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Every Sky a Grave

(The Ascendance Series #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  345 ratings  ·  74 reviews

Mankind has spread out and conquered the galaxy by mastering the fundamental language of the universe. With the right training, the right application of words, truth itself can be rearranged.
Language is literally power.

Peace reigns now. Order reigns.

For if a planet deviates too far from what the authorities plan, an agent is sent out to correct that.
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published July 7th 2020 by Skybound Books
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James Tivendale
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freecopy, sci-fi
I received an uncorrected proof copy of Every Sky a Grave in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Jay Posey and Harper Voyager.

In Every Sky a Grave we follow Elyth, an agent for the First House of the Ascendance. This female-only order regulates the galaxy and keeps peace and harmony throughout. When a planet's path deviates from what the authorities desire then an operative is sent to do a task. Their objective is to use the Deep Langauge, the greatest of all the Ascendance's technologie
Dannii Elle
Elyth owns a weapon inside her mouth: she has knowledge of the language of worlds. And she can wield this language to form the destruction of planets. The galaxy is vast and humans have inhabited much of it. But Elyth, and the other agents like her, can eradicate that as and where they, and the Paragon that rules them, sees fit.

This premise had me instantly intrigued and I loved seeing Elyth in action immediately as the novel opened. Her abilities were very unique and clearly explained, which th
Rebecca | Velvet Opus
“From the void, all come...
To the void, all return”

I was flattered when I was auto-approved to read an eARC of Every Sky a Grave, a Sci-Fi set in outer space where language is power. Told in third person, it follows Elyth who is tasked with the assassination of a planet for the greater good of the cosmos. 

“It was the Language that had lifted the human race from the dust and granted them the stars as inheritance. There was power within its words”

This adventure had a kind of quiet excitement to it
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

It felt great to be reading Jay Posey again with Every Sky A Grave, and what a high-flying, super massive, electrifyingly ambitious novel it was. It’s no exaggeration to say there’s a bit of something for everyone in here, from epic adventures in space to daring feats of survival.

In this story, we follow Elyth, an agent of the galaxy’s peace-keeping order, the First House of the Ascendance. They’re also the custodians of g
“Every Sky A Grace” is the first book in an amazing brand-new science fiction series. The main character, through whose eyes we see the story unfold, is Elyth, an Advocate of the Voice, a sworn member of First House. Elyth has powers beyond comprehension and can follow threadlines to a planet’s core and kill a planet. The First House deals with mystical powers known as “ Deep Language” which allows the users to talk to planets, to nature, to the cosmos. They are a women’s order, like the Bene Ge ...more
Shannon Ad Dawya
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
e-ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Every Sky a Grave is the first installment in the epic sci-fi series that not only telling a story of an amazing woman's fantastic journey that is full of action and danger but also a story about her finding her true self and purpose in the world.

It was the Language that united them. It was the Language that had lifted the human race from the dust and granted them the stars as inheritance. There was power within i
Chinyere Ezie
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very worthwhile read. One of the new sci fi novelists whose voice I’ve enjoyed most in recent years.
Oct 31, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Netgalley. As usual, the review is honest.

Every Sky a Grave was my first time reading anything by Jay Posey. The fact that language is power in this world won me over. The cover is beautiful, and the publicist said it's perfect for fans of Mark Lawrence. (Although I must admit that I don't really see the similarities, apart from maybe the prose.)

Posey is a skilled writer. In fact, the prose is what I liked most about this book. At times, it was like reading poetry.

The world building is intricate
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“Indeed,” the Paragon replied, “our House cannot exist without the Deep Language. That, however, is not true in reverse. The Deep Language exists of its own accord; it is there, in the very fabric of the universe. We merely discovered it. Our ability to speak it, however, could be considered something of a technology. And the truth of its concepts undergirds the Ascendance’s greatest of all technologies.”

