Published: August 2016
Page count: 429
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Goodreads: See here
Plot at a Glance:
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?
This book is a masterpiece!
A true triumph of its genre and of storytelling in general, this is the book that all other books should aspire to be as great as. This is the fifth book I’ve read that Jay Kristoff has either fully written or co-authored, and it is far and away my favorite of all his work. This is his baby and brainchild; the magnum opus of a master craftsman meant to showcase the true depth and breadth of his talent as an author, and his love for this world he has built. Filled to the brim with atmospheric worldbuilding, engaging plotting and memorable characters this book was one of the most memorable and exciting reading experiences I’ve had all year.
Filled with Roman and Venetian influence, this isn’t your standard paint-by-numbers medieval fantasy. It is instantly atmospheric and so, so creative. Sometimes in fantasy, there’s a tendency by authors to repeat the same information over and over again to really drive home aspects that an author considers important for the reader to know. In Nevernight Kristoff’s worldbuilding never languishes over specific detail. Instead, each chapter, scene and word is carefully chosen to reveal more about various aspects of the world to the reader.
Similarly, the footnotes that are dispersed throughout the story allow Kristoff to tell anecdotal stories that expand the world even further. It’s information that is not necessarily critical to the story and could be skipped if one so chose, but Kristoff manages to keep them light and funny enough to make them worth reading. He has a real knack for shifting his narrative voice to a more jovial tone during these footnotes, elevating them from infodumps to short stories ranging from fallen kings or art or alcoholic beverages that are well worth the effort for the added life they add to the world.
The plotting is outstanding, from start to finish. There is constant movement – and it is never boring. Centering the story within a competition and a revenge narrative arc allows for the story to constantly shift between training and Mia’s greater search for vengeance for the family that she’s lost. Like the worldbuilding, Kristoff avoids revisiting already familiar information or places, instead exploring new events in each chapter. There’s so much going on at all times that it is impossible to get bored and if somehow all that action doesn’t entertain you – the characters certainly will.
Mia Corvere is one of my favorite protagonists in recent memory. She is so dark and driven in her goal of obtaining revenge for the family that she has lost that it would be easy to label her as an antihero, but Kristoff keeps her just noble enough in her actions that she remains the sort of character the reader wants to see succeed.
The supporting characters – both the heroic and villainous – are just as well done. They’re each distinctive and memorable in their own way, though Tric will forever be my book boyfriend. He’s so well developed and his dynamic with Mia was one of my favorites to see unfold. I loved him just as much as I loved Mia.
This book truly has it all. Outstanding worldbuilding, plotting and characters, and for the romance fans out there it is surprisingly steamy in parts as well. This is definitely adult fantasy in that there’s no avoidance of the topics of violence – or sex between consenting adults. The few erotic sequences that are included are tastefully done and hot as hell.
Sometimes sex in fantasy can feel like a bit of an afterthought, or a bit too much like wish fulfillment. It’s inclusion here is necessary, as the next obvious step of important character building moments between two characters.
Whatever you’re looking for as a fan of fantasy novels – whether it be distinct worldbuilding, memorable magic systems or characters, or an engaging plot – this book has it all. This was not only one of my favorite reads so far this year, but one that I will consider a favorite for years to come. If you read one adult fantasy book this year, make it this one!
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 = 5/5 stars!
Buddy read with the lovely
⚔️ Scrill @Vicariously&Voraciously
Have you read this? What did you think of it? Lets chat about it below!