a place where love blossoms and life finds itself carried away on the wings of wonder. Read a better book, that is.

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Profile Image for Jay Kristoff.
Author 38 books23.9k followers
April 11, 2016
NEVERNIGHT is a story about the daughter of a failed revolutionary, seeking revenge against her father's killers:


It's set in a place kinda like Hogwarts:

If Hogwarts was built in a place similar to certain gorgeous medieval city:

And was a school where, instead of learning magic and the true value of friendship, you learn to murder the shit out of people:

While there, our heroine must become a badass with the blade:


A master of poisons:


And an expert in the more . . . erm, subtle arts:


Plus there's some political intrigue and cats made of shadows and an ancient war between the God of Light and Goddess of Night. But it's really hard to find GIFs for those.

There's an excerpt of the first chapter over at USA Today.

But yes! Assassins! Murder! Treachery! Smutty bits!

August 3, 2016
Allow me to pay homage to the writing style of this book.

Finished the book. I sigh. Twisted my head. Arched my back like a mewling kitten towards its mother, hungry, afraid, an innocent newcomer in this cruel, cold world. My head ached. An unbelievable pain like a knife to the head, hilt broken like a katana sword struck by a bullet, in a fight between a samurai and a cowboy. I sat up. The chair let out a squeak, the noise of an newborn mouse. How can I describe the pain. The suffering! The eternal twilight of the endless night. The soul-sucking misery. The mind-numbing boredom worse than any kind of liquid nitrogen reaching 0 Kelvin. O hapless imagery! O destruction of the English language. How I beseech thee, book, to stop thus!

Ok, I'm done. I hurt myself writing that.

Do you like descriptions? No, I mean, do you really like descriptions? Do you like overwrought metaphors and a criminal use of adjectives? If you do, then dang diddly if this book isn't written just for you!

I read my fair share of bodice rippers. Books in which a love scene is dragged out in excrutiating minutiae and flowery language so flowery you could choke on the scent (see what I did there? Har har har). I have rarely read a love scene so overblown and contrived as the --honestly, I don't know what to call it -- thing at the beginning of this book.

And that's just the beginning. To sum it up: the writing is atrocious (to me, who knows, you might like it), the plot is convoluted and barely detectable between the clusterfuckery of purple prose.

Reader, I abandoned this book.
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
531 reviews58.6k followers
March 3, 2019
Let me start by saying… HOLY SHIT.

Look, I doubted you my people. I sometimes don’t believe everyone when they rave about a book because too often I find they’re overhyped.

Well you were right, I should have believed you. So now that this is out of the way…

This. Was. Epic.

Loved the world, loved the magic system, loved the characters, loved the story, loved the humor... I JUST LOVED IT ALL.

The first chapter is straight up painful. The writing style won't be for everyone (I had no issues with it!). The footnotes need some getting used to but it just made me dive deeper into the world and wouldn't want them to not be there now.

There are two cringy sex scenes but I hate them in general so it's fine. The romance didn't take over the whole story.

I will be reading book 2 asap and will be slowly dying as I wait for book 3!

I don't just recommend it, I'm actually asking you to read it.

I don't give 5 stars often so that says it all!
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,466 reviews9,621 followers
May 21, 2020

There is nothing to begin. I’ve erased my review. The only reason I loved the book before is I thought Mia was a cool, bad-ass, bloody assassin and I fell in love with Tric! I never admitted to myself that I thought most of the book was boring. So, there you have it. And if anyone can give me pointers on selling stuff on eBay, I would appreciate it as I have a lot of Nevernight stuff to unhaul. Well, other things to but I digress!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Profile Image for Kat.
265 reviews79.5k followers
April 11, 2020
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews112k followers
April 14, 2020
2.5 stars. While I'm sure the worldbuilding is great, the writing style and portrayal of the main female character was too edgelord and catered by the male gaze for my tastes.
Profile Image for emma.
1,825 reviews48.4k followers
December 2, 2021
I simply cannot believe how much I hated this book.

It was on my currently reading shelf for five months. At one point, I noticed I left it in a friend's apartment and I didn’t even mention it for days. Eventually, after weeks passed without me opening the book and I remained unable to even gaze upon it without shuddering, I had to hunker down and act like it was a homework assignment.


The upside of that was that my actual reading assignments (on the subject of the socioeconomic impact of globalization on Sri Lanka) seemed very interesting in comparison.

I think there are some books that have no excuse to be boring. There should be some synopses and plotlines that are just way too creative and objectively fun-sounding to be lame in execution.

This is one of them. And yet.

This is about assassin boarding school. It’s been described as Hogwarts, but with murder. It’s supposed to be filled with fascinating anti-heroes and humorous asides and a storyline to blow you away.

This is what I expected.

What I got was a very long book with an inexplicably small (borderline unreadable) font size and tons of footnotes about various mundane details in made-up high-fantasy history delivered in what seemed to be intended to be dry, uproarious humor and instead felt condescending and pretentious and so, so monotonous, not to mention like a crime against sentences. The sex scenes made me cringe (and I’ve read Jay Kristoff described as a male author capable of writing full, realistic female characters, but after the way Mia was sexualized I must beg to differ).

Like, of course this is what would happen when A Man writes a book with a female protagonist. Of course she would have absolutely no healthy friendships with women. Of course there’d be more instances of the word “bitch” than of proper verb use. (Yes, I’m still stuck on the sentence structure.) Of course we’d hear nonstop about the “rare treat” of her “curves” and her “bow-shaped lips.” AND OF COURSE THERE’D BE THIS MUCH DISGUSTING TERRIBLE SMUT.

Also, for someone whose whole character centers around her not wanting to murder innocents, she’s sure okay with murdering innocents.

All I wanted was some action, maybe some nefarious plots and some murder and some backstabbing of both the literal and figurative variety. Which I realize is a lot to ask for...FROM ASSASSIN BOARDING SCHOOL.

(It actually doesn’t seem like a lot to ask for from assassin boarding school.)

But this book was so, so long, and so, so little of it contained any of that, and what did was so, so drowned in self-serious prose and heavy-handed style and unrelenting monotony (plus smut with enough overwrought description to make bodice-ripper writers shake their heads) as to make it not even fun.

This is maybe the most pretentious book I've ever read, and also boring, and also AGAIN WHAT WAS THAT SENTENCE STRUCTURE.

I am so glad I’m not reading this anymore.

Bottom line: No thank you please forever!


reading this book felt like doing homework.

except homework would never be so disrespectful to verb use.

review to come

currently-reading updates

always a good sign when you totally forget you're reading a book

tbr review

my hobbies include: giving into YA hype but like 2 years after everyone else read it
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
May 24, 2021
4.5 stars

The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow.
Mia Corvere used to be the daughter of a respectable family but all that changes when her father is strung up for leading a rebellion.
'Never Flinch.' A cold whisper in her ear. 'Never fear. And never, ever forget.'
The girl nodded slowly.
Exhaled the hope inside.
Just ten years old, Mia watches her father dance at the end of a rope and silently swears revenge upon them all.

But in order to extract her revenge, she first needs training. For the next six years, she learns all she can in order to pledge her allegiance to (and receive training from) the Red Church and the Lady of Blessed Murder.

The Red Church trains assassins every year but only a few make it to the final stages. Mia will have to come in top of class in either blades, poisons, manipulation or thievery.

Mia does have a "secret" weapon in the form of Mr. Kingly, a vaguely cat-shaped shadow creature who feeds upon her fear and in exchange obeys her in battle.

With deadly assassins on every side, will Mia triumph? Will she even make it out alive?
You'll be a rumor. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. The last thing you will ever be, girl, is someone's hero.
Wow. This one was addicting!

There were so many things that absolutely worked in this novel that I had a tough time putting this down. I loved the World Building, the Tone and the Side Characters.

The World Building

Mia lives in a world with three rotating suns (hence Nevernight) and the author did a fabulous of incorporating that in the book. I also really enjoyed all of the little details he includes - like the sand creatures or the odd customs from the other characters.

The lore from their religion really helped ground such a fantastical world. Also, I enjoyed that the Gods weren't imaginary - that they were real and they did influence the human world.

The Tone

I really expected this to be a MB - but it ended up being like Harry Potter with a deadly twist.

With Mia and the other assassins going on adventures and misadventures, the whole book ended up being far more lighthearted than I imagined.
Beauty you're born with, but brains you earn.
There were areas where I was surprised by the violence but the main character had such a cute-yet-deadly take on things that the book was not overbearingly dark.

The Side Characters

This is an absolutely amazing. Jay Kristoff pulled out all the stops with the quirky, weird and wonderful secondaries. Honestly, the side characters made this book shine.