I had such a diff
Jason Flatt
Unfortunately, Every Sky a Grave is a heavy drag. The various pieces of it all could be interesting in theory: chiefly, a mysterious order influencing the fate of planets across the galaxy and a magical means of manipulating reality. But the way that the book drops you right into the story with absolutely no exposition and never provides any as it goes along is unable to make for an interesting mystery because the main character, Elyth, is so one-dimensional. The book never drops a single inklin ...more
Aug 12, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
dnf'd @ 100 and so pages

Another case of good idea bad execution.
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 / 5 ✪

A planetary assassin from an all-women sect that wields a forgotten tongue as a weapon, Elyth was taught that her actions save lives and protect the universe from conflict and evil. Her order, the House of Ascendance, have been taught the Deep Language since they were young. Combined with the Herza—soldiers that wield advanced technology—they make up the two arms of the Ascendance, which rule the galaxy as a whole. Over millennia they have honed it
J. D. Roberts
Jul 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
More reviews at


I was sent an invite by the publisher, via NetGalley, to review this book in exchange for an honest review.

Every Sky a Grave has a very interesting premise to it. There is a language. The Deep Language, which possesses the power to destroy worlds, among many other things… but that gives you an idea of its power!

Humanity is spread throughout the universe. Cultures and technology on each planet vary, but the Order rules. If a planet deviates from what
Rowena Andrews
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting when I started this book, especially as I don’t read much Sci-Fi something which I am working to rectify, but Every Sky A Grave grabbed me from the start. Perhaps, because it is a wonderful blend of Sci-Fi and mysticism, exploring the power of language, of words, and the potential for them to be corrupted.

That has to be one of my favourite parts of the book. As a reader and writer, language always has power, and in this book that is taken and made into so
John Rennie
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book but it is not going to appeal to everyone. I will try to explain why this is so you can judge if this is a book for you or not.

The plot is based around a phenomenon called "Deep Language". This is a vaguely defined scientific magic that allows practitioners to connect to the fundamental level of reality and alter it by using words. For example you can render a planet uninhabitable by using the Deep Language to trigger planet wide volcanism. In the time honoured tradition of s
Haley Renee The Caffeinated Reader

Has a heavy Star Wars vibe and to tell you the truth after about 20% of it, I almost wanted to put it down to go ahead and play Knights of the Old Republic, but, that's a compliment. I don't get enough Scifi books that can give me that sort of atmosphere without feeling like a pale copy.

It was soothing and yet pressed on at an intense pace once Elyth lands on Qel.

Elyth's Deep Language is The Force and the First House has a bit of a Jedi likeness but with its own twists and with its own ma
Jun 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the author who brought us Legends of the Duskwalker and and Outriders brings us an all new adventure with some epic scale science fiction, and really finding our own path as the main focus of the main character Elyth. Part action/adventure, part space opera, and part coming of age story, Jay Posey’s writing does an excellent job of enveloping the reader providing vivid visual description, that sometime becomes a little wordy, but overall I recommend libraries purchase this title for their c ...more
Aug 20, 2020 rated it liked it
The first smaller setup story really intrigued me. As did the return of the protagonist to her central world. We have great world building, intriguing characters and some interesting political scheming and dynamics between different societies.

From here it changes direction and becomes a completely different story. A new world with its own mystery, Qel is introduced and Elyth must unravel some questions about the world and herself. I felt like it just dragged. Plot wise not alot happened until t
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this one. Skilfully dodged most of the cliched stereotypical tics that appeared ominously on the horizon and almost every character could be viewed as moral/amoral/immoral at various points of the story.
Satisfying compact read.
Hannah Snell
I feel like this book really shouldn't have been so much of a struggle for me. We've got a complex system of political rivals, a language that can be used to commune with and, ultimately, destroy planets, lots of fighting for survival and a human race terraforming the universe.

We meet Elyth just as she completes a mission by basically back-flipping and fighting her way through a series of compounds to meditate with the planet she's on and persuade it to die (in the next year or so). But then she
Aug 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
“Some truths cannot be heard, no matter how clearly they are stated. And some cannot be spoken, no matter how deeply they are known.”

