Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1) by Jay Kristoff
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?
Published by St. Martin's Press Pages: 429
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
I was a bit weary going into Nevernight. A couple of years ago I had high expectations of Illuminae, a book where Jay Kristoff is the (co) author of and I didn’t enjoy it one bit. So I didn’t quite know what to expect from another book by his hand. But hey, everybody deserves a second chance so I was willing to try again! The star rating above probably tells you that I fell madly, deeply in love with the book.
“If I were going to name my blade,” Mia said thoughtfully, “I’d call it ‘Fluffy’.”
Tric snorted with laughter. “Fluffy?”
“‘Byss, yes,” the girl nodded. “Think of the terror you’d instil. Being bested by a foe wielding a sword called Souldrinker…thatyou could live with. Imagine the shame of having the piss smacked out of you by a blade called Fluffy.”
When you surf around a bit and read different reviews, you might notice that Nevernight is a very polarizing book. The reviews are either very positive or very negative. And although I am definitely a fan, I can see why people struggle with this book and the way the story is told. Jay Kristoff has a very dense writing style. It is clear that Jay Kristoff likes to hear himself talk (or must I say likes to read his own words?). It all very poetic flowery prose. And the whole story is filled with footnotes giving you extra (sometimes completely needless) information about the world the story is set in. I absolutely loved the addition of the footnotes, but I can understand that some people found them completely annoying. They could become a bit tedious, but at the same time they have a sarcastic commentary going on. And I couldn’t count the times that I was laughing with the dark humor in them. Your enjoyment of the story will stand or fall with your love for Jay Kristoffs storytelling, it is as simple as that.
“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.
Because when you like the writing, you are in for a complete treat! Nevernight is one action-packed story! Let’s be honest the beginning is a little bit slow, but once Mia reaches the dessert and the Red Church this story feels like a roller-coaster ride. A wild one! It is filled to the brim with violence, blood, murder, cursing, sex, but also with magic. I absolutely loved the Old Roman Empire style world the story is set in. It felt somewhat familiar for a history nerd like myself, but at the same time it was completely new and refreshing within its genre.
“Sometimes weakness is a weapon. If you’re smart enough to use it.”
And the characters… I haven’t talked about the characters. I think Mia will be high up in my lists of kick ass female characters I completely love. Mia is dangerous, sometimes selfish, but on the other hand always there for her friends. She makes stupid mistakes. She isn’t ‘the one’ or ‘the prettiest’. Never black and white, always grey. However it doesn’t end there, because the whole cast of characters is pretty awesome. Especially the teacher at the Red Church were very interesting and gave extra depth to the story.
“… You just thrashed a horror of the Whisperwastes with a jar of chili powder?” Mia nodded. “Shame, really. It’s good stuff. I only stole the one jar.”
And the romance… there is very little romance involved. Something I actually missed a little bit. But for people who aren’t into sappy romance stories this will be an absolute joy to read. Don’t get me wrong, there is some romance. A very slow burning romance and some quite explicit sex. But it isn’t a huge plot-line and is always in the background.
Nevernight is a book filled with sass and sarcasm. The worldbuilding is spot on and very detailed, sometimes so detailed it gets a bit absurd. I absolutly adored it. But I will repeat myself, your enjoyment of this story will greatly depend on your love for Jay Kristoffs writing.”