I loved the odd dynamic between the twins (Kristoff really brought this one to life!) - they were so creepy and fascinating. All of the masters at the school were so interesting - I really wish we could've spent more time with them.

Also, I adored Mr. Kindly - he is the best evil(ish) shadow cat in existence. His ruthlessness towards the world and his love for his human made him absolutely perfect.

And who could resist that little the bit of romance blooming between Tric and Mia (though, with that ending...ooooo....Kristoff has a lot of explaining to do!).


Really, truly enjoyed this one. It did become a bit too much for me at times but overall - yes! Loved it! Cannot wait for the next one!!

Audiobook Comments
Read by Holter Graham - and wow. He did an amazing job with the audio. The only thing that threw me off was Tric's voice. He sounded more like an old man who smoked one too many cigarettes than a teenage kid in love.

The 2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge - a book about death or grief

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Profile Image for NickReads.
461 reviews1,199 followers
Want to read
June 8, 2020
Victoria Schwab praised this book, I don't need more reasons to pick this up
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,169 reviews98.2k followers
July 8, 2019
“The last thing you will ever be in this world, girl, is someone’s hero. But you will be a girl heroes fear.”

I feel like this book is extremely polarizing but if you love it, you will love it completely and whole heartedly. If you love it, you won’t be able to put it down. If you love it, you will probably consider it one of the best book you’ll read all year. And I loved it. I loved it so much. Even though, when I look through my friends’ reviews, I feel like I’m in the minority. But for me, Nevernight is worth all of the hype.

I will say that I personally feel like this is an adult fantasy novel, not a YA fantasy novel, despite the characters age. There is sex, a lot of sex, and violence, a whole lot of violence, and gore, don’t forget all of the gore! So please go into this book knowing this, and knowing that this is a very mature book in general.

Also, before I get into my review, I want to address the problematic, hurtful, and harmful representation of the Māori people (the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand) that Jay Kristoff was inspired to base the Dweymeri race in this book from. Jay has stated, “the tatts aren’t based off Māori designs” but it still feels a little bad while you’re reading this story, even if the Dweymeri are not direct representatives of the Māori. I just think it’s important to bring this discussion up and I want everyone to know about this controversy surrounding the portrayal of this culture. I, also, do not want anyone to think that I’m making excuses for it, because I am definitely not even though I did love this book. Cultural appropriation and reinforcing stereotypes will never be okay and I truly wish this element was not a part of this book, but it is, and I’m not going to not bring it to your attention whether you believe it is or not.

Nevernight is a story about a sixteen-year-old girl named Mia Corvere, who is on a mission for vengeance and to right the wrong that has been done to her family in the only way she knows how: killing everyone. Mia find her way into the Red Church, who worship the Goddess of murder, where she is training to become one of the deadliest assassins of all time. Also, Mia has an affinity for the shadows, which not only grants her the only companion she has ever known, but also sends her on a quest to discover more about her powers and who she really is.

“The brighter the light, the deeper the shadows”

This story reads like a dark version of Harry Potter, to me. From the boarding school aspect, to the magic, to how they travel through the world, to the professors and their different classes, so much of this book reminds me of the wizarding world.

And even though this is a series, there is no real cliffhanger (even though you will be left wanting more), this is a full standing book that has an amazing story and that you could just read on its own. I’m not sure the last time I read a book in a fantasy series that did that.

This book is so sex positive, and the opening chapter of this book was so beautifully done. It is one of my favorite first chapters of all time, and I think Jay Kristoff is nothing short of a genius to have been able to write a juxtaposition that well. I mean, Jay’s writing is lyrical and beautiful, too, but it’s so damn smart that I can’t help but be in awe of this story he has crafted.

And Mia’s bisexuality is so beautifully on display. Like, all I want in my reading life is girl assassins loving each other and saving the world, and this book doesn’t disappoint, even though the main "love" story is hetero. We need more stories with queer main protagonists that are normalized and just having their adventures and story told without a coming out story or an explanation on why they feel the way they do. Again, Jay Kristoff gets all the kudos and credit.

I always pride myself in being able to see the twists coming, and I was completely blindsided by the end reveal of Nevernight! Also, for those of you who have finished, I will go down with that hate to love ship. I. WILL. GO. DOWN. WITH. THAT. SHIP.

And finally, if you find yourself loving this series and wanting more, I can’t recommend Mark Lawrence’s Red Sister enough! It’s a very reminiscent story, with perhaps more violence, but with definitely less sex, and both star queer assassin nun-like characters who study at a church.

Nevernight was everything that I never knew I wanted, and it is totally just as amazing as some of the most popular and highly acclaimed adult fantasy series out there. This novel meant so very much to me, and I cannot wait to start Godsgrave as soon as humanly possible! Happy reading, everyone!

“The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of words. A girl with a story to tell.”

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Buddy read with Katherine, Jules, & Paloma! ❤
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
839 reviews3,760 followers
February 15, 2021

UPDATE : Because it seems that Nevernight wasn't shitty enough as it was, it also shows problematic rep for Maori. Please read Anjulie's brilliant post about it.

MY EYES, O, MY EYES! O, gentlefriends, you may not approve of my decision to rate Nevernight with a severe and lonely star given the fact that I failed to finish it. But I tried, O, gentlefriends, trust me, I tried, yet completing the task of reading all 18,695 pages of this wonder-

There are only 448 pages...

Oh, FUCK OFF, the cat "who is not a cat" (why thank you I KNOW you told me one billion times already - go haunt someone else's shadow, watch over another balcony with your not-eyes would you even though I don't even want to know how THAT bloody works)

Truth is, O, gentlefriends, I'm taking my life back. The 42% I read were painfully indigestible and I am very sorry if I offend 99% of my friends who love Jay Kristoff's writing but I cannot do this. I CANNOT.

1) The metaphors and similes

First, I don't like them as a whole. While I do believe that they can add a poetic touch to a novel, if I start highlighting them, it either means that :

a) they're overused ;
b) they don't make any kind of sense ;
c) they make me forget the story to focus on the prose, as if the writer was tapping me on the shoulder in a "I am so clever, am I not?" fashion.

Some of them made me roll my eyes.

"Mia caught her temper by the collar, gave it a good hard shake. Clearing her throat, she brushed her crooked fringe from her eyes."

"Mia sighed. Took her temper by the earlobe and pulled it to heel."

Others earned a well-deserved WTF?!

"Tric gave another half-hearted stab, but the beast had forgotten its quarry entirely, great eyes rolling as it flipped over and over, dragging its bulk back below the sand, howling like a dog who's just returned home from a hard turn's work to find another hound in his kennel, smoking his cigarillos and in bed with his wife."


"They're led by a dozen camels, Tric. A noseless dog could follow this trail of shit in the middle of truedark. If they suddenly start trekking faster than a forty-a-turn smoker with an armload of drunken prostitutes, I think we can find them again."


2) Heavy wordiness and other useless descriptions

This is a matter of taste, alright? But I can't do this? Not willingly, at least? Look, I graduated in French Literature and hence have had my fair share of wordy books for the sake of being wordy. After five years, I've come to the conclusion that this overwritten and purple writing style does not suit me. Words are meant to carry the story, and not to prove how clever and well-read the author is. Again, in my opinion anyway.

"She introduced her boot to his partner's groin, kicking him hard enough to cripple his unborn children."


Nope. That's a commonplace.

I tend to find commonplaces useless.

"The horizon was crusted like a beggar's lips, scoured by winds laden with voices just beyond hearing. The second sun kissing the horizon was usually the sign for Itreya's brutal winters to begin, but out there, the heat was still blistering."

Many of you might adore this writing. I do not. Oh, and no, before some gentle soul implies it, it is not because I'm "used to YA" or "unable to 'get it'". As I said, I can enjoy classics. Just not the ones that make me want to pull my hair out.

3) There are footnotes as a world-building

Call it as you want, when an author uses LONG footnotes to narrate parts of the world-building, it seems like info-dumping to me. And an annoying one, at that. Honestly? I stopped reading them after two chapters : I had a hard time connecting with the story already, and would have DNFed Nevernight way faster if I had stopped every few pages to read these damn footnotes. More generally, I find it lazy to use footnotes when these legends could have been incorporated into the main story.

There's also a character who speaks like a Shakespeare's lad, but at this point, I'm not even counting anymore.

As much as I wanted to love Nevernight, whose blurb made it sound so captivating, I cannot stand this writing and it spoiled my read. If you add it to the facts that :

1) The world-building is a mash-up between the Roman Empire, the Venice Republic, Harry Potter and The Young Elites (and surely many more) ;

2) The heroine already earned her special nemesis whose only purpose seems to glare and glare and glare again ;

3) I don't care about any of the characters whatsoever (except Tric. I did like Tric) ;

4) I don't appreciate the so-called wit of that fucking cat who is not a cat (I didn't laugh ONCE, alright?) ;

5) I am BORED ;

... Well, you'll understand why Nevernight and me will part ways now, at 42%.