A new sci-fi series exploring the power of the spoken word. Mankind’s ability to explore and conquer the universe was accomplished by harnessing the ability to understand and speak the Deep Language, the foundational language of the universe itself. Those who are trained in its art are wielded by the ruling planetary government as a weapon to enforce peace and unif
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Rebecca at Harper Collins for the review copy via NetGalley, without who I'd probably have missed reviewing the book.

Reading the book blurb recollected imaginary perspectives of Dune and the Bene Gesserit, alongside the Wheel of Time's Aes Sedai.
In a geeky turn, I'm going to explain the book via star wars, it's easier to avoid spoilers this way. The heroine, Elyth, is a Jedi like being, capable of inhuman abilities, filled with a sense of self-righteous purpose. Early on a mission for
My thanks to HarperVoyager for an invitation to receive a digital edition via NetGalley of ‘Every Sky A Grave’ by Jay Posey in exchange for an honest review. I elected to purchase its audiobook edition, narrated by Laura Lefkow, and combine listening with reading the ebook.

“From the void, all come; to the void, all return.”

This is Book One in Posey’s Ascendance Series. Over the last 8,000 years humankind has spread throughout the galaxy by mastering the fundamental language of the universe and a
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I wasn't sure if this book would be for me. Generally, I find I prefer to watch my sci-fi and read my fantasy - but the comparison to Star Wars made me think it might veer more towards space fantasy so I was intrigued.
Something called 'The Language' or 'Deep Language' allows certain people to commune with planets and the wider universe. This has allowed people to gain more power and expand further through the galaxy. But the Language can be corrupted and if a planet is deemed infected an assass
Apr 05, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Elyth is an Acolyte of the Voice, of First House in the Ascendance. The order she belongs to is charged with keeping the purity of the Ascendance, identifying and removing worlds where the ‘Deep Language’ has been corrupted. Elyth’s role is to go to those planets and, with the power of the Deep Language, kill them. She believes, absolutely, in the Ascendance and the peace it brings to the galaxy. On her latest mission, Elyth goes undercover to Qel, a planet the First House fears to be undergoing ...more
S.J. Higbee
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this one! Elyth is an insanely powerful character with cataclysmic power, which it should have been a real problem. I shouldn’t have been so worried on her behalf as she is pitchforked, still reeling and unprepared from a previously traumatic assignment, into this most challenging task. But her weapon isn’t some technical planet-busting gismo – Posey is far more inventive than that. Elyth’s power comes from a mastery of language as a subset of the fabric of the universe that can have the ...more
Peter Baran
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are two notable things about Every Sky A Grave. The first is that it is fantasy dressed up as science fiction, and it is dressed particularly well. We travel with Elyth, who acts a a planetary assassin for shady universal governance The Ascendance (the type is unclear but lets say probably not a democracy). As an operative she is skilled in using the secret language of the Universe, which allows her to sway minds, send people to sleep and kill entire planets. The rules are never given and ...more
Amy Burt
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Every Sky A Grave follows Elyth who works for the First House of the Ascendance, an order that maintains peace in the galaxy by monitoring other worlds and if necessary, destroying any planet that threatens this harmony. Elyth is one of the agents tasked with these planet assassinations, a ‘grey witch’ who uses Deep Language to destroy planets at it’s lines/veins. She is sent on a mission to the planet Quel to find out intel on whether this planet is a threat and through her own discoveries and ...more
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was a pleasant surprise. Reading the first few pages didn't give me high hopes - the prose is quite stylized and a bit tricky to follow initially and the authors somewhat idiosyncratic use of some words kept throwing me out of the story.

But it is worth persevering - there is some fascinating world building here and the prose style sets a mood once you adjust to it. We follow Elyth, who is a true believer in the First House who use the Deep language to prevent corruption of planets and
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Jay Posey is a professional typist with a face for radio and a voice for print. He’s the author of the Legends of the Duskwalker trilogy (novels, THREE, MORNINGSIDE FALL, and DAWNBREAKER), and the military science-fiction novel OUTRIDERS, all published by Angry Robot Books.

He's also Expert Narrative Designer at Ubisoft/Red Storm Entertainment, where he has spent over a decade contributing as a wr

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