The second thrilling installment of the award-winning Nevernight Chronicle, from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.
In a land where three suns almost never set, a ruthless assassin continues her quest for vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church hierarchy think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending the men who destroyed her familia; in fact, she’s told directly that Consul Scaeva is off limits. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia’s suspicions about the Red Church’s true motives begin to grow.
When it’s announced that Scaeva will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end him. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between love and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.
Horror After Dark Review
Diving into this book and being reacquainted with some familiar characters was quite a treat. I especially enjoyed the dark humor and sarcasm that was found throughout, even in the most serious of situations.
“. . . I did warn you he was an idiot . . . “
Our “favorite assassin”, Mia Corvere, is still set upon avenging the death of her father, and the subsequent break-up/deaths of her family. Although she is now a “Blade” of the Red Church, she technically failed at her initiation.
“You don’t find any irony in earning your place in a cult of assassins by saving half a dozen lives?”
Kristoff’s characterization evolves with our individuals, making them all the more real to the reader. These are not stagnant roles set in stone by the first book, but rather they are changing continuously along with each new development.
“Your vengeance is as the suns . . . It serves only to blind you.”
I must admit that there were many twists and revelations that I did NOT see coming. This serves as a testament to how well I was able to be drawn into the narrative. I wasted no time in “predicting” what would come next, but rather existed in each moment along with the characters. This is perhaps the highest compliment I can give to an author. For the time I was reading this novel, those people and places became my reality.
“. . . when you take a person out of the world, you don’t just take them do you? You take everything they were, too.”
Mia’s character is quite complex, and her emotions are maturing along with the rest of her. Even in the face of some unsettling “truths”, she is able to process them, adjust, and move ahead accordingly.
“. . . The destination hasn’t changed, just the starting point.”
We are joined by some familiar faces, and other new ones. Each of these supporting characters are somehow helping our assassin towards her ultimate destiny–whether it be physically or mentally.
“Hurts, doesn’t it? . . . When you find out the ones who gave you life are just as mortal and frail as the rest of us? . . . “
The action, deaths, gore, and emotions are all in full swing, as is Kristoff’s trademark sarcasm and gallows’ humor. (Again, one of the things that draws me to his writing style.) There is no good place to “pause” in this book, as something of importance is happening on every page.
“. . . For people like us, there are no promises of forever.”
Overall, my feeling is that this second novel in the “Nevernight Chronicle” was the perfect follow up in every way possible. The plot moves inexorably forward, there is a lot of character growth and development (that felt natural, never out of place or forced), and it ended on a note that leaves the reader “needing” to pick up that final book. This is a world that is easy to lose oneself in, a fictional escape from our own reality.
Isn’t that why we delve into these genres, after all?
“. . . Death is the only promise we all keep . . . “
Highly recommended–to follow after Book 1, NEVERNIGHT.
About The Author
About Jay Kristoff
Jay Kristoff is the #1 international, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of LIFEL1K3, THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE and THE ILLUMINAE FILES. He is the winner of five Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, has over half a 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.