Mark my words, though : this will be a hit. Oh, well. On my minority shelf it goes.

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Profile Image for Petrik.
674 reviews42.9k followers
November 14, 2020
4.5/5 stars

O’gentlefriend, Nevernight was incredible. Allow me to join The Droogs from now on.

The Nevernight Chronicle is not a series I’ve never heard of. If you’re active on Book Twitter, Bookstagram, or Booktube, you’ll most likely have seen or heard of this series. How could you not? The fans are very loud and devoted; aesthetically, both US & UK editions of this series look gorgeous as fuck; the content? Let’s just say that the beautiful cover artworks really did the content justice and vice versa. To Emily Fox and Emma, thank you for recommending this book to me. I can’t believe I almost missed such an awesome book just because the series has been falsely labeled as a book/series specifically for YA audience. Now, there’s nothing wrong with YA—this isn’t me judging the quality of YA books—but it feels wrong to immediately label Nevernight or any book as a book targeted for YA audience just because the main character is young; 16 years old in this case. In my opinion, Nevernight sits comfortably in the hybrid stage between YA and adult fantasy; a novel that can be read and enjoyed by both YA & adult SFF reader, just like Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson or Red Rising Saga (just the first three books) by Pierce Brown. So yes, don’t let the occasional mislabeling of this series put you off from giving the series a go.

“Too many books. Too few centuries.”

Nevernight is the first book out of three in The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff. The story begins with an unnamed narrator telling the readers that they’re going to recount the details behind the tale surrounding the main heroines of the series—Mia Corvere—and from there on we immediately follow Mia’s perspective. There are two timeframes in the narrative, the past where Mia was ten years old; another where Mia is a sixteen years old girl determined to join The Red Church—a school of assassins—to perfect her assassination skills in order to seek vengeance against the people who destroyed her life and family in the past. At its core, Nevernight is a revenge story that utilized a battle-school trope, which is also one of my favorite tropes in SFF. Comparison-wise, I’ll say that if you’ve read and loved Red Sister by Mark Lawrence, you MUST give this book a read. I would describe Nevernight as Red Sister taking place in a setting that’s reminiscent to The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. Revenge, love, and friendship are the three main themes of the novel. Although the plotline may not be the most original one out there, Kristoff’s execution of this dark tale was brilliant.

“The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You're a daughter of the words. A girl with a story to tell.”

How could I not love Mia? She loves solving Puzzle and perusing books, and she also genuinely cares about her loved ones. I’ve mentioned before that Nevernight reminded me of Red Sister. A huge part of this is that I found Mia to be similar to the main heroine of that series: Nona Grey. Both of them are young female main characters learning in a battle-school of assassins; both of them have a similar trait that cares about their friends intensely. I loved seeing Mia’s character development as she learned the true meaning of friendship and love during her deadly lessons in The Red Church. For those of you who don’t know, Mia also has an everlasting companion, Mister Kindly. Mister Kindly is a Daemon in the form of a cat, a devourer of fear that accompanied and helped Mia. Let me repeat that, a shadow cat that devours fear. How can you resist reading this book knowing that Mister Kindly exist!?

Picture: Never Alone by Nan Fe

The world-building in Nevernight isn’t as massive/complex as many adult fantasy series I’ve read. This, however, doesn’t mean that the world-building was poorly done. Three suns that almost never sets, a city built out of the bones of dead giants, families with a long history, and an efficiently told lore that wormed its way into the narrative made The Republic of Itreya filled with a vivid and atmospheric quality. Similar to Camorr from The Lies of Locke Lamora, Itreya reminded me of a fantasy-esque version of Venice. Kristoff incorporated the lore and history of the world effectively into the dark magic and engaging action scenes of the book while leaving questions to be answered in the sequel.

“The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow.”

Also, I personally think there’s an over-exaggeration over Kristoff’s prose being purplish. Yes, reading is very subjective and his prose won’t be a hit for everyone; no prose ever will. However, the constant screaming I’ve heard about the prose being super purple seemed to imply that reading it will turn the reader into a purple Hulk. I’ll admit that there were a few phrases that I failed to connect with but nothing that major that would end up ruining my enjoyment of the book. Admittedly, one detailed sex scene in this book didn’t work for me, not because it’s not well-written, but it was too long, no pun intended. Thankfully, romance and the sex scenes never took over the story. Generally, I also don’t enjoy reading footnotes, but the footnotes featured in Nevernight provided humorous commentaries and great insights into the world-building that I can’t help but enjoyed reading. Kristoff’s writing and storytelling style were delightful to read; they’re engaging, fun, atmospheric, and beautifully written.

“Beauty you're born with, but brains you earn.”

I’ve noticed that there’s a strong feeling that comes with reading Nevernight; it’s either hate it or love it, there’s no in-between. I can finally understand why and fortunately, I’m in the latter. Revenge plot executed wonderfully, filled with empathizing characters and blood-soaked action scenes told in a beautifully dark and enchanting manner; Nevernight is a bloody enthralling start to a trilogy that I enjoyed reading immensely. I’ll be diving into Godsgrave right away. If you haven’t started this series, now is a good time to embark upon this adventure, especially because the third and last book of the trilogy comes out in a few days. The scarlet maestro of assassination has plenty of songs to sing, and you shall never flinch, never forgive, and never forget it.

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,258 reviews8,704 followers
August 12, 2022
2/2/20: taking bets now as to whether or not this reread ends with me reading DARK DAWN. #idontreadlastbooks #issues

There seems to be some confusion on the YA/not YA nature of this book, so let the record show, in response to the question, "Are your books YA or not?" on his website FAQ, Kristoff replied:

THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE is a different beast. The protagonist is a sixteen year old girl. Does that automatically make it YA? My editors say “Definitely not, and who the hell let you out of your cage? Get back to work”.

These books are about an assassin. They are, as you may expect, somewhat violent as a result. They also have sex scenes (and now I have to contemplate the fact that my mother is going to read them *shudders*). I’d rate them MA (or NA if you prefer) and describe them as “crossover books”. But they’ll be found in the adult Fantasy section of your bookstore.

SO. I stand corrected. Not YA.

Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

Sometimes you stumble across a book, and, for whatever reason, your expectations are low. Could be the harlequin mask on the cover, could be a previous series by the same author that you were wholly uninterested in, could be a billion different things that are individually insignificant, but cumulatively . . . You turn up you nose.

O, gentlefriends . . . Do not do unto yourselves the same disservice I almost did unto mine . . . self . . . o.O

NEVERNIGHT by Jay Kristoff is . . . exquisite.

I almost didn't read it. Indeed, the release date sneaked up on me, tapped me on the shoulder, and waved hello on Monday afternoon, and I joked to a friend that I should at least update my status on Goodreads and pretend to be reading it . . . Six hours later, it was ten pm, and I was 40% in.

The first chapter was baffling. Told from two seemingly different perspectives, it chronicles two very different firsts, but uses almost the exact same words. I was internally shouting, "WTF is this?!" but I was curious enough see where it led, and the further I got, the closer the two scenarios spun toward completion, and then it was over, and I saw what he'd done . . .

In Jabberwocky , Lewis Carroll turned the English language on its head. He used nonsense words that were decipherable because of his expert manipulation of sentence structure and other, real words that made the meanings of his imaginary words obvious.

For the first time since I really understood and appreciated what Carroll had wrought, I felt the same kind of glee as I read about a girl losing her virginity and a girl taking her first life. One experience held the potential for the creation of a new life, the other bringing an irrevocable end to a life, and yet . . . He used . . . The same words.


Riddikulus writing skills aside, the story was also fantastic.

What's my #1 complaint about assassins in YA fiction?

You: You may have mentioned something about reluctant assassins a time or three.

Me: Damn right.

You: Not a problem here?

Me: *laughs maniacally*

People often shit themselves when they die.
Their muscles slack and their souls flutter free and everything else just…slips out. For all their audience’s love of death, the playwrights seldom mention it. When the hero breathes his last in the heroine’s arms, they call no attention to the stain leaking across his tights, or how the stink makes her eyes water as she leans in for her farewell kiss.
I mention this by way of warning, O, my gentlefriends, that your narrator shares no such restraint.

Duly noted, Mr. Narrator, sir.

And lest you be scared off by visions of graphic and violent death . . . I won't lie, that is part of this story. But only part:

She’s dead herself, now—words both the wicked and the just would give an eyeteeth smile to hear. A republic in ashes behind her. A city of bridges and bones laid at the bottom of the sea by her hand. And yet I’m sure she’d still find a way to kill me if she knew I put these words to paper. Open me up and leave me for the hungry Dark. But I think someone should at least try to separate her from the lies told about her. Through her. By her.
Someone who knew her true.
A girl some called Pale Daughter. Or Kingmaker. Or Crow. But most often, nothing at all. A killer of killers, whose tally of endings only the goddess and I truly know. And was she famous or infamous for it at the end? All this death? I confess I could never see the difference. But then, I’ve never seen things the way you have.
Never truly lived in the world you call your own.
Nor did she, really.
I think that’s why I loved her.


Mia Covere's tale reminded me a bit of Arya Stark's: a girl whose family is destroyed by politics and hands grasping at power, stumbles into a follower of a most murderous god(dess), and becomes his apprentice. But Mia is more than just a girl . . . She's a girl with a shadow dark enough for two.

You: WTF does that mean?


And how many Guardians of the Galaxy fans do we have? B/c the coolest part of that movie was the black market space station that was the HEAD OF A CELESTIAL BEING, am I right?

Well, Mia grew up in Godsgrave, which just might be where the rest of the body fell . . . Okay, it's probably a different being entirely, but the concept is the same, and it's friggin' awesome:

To the north, the Ribs rose hundreds of feet into the ruddy heavens, tiny windows staring out from apartments carved within the ancient bone. Canals ran out from the hollow Spine . . .

My only words of caution are that, if you haven't already cottoned on, there is SEX in this YA novel, which isn't as uncommon as it used to be, but isn't yet unremarkable. And I'm not talking fade-to-black acknowledgment of sexual congress, I'm talking burn-your-ears, think-interesting thoughts-about-the-hands-that-penned-them sex scenes.


Kristoff calls Mia an assassin who is to death what a maestro is to a symphony, but I felt the same way about Kristoff's manipulation of words and language. Whether Mia slipped into a room like a knife between the ribs or we met a man whose face was more scar than face, this reader felt like she was being spun and tossed by a master. In NEVERNIGHT, Solis might be the Shahiid of Songs, but it was Jay Kristoff who made me dance to the music of his story in ways I've rarely been moved. O so ridiculously highly recommended.

Jessica Signature
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,659 reviews5,138 followers
October 6, 2021
#1 Nevernight ★★★★★
#2 Godsgrave ★★★★★
#3 Darkdawn ???

I already knew that I loved Jay Kristoff’s writing after his contribution to The Illuminae Files series, but I had no idea just how much I would adore his distinct writing voice, the characters and worlds he weaves, or the tremendously emotional stakes and risks that would come into play throughout the course of this brilliant novel. There are books, and then there are stories, with characters who take up so much space in your heart that you could never forget them, and, my friends, Mia Corvere’s tale is a damn story.

“The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us.”

Nevernight is widely regarded by many as having a unique (and sometimes difficult to follow) format, due to the footnotes, but I wanted to go ahead and touch upon this before getting into the meat of my review. If you have DNFed this book due to the footnotes, please pick it back up. They are hilarious and odd, and relay a great deal of back story about the world of Godsgrave, but if you have a hard time keeping yourself involved in the story, skip the footnotes and come back to them later. I say this because so many of my friends and followers have told me the footnotes caused them to DNF the book, and that’s a shame, truly, because this is one of the most enjoyable stories I’ve ever read in my life.

“You’ll be a rumor. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. The last thing you will ever be in this world, girl, is someone’s hero.”

Mia Corvere is such a lovable, yet vicious little narrator: despite her bloodthirst and desperate need for vengeance, there’s something a little bit fragile and very young inside of her that I loved so much. It’s like every other scene with her was simultaneously putting me in awe of how clever and strong she could be, yet making me wish I could protect her from the aches of her brutal, bloody past. She’s been through hell and then some, but she has humor for days, and isn’t afraid to let herself care—even if it doesn’t always feel as though it’s in her own best interest.

“Walk softly. Learn well. May Our Lady be late when she finds you. And when she does, may she greet you with a kiss.”

Much of the true terror of Nevernight, however, comes from the school she attends. Fantasy readers all over the world are familiar with the idea of a protagonist being sent to a boarding school, but Jay’s twist on this is that the “school” Mia seeks out is no Hogwarts—unless Hogwarts replaced Quidditch and Transfiguration with a lot of murder, torture, poisons, and sex. The Red Church is such an incredible setting. It’s painted beautifully vivid, and it’s full of so many mysteries that, no matter how much I learned about it, I constantly felt that I was barely scratching the surface of what it had to offer. I would say, in fact, that just as Mia is one of my new favorite protagonists, the Red Church is easily one of my favorite settings.

She looked the knife over, this way and that.
“Should I give it a name?”
“You could, I suppose. But what’s the point?”
“It’s this bit.” She touched the blade’s tip. “The part you stick them with.”

Of course, it’s not all bloodshed, betrayal, and sex—it’s also a lot of humor, a bit of unlikely alliance-forming (and friendship), and a monster-filled library with the most fascinating and lovable caretaker you’ve ever seen. (Honestly, I could have happily spent chapter upon chapter simply watching Mia sift through this library.) The book also constantly breaks the fourth wall by addressing its reader, which is such a fun and unique spin on storytelling that I found myself constantly tabbing pages for no reason other than the phrasing was so distinct and fantastic. Even if I had never read The Illuminae Files, this book would have quite easily been plenty to convince me that Jay Kristoff belongs on my auto-buy list forever.

“The wolf does not pity the lamb. The storm begs no forgiveness of the drowned.”

I could really ramble and gush about this book, and how much I adore Mia, for days on end, but the end result would still be the same: me trying and failing to explain to you all how much I adored this story, how much I desperately want to read everything and anything that Jay ever writes, and how certain I am that each and every one of you needs to pick this book up if you are any sort of fantasy fan at all, because it is truly worth every second of your time.

You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
531 reviews34.5k followers
May 24, 2020
”You’ll be a rumour. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. The last thing you will ever be in this world, girl, is someone’s hero.”

Well, I suppose that’s only to be expected when you set out on the dark path of revenge. Not that Mia wouldn’t be able to deal with it. ;-) Truth be told, after reading this book I’m convinced that there is absolutely nothing our heroine wouldn’t be able to deal with. Except of maybe the many bad ratings this book got? *lol* When I started to read “Nevernight” I already knew that I was late to the party, but after reading it and skimming through some of the reviews I also realized that it’s apparently a rather controversial book?!

Why the ‘byss I wondered and started to investigate. As it seems most of the reviewers that gave it a low rating just couldn’t with the writing style and the recurring footnotes. Which admittedly, is a valid point. If you’re no fan of paraphrases and poetry or prose I’m fairly certain that you will end up hating this book. So I guess what it truly comes down to is if you’ve liked Tahereh Mafi’s “Shatter Me” series or not. If you loved it there’s a high chance you’ll enjoy the writing style of this book as well, if you hated it, I’d recommend borrowing “Nevernight” from the library and seeing if you enjoy the first few chapters. ;-)

As for me, I can only say that I LOVED it! It might have taken me ages to get through this book and the footnotes were kind of distracting at first, but it was definitely worth it! I’ve read so many YA books in my life and even though the initial story of an assassin novice that has to survive her training and initiation is nothing new, the way Jay Kristoff wrote it still managed to give this story a unique spin. This is nothing like Sarah J. Maas’s “Throne of Glass”, this is nothing like Robin Hobb’s “Assassin’s Apprentice”, this was something completely different! Dark, twisted, cunning, cruel, gory, violent and only just a little bit x-rated. ;-P (If you’ve read ACOTAR those scenes won’t shock you though, they are pretty tame in comparison) And of course all the characters are so “morally grey” that they border on obsidian, ebony or jet-black which brings me right to my characters section! XD

The characters:

Welcome to the Red Church, where killers are made into proper assassins! You might have the necessary traits but do you also have the guts to improve your skills? Find out and enter the mountain. Where spoilers await you in the darkness, always ready to pounce on you if you happen to cross their path. Or in other, less flowery words: Spoilers ahead! Be careful! *lol*

Mia Corvere:

”Never flinch.” A cold whisper in her ear. “Never fear. And never, ever forget.”

It feels like I’ve been waiting for a heroine like Mia Corvere for my entire life!!! I ADORE this girl! <333 She’s direct, loves books, doesn’t care about anyone’s opinion, curses like a sailor, smokes like a dragon, has a great humour and is kick-ass and cunning af!!! And most of all she feels real!!! Whenever authors try to make their heroines as tough as the male MCs they seem to fail. Jay Kristoff? HE FREAKING NAILED IT!! Well, at least for me he did! It was such a pleasure to follow Mia’s journey. She has the mind of a killer but still shows compassion when no one else does. Throughout the entire book she walks a fine line between becoming a killing machine and trying to keep her humanity. She has no trouble to kill people that hurt the ones she loves, but she draws the line at killing innocents for pleasure and I could have kissed her for refusing to take the final test! <333 Also she was so brave in so many ways! Yes, some might argue that it’s easy to be brave when you have a not-cat that eats your fear, but sometimes bravery means more than just being able to overcome your fears. It’s also brave to stand in front of 5 people that could easily kill you and still refuse to do what they want you to do. So yes, I’m Mia Corvere trash now and I think I might be in love with her. *lol* With both, Mia and Mr. Kindly! Their not-friendship was everything! <333

”Apologies,” Mia frowned, searching the floor as if looking for something. “I appear to have misplaced the fucks I give for what you think...”

”They can give you a new face, but they can’t give you a new heart. No matter what they take from you, they can’t take that away unless you let them. That’s real strength, Tric. That’s real power.”


”... You’re a little frightening sometimes, Pale Daughter.”
She gave him a wry smile. “Only a little?”
“Well, most times, you’re just plain terrifying.”
“Come on,” she said, slapping his arm. “I’ll buy you a drink.”

This Itreyan-Dweymeri boy is so sweet that I instantly loved him! Tric was such a great character and my heart bled for him! The way he got his scars and tattoos? It was so damn painful to read. My poor boy! T_T He was so young and he would have deserved so much better than that! I despise his grandfather Swordbreaker and what he did to him and I adored his mother for loving him so much! Tric’s mom was amazing and I’m sure a lot of his character traits came from her. <3 I could understand his inner conflict about losing his scars though. I mean they basically were his past written on his skin. I agree with Mia though, they don’t define him. Also did anyone find out why he’s named Tric?! I mean he told Mia the story about his scars and tattoos but I can’t remember that he ever told her why he’s named Tric. If any of you know, could you please explain?! (If possible without spoiling too many details if it’s in one of the following two books. *lol*) AND now to the huge WTF moment of this book! I had to read the scene where Ashlinn kills him TWICE , because when I read it for the first time I thought my mind must have played a trick on me! O_o I was so shocked!!! And I’ll never be okay with him dying!! Yes, they are at a school for assassins and there died plenty of the other students throughout the entire book, but TRIC??!! Really? He was one of the two freaking MCs!!! How could Jay do this to us?!! T_T My poor baby boy!!! I’m not okay with this...

”Drown him and be done.” His voice dropped to a trembling whisper. “They were her first words. That’s what she fucking named me. Drown him and be done.”


”Don’t trouble yourself about what that bitch said,” Ash whispered, glancing at Carlotta’s flawless cheek. “That’s not who you are any more.”
“It was never who I was.”
Charlotta’s hands fell still. Her stare growing clouded.
“It was just who they made me.”

I really liked Ashlinn and she grew on me until... well, until she freaking killed Tric!!! *lol* How could she? I feel as betrayed by her actions as Mia does! I was on the verge of falling for her character and then she does something like this?! Not nice! >_< And now I find myself second guessing every single thing she said and did in this book. Was it all an act? Did she really like Mia and Carlotta or did she just play games with them? I loved her humour and despite everything she seemed to be a compassionate and nice person. Just like the skilled thief she is, she stole my heart without me even noticing it and now I’m standing in front of the torn ruins of my ribcage. To say it with Mr. Kindly’s words: Dear gentlefriends, I’ve to admit that I’m still wondering about what the hell happened in those last few chapters! Ash’s character arc left me with so many questions I feel a headache coming up! *lol* I can’t wait to see her in “Godsgrave” though, because seriously, there’s no way, I repeat NO FREAKING WAY, she won’t appear in the next book. XD (Or at least I hope so. ;-P)

The Shahiids:

Shahiid Mouser
”This is a game, children. But a dangerous one.” He waggled his eyebrows. “The only kind worth playing.”

Shahiid Aalea
”Never let your face tell a secret your lips should not.”

Lord Cassius
”Killers one, killers all. And each death we bring is a prayer. An offering to Our Lady of Blessed Murder. Death as a mercy. Death as a warning. Death as an end unto itself. All of these, ours to know and gift unto the world. The wolf does not pity the lamb. The storm begs no forgiveness of the drowned.”

The Shahiids were so amazing! I know I only mentioned a few of them here but when it comes down to it I really liked them all! Shahiid Spiderkiller was so deadly! XD I swear to poison your class frequently just to make sure they actually study is quite the way to motivate your students! *lol* No wonder they all tried to be top at her class. Haha! If your life depends on it poison studies will become your favourite subject. ;-P Shahiid Solis was kind of brutal and cruel so I didn’t like him all too much. I adored Mouser and Aalea though! I’m sure I would have loved to attend their classes. As for Lord Cassius, he seemed to be one of those mysterious characters you never get a grip on and since he died I doubt that I’ll ever understand his reasons and motives. >_< Marielle and Adonai? The Church’s weaver and speaker... well they were just creepy and terrifying! And they obviously had some incestuous relationship going on?! *shudders* I don’t even know how all the girls could swoon over Adonai, for me he was just trouble in a nice disguise. *lol*

Chronicler Aelius:

”The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their mark on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of words. A girl with a story to tell.”

Now here comes one of the characters I loved the most! Chronicler Aelius was legit the best thing about the Red Church!!! That guy was awesome!! I loved the first meeting between him and Mia and that he gave no shit about smoking at the library. *lol* He was like a grumpy puppy that grows on you and moreover he was pretty wise! <3 I adored his stance on books and one of my fave moments was him offering Mia a smoke while they watched the enemy being eaten by the worms. (quite literally) Haha! Also the fact that he is dead!! OMG! That came as a total surprise! He really wasn’t kidding about getting lost in the library and dying there! O_o I really hope there will be more of him in the next book because I need to read more about his intriguing character!!

The relationships & ships:

Mia & Tric:

”As you were kind enough to notice, I’ve fallen a little behind in Songs.”
“A little?” Tric snorted. “There’s training dummies up there who could mop the floor with you, Pale Daughter.”
“Well, thank you very much,” Mia scowled. “If you’d like to go somewhere and quietly fuck yourself, I’ll be waiting here patiently for your return.”

Haha! I loved how blunt they were! Those two were always honest with each other and never pretended to be something they are not and I think that might have been the main reason they hit it off. What I really liked about their relationship was that they started as strangers, became sort of best friends and then lovers. It’s rare authors take the time to go for a slow burn and I think this one was done nicely. And yes, in my eyes this was a slow burn because they didn’t do anything until the 60% mark or so? Mia can tell herself about a thousand times that she doesn’t love Tric, we all know better, right? *lol* You don’t go sharing your not-cat with just anyone when you’re about to be whipped by Marielle. >_< To say he was with Mia was such a stupid move but then again he didn’t want her to die and she would have died with a 100 lashes. Still, that they both got 50 in the end was horrible. *swallows* Poor Tric though! I’m sure Mia loved him. That he had to die this way was so cruel. I mean Ash only killed him because he had such an exceptional sense of smell. Such a stupid reason to die! And this might sound weird but it was good for Mia that she killed Swordbreaker and meted out revenge! It won’t bring back Tric but to know that his grandfather eventually got what he deserved must have been liberating for her. At least she could give him that. T_T

”For a moment, she wasn’t Mia Corvere, daughter of a murdered house, parched with the thirst for revenge. Not a fledgling assassin or a servant of a goddess. Just a girl. And he a boy. Their eyes blind to all but each other.”

Mia & Ash:

”Huzzah! She can be taught!”
“Fuck you.”
“Fair warning, I’m not much of a biter...”
“Ash, I swear to the Mother –“

Is it just me or was there a smell of romance in the air? I could have sworn Mia and Ash were attracted by each other. They kind of flirted and they kissed twice! This has to count for something, right? At the moment I don’t see how a relationship between those two could ever work out though. Ash killed Tric who was Mia’s lover and probably her first true love so to say they would be star-crossed lovers would be an understatement par excellence. Still, there was something in the air between those two and I’m sure if Tric would still be alive *sobs* he would actually tell you the same thing! I think before Tric I would have shipped this like crazy, now that I’m so uncertain about Ashlinn’s character I don’t know if I want to ship it or not. I’m kind of torn here. *lol* Maybe Ash will come back in book two and there will be an explanation for how she acted and why she did what she did? Not that an explanation would make me forgive her, but it certainly would help to understand her motives, because right now it’s all Greek to me and I no longer understand the world. XD I’ve yet to decide if I want to board this possible ship or not. ;-P

”You know, folk around here have got you figured for a ruthless bitch after that stunt with Diamo. But I know better. Someone hurts those you love, you’ll not forgive it. But underneath it all, you’re a good sort, Corvere.”
Mia kissed Ash’s cheek, smiling. “Don’t tell anyone. I’ve a reputation to uphold.”

”And then she leaned in slow, cupped Mia’s face, and kissed her gently on the lips. It lasted a moment too long. Perhaps not long enough? Warm and soft and honeysweet. Before Mia could decide, it was already over.”


Where do I even begin?! This was something totally unique and if you ask me I can’t compare it to anything I ever read. The premise of the story might have sounded a lot like all the other assassin books I ever heard of, but Jay Kristoff managed to give it an incomparable spin and I’m very glad I picked this up. It was dark and at times brutal, it was gory and X-rated, there was a lot of cussing and smoking involved and... I loved it! *lol* Enough said! If you enjoy books like that I’m sure you’ll devour this too! ;-)
Profile Image for Robin Hobb.
Author 348 books97.6k followers
May 14, 2017
First, my caveat! I think it's important to let other readers know if I received a book for free, or was sent it for comment, or if it was written by a friend. I hope that I don't let such things affect how I read a book, but in these days of commercial hype, I think it's best to be completely transparent!

So, I was sent this book by the editor.

I took several weeks to read this book, not because it didn't grab me, but because it somehow was lost in the guest bedroom when I was in midread. Books do have a habit of wandering about my house.

This is the tale of a youngster who suffers a devastating and terrifying loss of her family. And born of that loss, gains a dark companion to her days.

(Wow. So hard to write this well without a bunch of spoilers!)

She decides to seek the skills she will need both for vengeance and in the hopes she can rescue some of those she has lost. To gain those skills, she must first serve a hard apprenticeship, and then attempt to get herself to an almost mythical place and school to continue her training.

Okay. That's as close as I'm going to get to spoilers. Asked about this book at a signing, I blurted out that it's like Hogwarts, but with a violence and sex. Not the best blurb I've ever given, yet I do think that it gives a hint to what you will encounter. And I liked, very much, that there is honesty and directness in examining what certain kinds of training would do to a person's mind and morality. Our lead character faces some terribly difficult choices, and she makes them in a way that is believable and wrenching.

Office Kat also read this book, and her observation was, "The author really knows his characters. Not once does Mia respond to something in a way that was not completely in tune with who she is."
Profile Image for jessica.
2,534 reviews32.5k followers
August 23, 2019
this is my year for fantasy and i am here for it!

this took some time and patience to get into, but i am so glad i did because:
1) i cant believe i have been able to survive my meaningless life for so long without having read this, and

2) i cant believe i was able to survive reading this book because it quite nearly destroyed me.
this is one of the most shockingly brutal stories i have ever read and i cant. get. enough. its honestly so wrong, that i dont even want it to be right. mia corvere could assassinate me and it would be my pleasure.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,113 reviews44.4k followers
May 6, 2020
If the Harry Potter Series and The Lies of Locke Lamora ever got together and decided to have a dark book baby, they would call it Nevernight.

This is the sort of book I dream about reading. Only a fantasy expert could have written one this well. It’s exactly why authors such as Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss are so successful: they know their audience. And here Jay Kristoff certainly knew his.

Nevernight captured my heart in all its pure evilness. It’s a wickedly delightful story centred on a young assassin, Mia, as she learns how to kill with stealth, precision and absolutely no mercy. It’s totally epic through and through. There wasn’t a single low point, just constant highs as I found myself lost in the story and completely invested in all its characters. It’s loaded with betrayals, stabbings and intricate schemes. After finishing it, I read it again before even thinking about moving on to the sequel. Simply because, I wasn’t over it yet.

“The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You're a daughter of the words. A girl with a story to tell.”

Mia is attempting to become a blade of the Red Church, an infamous guild of killers. All in order to pursuit her own end goal: murdering those in turn that murdered her family. She is utterly fearless because she possesses a mysteriously dark magic that allows her to control shadows, and in such shadows lurk creatures that have distinct personalities of their own. She has a shadow cat as a familiar who drains all the fear from her giving her a distinct advantage in battle and in training. She is never separate from it and never afraid.

Mia takes her own path. Although she is training in an academy with strict rules over life and death, she still finds ways to be herself and not fall into the trap of a brainwashed slave. This made me really like her character. In a way, she is like a darker version of Arya Stark (only more worldly wise and talented.) There’s a fierce competition between her and the other acolytes who are all attempting to become blades. They face off with swords and daggers, with poisons and secrets, in order to become the best of the crop. Only four out of an initial thirty or so will prove themselves worthy and join the elite ranks of the Red Church, never any more year to year.

“You'll be a rumor. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. The last thing you will ever be, girl, is someone's hero.”

So, this really does have a lot going for it, though for me what really makes the book stand out is the mystery. Jay Kristoff is a careful writer and he has certainly taken pains not to reveal too much early on. The dark magic that curses through Mia’s blood remains a complete mystery to all. There’s also a lot of hidden surprises here and I don’t doubt there will be more through the rest of the series. In a world of assassins, honestly will only get you so far. And although Mia was played quite significantly here, I think moving forward she has learnt a great deal about people: she has become better at the game of killers. In the next book, I think she will be a much harder person: she has to be.

A much deserved 10/10* from me. This is the best fantasy novel I have read in years, I shall be moving straight onto Godsgrave next.


You can connect with me on social media via My Linktree.
Profile Image for Anne.
3,918 reviews69.3k followers
June 29, 2018
Mia is an assassin (in training) who can do alllll kinds of cool shit with her shadow.


And she has a talking cat.
How do you get better than that?


How about using an actual blood bath to travel around!?
Yeah. Sure, it's not exactly as quick or clean as pressing a button on your suit and saying, Beam me up, Scotty!, but we are talking about assassins in a world of magic, after all.


Ok. I was expecting this to be all dark and stabby - and it was! But what I wasn't expecting was all the tongue in cheek humor. From what I've read in some of the other reviews, I think that threw some people off. And not in a good way.
But I really loved it and thought it gave the story a different sort of spin to have all the darkness sitting there beside the silliness. To me, that was a huge bonus in the book's favor, but it may not be your jam, so take that into consideration when you decide whether or not to grab this one.


The story is told with odd flashbacks (that I loved) and weirdly frivolous footnotes (that I also loved) while Mia slashes and stabs her way through the present day part of the story.


I'm a fan of heroes & heroines who are willing to kill, maybe even enjoy killing, but still have enough humanity left that they only kill the ones they think deserve it.
And Mia fits that description.
To. A. Tee.


But. Obviously, this isn't going to appeal to everyone.
And I can't make up your mind for you. Sorry.
I thought it was fantastic...for whatever that's worth.
Profile Image for ✨ Helena ✨.
369 reviews977 followers
November 3, 2019
Buddy re-read, part one, with Mary! (finally lol :P)

“The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You're a daughter of the words. A girl with a story to tell.”


WOW. I don’t think that I have any coherent thoughts at the moment. 

What an addicting novel!

This was just a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. I started off enjoying the exquisite writing style and then, the story crescendoed into something more, keeping me perched at the edge of my seat in anticipation of what’s to come.

I’d also like to say that I’m an emotional wreck because everyone that I thought I trusted...turned out to be someone else entirely, complete with unsavoury agendas. I’m also very sad because I lost a few beloved characters and a number of my ships crashed and burned. WHY???! *cries* Thank you, oh so very much, Jay Kristoff! Grrr….

So, what’s this brilliant book about?


Mia Corvere originated from a respectable family…that is, until her father is hanged for his part in a rebellion. At age ten, the life that she had always known and the family that she held dear were ripped away from her in a moment. It is then that she avows to seek revenge upon all those who had wronged her and her family.

“Never flinch…Never fear. And never, ever forget.”'

In order to avenge her family, however, Mia must acquire training in the brutal art of assassination. As a result, she seeks tutelage at the Red Church, where she learns all that she can, so that she can begin checking off the names on her list. But first, now that she has chosen Red Church, the Red Church must choose her. If she wants to become a true assassin, she must be at the top of one of the four classes: blades, poisons, manipulation, or thievery. Does Mia have what it takes to exact her revenge?

“Beauty you're born with, but brains you earn.”

I’d like to give a shout-out to Mr Kindly, the talking cat, made of shadows! <3 He’s Mia’s secret weapon, who feeds upon her fear and provides some much-needed sassy commentary! ;) Mia also appears to have some magical abilities, where she can control the shadows themselves…SO COOL!


Furthermore, I really loved the sweet romance between Tric and Mia…And by the way, I DEMAND AN ANSWER ABOUT THAT ENDING!!! Anddddd...bonus points for sexy times! ;)

I definitely appreciated the balance of light and dark scenes throughout the novel, which prevented it from being either too happy or too sad. I will admit though, that it took me until Chapter 8, before I fell head-over-heels for this book, because it took a while to get accustomed to the purple prose-esque writing style (very much in the vein of Laini Taylor, in my opinion…but x 100!) and the abundance of footnotes. I found the footnotes to be rather unnecessary, albeit interesting. I initially read this book in an e-book format, which meant that all of the footnotes were collected at the end of the chapter. By the time that I got there, I had no idea as to what Jay Kristoff was referring to anymore! Ugh. After a while, I just stopped trying to read them, and it didn’t hinder my understanding of the world, plot, or characters at all.

On the other hand, I did really enjoy the mythology that was included in this world and the fact that it was a world of three rotating suns (hence the title, Nevernight), as well. And my Ancient Roman-loving heart was in complete adoration of Kristoff's Ancient Roman-esque society, complete with a Senate and legionnaires. I'M ALL HERE FOR IT! I swear that I'll die of happiness if gladiators and chariot races come into play in the future! <3

Also, in addition to the quote at the start of this review, there is another that especially resonates with me: “Too many books. Too few centuries.” Isn’t that the truth?! ;)

All things considered, this was an extraordinary book that I highly recommend it to anyone who is literate...seriously. xD I even completely ignored studying for a very important midterm in order to finish this riveting tale. If that doesn’t persuade you, I don’t know what will! :P

I can't wait to start Godsgrave! <3
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
August 20, 2020
my loyal followers: Elle, why are you giving 4 1/2 stars to a book that took you almost four months to read
me, grabbing this book and hiding it in my jacket: I do what I want

Honestly... okay. I’d pitch this book as Hogwarts for assassins and I enjoyed it so much.

This is a book about becoming yourself, on more levels than one. It’s about developing an ethical code when you’ve had it trained out of you, and synthesizing your childhood self and your self after immense trauma. I love the exploration of Mia‘s faith crisis. Throughout the book, we are told that she used to be a believer and is no longer sure if she is.
“This makes you who you are. She punched the slab of muscle above his heart. “This." She slapped the top of his head. "These.” The girl took hold of his hands not in front of him, staring into the boys eyes. “Slavemarks. Tattoos. Scars. What you look like doesn’t change who you are inside. They can give you a new face, but they can’t give you a new heart. No matter what they take from you, they can’t take that away unless you let them. That’s real strength, Tric. That’s real power.”

And god, Mia has so much potential for book two. Guys, I am so excited. She’s developed so much just in this book and I can’t wait for more of her arc.
“Iron or glass? they'd ask.
She was neither.
She was steel.”

♚ If we’re talking about romance… spoilers. Please skip this paragraph.

Nevernight is so, so hilarious. Why are murder books always so funny.
“Cock is just another word for ‘fool.’ But you call someone a cunt, well…” The girl smiled. “You’re implying a sense of malice there. An intent. Malevolent and self-aware. Don’t think I name Consul Scaeva a cunt to gift him insult. Cunts have brains, Don Tric. Cunts have teeth. Someone calls you a cunt, you take it as a compliment. As a sign that folk believe you’re not to be lightly fucked with.” A shrug. “I think they call that irony.”

♔ The worldbuilding here was super interesting after around page 100, but up till then I found it confusing and convoluted. I understand that thrown-in worldbuilding is a style. I enjoy thrown-in worldbuilding. Christ, guys, Six of Crows is my favorite book of all time and I STILL have yet to read the Grisha. But with Six of Crows, I felt the tension and character work even when I didn’t know what was happening. I got invested in the world from the beginning. It can be done. Jay Kristoff didn't do it for me.

♚ Related to the last point - the first 100 pages are overwritten bullshit. I know you guys are going to come at me for this and I completely do not care; it needed editing. While I found parts interesting, especially the footnotes - I know people complain about those but they were the only thing I liked - on the whole, the initial section was too long, had little to no tension, was totally overwritten even compared to the rest of the book, and offered barely any character development compared to worldbuilding.

♔ After all that, I just loved it. Nevernight is so engaging and so non-boring after its beginning section. I could barely put it down.
“Beauty you're born with, but brains you earn.”

♔ The plot twists are just as awesome as everyone says, but I have to admit, I think you can like this novel even if you get spoiled. Proof? I got spoiled about one of the twists and still a) loved the book and b) think it’s a brilliant twist.

Listen, guys, after the admittedly crappy first 100 pages, I just could not put this down. This is one of those times you just gotta defer to the wisdom of your fellow trusted gays who spoiled you for all the big plot twists and enjoy yourself. The plotline was amazing, the characters compelling, and the themes teased made me so happy. I cannot wait for book two. (And update, of course I loved it.)

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Profile Image for Hamad.
1,009 reviews1,328 followers
December 5, 2020
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“The brighter the light, the deeper the shadow.”

🌟 Lo and behold, it looks like I am still capable of giving books 5 stars, even if it takes me 6 months and 60 books to do so! Nevernight is currently my favorite book for this year and also is joining my favorite books of all times list!

🌟 I have added this book to my TBR since it first came out and it has been there for 3 years now. I have seen very mixed reviews about the book and one reviewer I trust gave it 1 star and another reviewer I trust gave it 5 stars! It was so confusing and then Sara picked this up for me for my 10 bloggers, 10 recommendations I did this year and I loved this.

🌟 As soon as I started reading this, a clear picture was forming for why is this such a controversial book, I admit that the author has a purple prose that you either love or hate! The opening line is powerful and shows that the story has such a great potential. I was provoked by some of the flowery sentences and wanted to throw the books but patience is key here and some of my friends told me it gets better and I am glad they did. I did not consider DNFing the book because as I will explain here, it had excellent characters and plot and everything, only the writing was a bit off at first!

🌟 After the first part (After page ~130) the writing is much much better and there are plenty of great quotes. The book was funny but not to the point that it became silly! There is also the footnotes that may be annoying at first, but they are easy to get used to and the further you read, the less of these you will have!

“You’ll be a rumor. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. The last thing you will ever be, girl, is someone’s hero.”

🌟 I love a book with good characters, and this book had some of the most memorable characters I ever read! I love Mia the MC, a female teen protagonist that was not annoying as uusal. The other characters were all great too, many of them die but we’re keeping this spoiler free.

🌟 The world building was effing amazing!!! I really appreciate it when authors take the time to think about all the little details. In Nevernight world there are 3 suns and there is almost no night and the terminology and the mythology that the author built upon those facts is crazy! I just get mind blown when I think about the effort it takes to get everything right.

“The Light is full of lies, Acolyte. The Suns serve only to blind us.”

🌟 And finally, as someone who loves good plot twists, this had many awesome ones! The plot twists did not come out of nowhere and the build up for plot twists on the last pages started on page 1. My legs were shaking while reading this and this is a sign of me being anxious! I was so absorbed into the story and I did care about everyone.

🌟 Summary: Nevernight is as good as a story can be, patience is needed to get used to things for the first 100 pages, the prose and footnotes may be distracting but I promise it is worth it. This book hit all the right notes and I am going to read Godsgrave very very soon!
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.8k followers
October 18, 2017
Nevernight, gentlefriends, is an O, so bloody piece of Art.

It is not for the faint-hearted. It is not a Young Adult book. It does not feature noble heroes, polished by their acts of kindness.
It is a story of

A tale of the vicious fight between
Light and Darkness

And in the shadows cast by the Lady of Blessed Murder, her faithful servants thrive.


“You'll be a rumour. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. The last thing you will ever be in this world, girl, is someone's hero.
But you will be a girl heroes fear.”

In the beautiful and terrible city of Godsgrave, inspired by medieval Venice, a city of Bridges and Bones, where the sky is illuminated by three suns and the God of Light is worshipped, the last daughter of a disgraced familia fled for her life. Swearing revenge. She headed to the finest school of assassins, devoted to the Mother of Darkness. Trained in the fine Arts of Blade. Poison. Seduction. She sang the Song of Death, bathed in Blood, called the Shadows that bowed to her will. But revenge has a steep price. It demands sacrifice. Your conscience. Your soul. And Mia Corvere, the Pale Daughter, the Crow, was tested time after time, only to discover that she was not made of glass.
She was steel.
“Never Flinch.
Never Fear.
And never, ever Forget.”

Nevernight, gentlefriends, is a gritty saga. Jay Kristoff is not one to shy away from brutality, nor he sugarcoats the actions and the motives of his characters. As the narrator kindly informs us, he does not spare the reader from the gore and the vulgarity. Torture scenes, death, sex scenes, they're all depicted in explicit detail, and while you'll probably want to close your eyes and forget the violence you just witnessed, you can't. But mind that this is not necessarily a bad thing, gentlefriends. Because the ugly and the raw is infused with rare moments of beauty, and humanity. Because the narration is ingenious and witty, and the information regarding the lavish world-building (and other random facts) is presented in the form of footnotes, commented by the mysterious, all-knowing narrator that will make you crack a smile. The prose is unique, elegant, the sarcasm entwined with lyricism, and you can't help but

as if enchanted by a powerful being*.
“When all is bood, blood is all.”

While you walk in the filthy streets of Godsgrave, or the dim-lit corridors of the Red Church (the caste of assassins blessed by the All-Mighty Mother), you will meet dubious characters. You will be swept away by politics and murder, and you will try to find a ray of sunshine in acolytes seeking blood, only to be answered with Darkness. Mia Corvere will make you cringe, and curse, and O, this is unexpected, but love. Her courage,her badassery and determination will win you over, and so will her cunning and devious mind. You will follow her wide-eyed in her journey paved with bodies, in the moments she is overwhelmed with lust (for human flesh or for blood), you will participate in the trials she struggles to dominate, and share her heartbreak. Her feeble friendships and longing, and wishes that are not fulfilled. Her nightmares and her questions about who she is. What she is.


The death toll will take you by surprise. The plot-twists will make you gasp for breath. You will want to hurt Jay Kristoff, gentlefriends, the way he hurt you with a seething passion. But if you yearn for a dark tale featuring assassins, smut, ancient magic and a dream of revenge, Mister Kristoff awaits to serve you the delicious and grim story of Mia Corvere.


You can find, gentlefriends, this review and more on BookNest!
Profile Image for Warda.
1,153 reviews18.4k followers
July 29, 2019
Rereading this was soothing to my soul. I loved this.

The only thing I want out of this series is for Ash to die a slow and torturous death.


I don't think I'll be able to write a review for this. I've been festering over it for the past two days and anything that I want to say doesn't come close to how I feel about this book.

All you need to know is that it's epic. In every sense of the word. From the characters, to the world, it was perfect for me. The growth and development we have yet to see excites me so much! There's so much potential for where this trilogy can go, and I'm pretty sure Jay Kristoff will deliver. It took a bit to get used to it at the beginning, but stick by it. Once it clicks, everything will fall into place. You'll fall into it and never want to come back up.

Original review:
Fuck me, this book. THIS BOOK!!! A new favourite!

Review to come … god knows when! I can't think straight right now! But I am CRAVING the sequel!
Profile Image for  Teodora .
304 reviews1,634 followers
April 9, 2023
4.5/5 ⭐

Full review on my Blog: The Dacian She-Wolf 🐺

*reads about this book*
*reads the reviews*
*gets interested*
*gets convinced to try it*
*watches a Jay Kristoff Q&A*
*falls in love with his morbid booming energy*
*considers harder reading this book*
*reads trigger warnings*
And it was!!

So. You know that moment when you start a book but you have no clue what its vibe was supposed to be like so you just roll with it and immediately get to be surprised? Yeah, me too. My very first Jay Kristoff experience started like this:

“People often shit themselves when they die.”

Dreamy, I know.

Personally, I don’t know how to interpret this – because I wasn’t expecting it – but one thing I can tell you for sure: this opening line had me cackling like a maniac. A thought was already forming inside my mind – I’m going to love this.

At first, this book might seem hard to get into, mainly because of the unique writing style the reader is introduced to from the very beginning.

The first few chapters use some sort of mirroring technique for showing events from the past and the present that are similar, yet totally different.

I quite liked that. I thought it was cleverly used and nicely executed and the image presented was exactly like in a mirror – where the truth is the same, yet terribly distorted.


There are so many interesting details added in the footnotes of the book – yeah, there are footnotes in this book, so many footnotes, but they are quite useful if you ask me. Those footnotes are the kind of side information that is not necessarily needed in the main work, but it is more than welcome if someone provides it for you. It gives a lot of credibility to the story.

That is also part of the odd writing style. But after a while, you get used to it and – oddly enough – start enjoying it. It has a charm of its own anyway.

The world-building is insane – seems like it is indeed a real world and the author just serves us accurate historical facts and dates like yep, that is a real word with real history and this is exactly how it happened, deal with it.

The atmosphere is dark and heavy from the very beginning, the level of angst building up brick by brick as the story goes on. Don’t say I did not warn you – this shit is angsty.


But the good news is that all of the emotions seem to be genuine. Nothing is forced, everything flows normally. True. And I do love that in a book. I love to see how the unreal turns into surreal with the help of reality. And all that through feelings. It’s beautiful. Plus, the philosophical aspect of the conversations is good too and mainly because the writing is real and poetic in its weird harshness.

“The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us.”

Now, moving on to another interesting part – this is the first book in a very long while in which the MC aka Mia Corvere does not annoy me at all.
Not even a bit.
And, in fact, I do love her. I can even have a girl crush on her for what I care – this sassy bitch is awesome.

Mia Corvere is constructed in a complex, antithetical manner – deadly and sweet, dark and childish.

(Art by morgana0anagrom)

She’s real and she is not afraid to play by the rules (she makes on the way btw). She’s wild in a weirdly controlled manner and she also seems to know what she’s doing when, in fact, she has no clue 80% of the time :D

I also love Tric.
Ah, Tric. *heart eyes*

He is a pure baby and I honestly fell in love with him quicker than I thought. He is a kind-hearted boy with a desire of vengeance for a troubled and cruel past that he never asked for. Tric’s life has been nothing more than suffering and unfairness and I feel deeply sorry for him. Deeply, deeply. He deserves all the love existent in three galaxies.


“The kind of handsome a girl might raise an army for, slay a god or daemon for. This girl, at least.”

Also. Please. A round of applause for the sassy Mister Kindly whom I OBSESSIVELY LOVE.
I do consider Mister Kindly one of the best characters out there and I don’t even want to hear other opinions that beg to differ.

Overall, I really liked this first instalment of the Nevernight Chronicle . It’s been clever, well-written, insanely-constructed and vibrating with a literary force that I admire. The characters were very sassy and slippery and loveable and untrustworthy and the action was cruel and brutal from the very beginning and it did not stop until the end of the action.

And also, the smut there……ahem.


And that thing that happened at the end? Not cool, Mr Kristoff. Not cool.
But oh well. It’s been a book full of betrayal and poison anyway, what was I expecting?

“They will never see the knife in your hand if they are lost in your eyes. They will never taste the poison in their wine when they are drunk on the sight of you.”
Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,828 reviews29k followers
January 9, 2018
I struggled to rate this book in a way that mirrored my struggle to get through it, quite frankly.

I went into this with somewhat high expectations...which is never a good thing, as we all know.

A lot of my GR friends as well as one of my favorite reviewers RAVED about this thing.

Like, designed her own Mia Funko Pop and made her own gravebone dagger loved this thing.

From what most people were saying, I inferred that this book would be dark.
Which I LOVE. Which I WANTED. Was looking forward to gleefully.

I expected the blood, guts, gore, and the lack of apology for it all that I expected and didn't get with Throne of Glass (although I liked that one).

So, with me expecting a DARK book, I expected a tone that matched.

But what I got was this weird, almost campy and satirical humor threaded tone, made worse by perhaps the weirdest thing I have EVER seen in a fiction novel...people who have read this know exactly what I'm talking about, cause seriously...

What the fuck with the footnotes, GENTLEFRIENDS?

No, I mean seriously...look at this:


What fresh hell is this?

If the odd tone and the narration style wasn't enough, adding footnotes that not only broke the fourth wall but made me feel like I was oscillating between reading for FUN and reading a textbook for NOT FUN did not help matters any, that's for sure.

Add to that the fact that Kristoff did the majority of his world building via these footnotes, which I found to be...well, I'm not exactly sure what I found it to be.


I don't feel comfortable saying either of those things, cause even though it was weird, you could tell Kristoff worked his ass off.

I just know I didn't love it.

I mean, again, LOOK at this:


I doubled the size this time.
You know, so you can really take it in.

Another issue I had in addition to the weird tone of the narration and the sometimes pointless footnotes was the fact that the narration seemed to jump POV in a way I can't explain.

The majority of the book felt like it was written in third person limited, from the perspective of Mia for the most part; but then, at the end, the book suddenly jumped to third person omniscient in a way that felt jarring.

I know what you are saying: "Wow Val, you are really trashing this book, but rated it three stars."

Yep. You're right.

I did rate it three stars, good on you.

Because, despite all the...shenanigans listed above, I DID like the overall story.
Despite wishing it had been built differently, I DID like the world.

And some of the events near the end totally threw me for a loop and made me say to myself, "Wow, Self, that totally threw me for a loop. I wasn't expecting that."

So at the end of the day, I thought this was a decent read.
While his writing style may not really be my cup of tea, the man can definitely spin a story.

And, since I already fucking bought book two and I AM curious to see what will happen, I will be reading Godsgrave here shortly...before my desire to do so completely fizzles out.
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