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Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff is the second book of the Nevernight Chronicles and quite possibly the best sequel I’ve ever read. If you love a good, bloody fantasy story, then this is absolutely for you. There’s one disclaimer: Jay Kristoff is not about happy endings. So be prepared; things might not turn out so well.
So, this is the second book of the series, which means it quite possibly contains spoilers about Nevernight. If you haven’t read that one yet, you can check out the review of Nevernight here. And, as usual, you can read the full book review of Godsgrave below or skip ahead to the conclusion here.
Genre: New Adult Dark Fantasy | Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Book two of the nevernight chronicle continues with Mia Corvere, now a Blade of Our Lady of Blessed Murder. She’s placed as an assassin in some backwater town of the Republic, likely because some members of the Red Church don’t think she earned it to become a blade. On top of that, the Ministry also gets in the way of her revenge: they say Consul Scaeva is off-limits. But why? Mia starts to get more suspicious, which is fed after she’s confronted with an old enemy. What exactly are the Red Church’s motivations? Who can she trust? All she does know: she’s getting her revenge, one way or another.
The story Jay Kristoff crafted in Godsgrave is another winner. He weaves two points in time together with skill. We start with Mia being captured by slavers. On purpose, of course. This story is interchanged with the story of how she got to be there, starting with the assignments she gets from the Red Church. After it’s all caught up, the story continues chronologically.
The pace of the story is just fast enough, and tension keeps building throughout. And the climax of the story is absolutely, totally worth it. Extremely satisfying. But then Kristoff decides to throw us a total curveball, ending on a massive cliffhanger. So mean. So brilliant.
Mia is a wonderfully complex character. A total killer, a cool-blooded assassin, but she would do anything for her friends, her family. She burns with her need for revenge, though, so it’s always a question of how far she’s willing to go to get it. Can she betray those she calls friends (which they are, even though she keeps telling herself they aren’t)?
There is a new romance in this story as well. One that was surprising, to be sure. I’m not gonna say who; I don’t want to spoil it. Let’s just say there’s another steamy sex scene for you to read (other than the one at the beginning of the book). I wasn’t sure I liked the pairing to begin with, but they’ve grown on me. It actually makes sense.
There are some new, notable characters as well. Without spoiling too much of what’s to happen, my favorite new addition was Sidonius. Sarcastic, witty, kind of an ass sometimes, funny, and ultimately kind and goodhearted. Leona was an interesting character, clearly serving to hold a mirror for Mia: who might she have been if her family hadn’t been murdered?
Mia is starting to get more comfortable with her powers as a Darken, yet she’s still no closer to any answers. Apart from a strange, wreath-like character at the beginning of the story, telling her something cryptic about the moon. Of course, in a land where there’s never night, she has no idea what a moon is.
I love how we get to see more of the world and the history Jay Kristoff created. There’s an amazing amount of details, making it realistic. We don’t get much more information about the Darken, though I was hoping for it (but I know it’s coming in the third book!). Through Godsgrave, Mia is still looking for answers, but her quest for revenge is more important, so it remains cryptic.
I’m a huge fan of the writing in the Nevernight Chronicles. Godsgrave has, again, an enormous amount of footnotes. You can either hate it or love it, but I love it. Those little bits of interesting stories further shaping the world we’re emerged in.
As I said before, Kristoff also interweaves two timelines at the beginning of the novel, and he does it extremely well. The prose is excellent, and we’re drawn into Mia’s world as we see her thoughts. I especially liked how Kristoff frames Mia’s thoughts and the things she says and how they are often the opposite of her actions. It’s a great way to show conflict, and it adds to the emotional experience.
Godsgrave is an amazing sequel to the Nevernight Chronicles, with lots of action and bloody murder. Some steamy sex scenes are added as well (we kind of expect it at this point, neh?), along with new friendships and enemies. A thrilling story from beginning to end. Even though the ending is totally crappy.
No, I’m kidding, the ending is amazing, but Black Mother, it should be forbidden to end a story on such a cliffhanger. So, if you start this series, be sure you have all three books: you’re gonna want to continue with Darkdawn asap after this.
If you love a unique, dark, violent fantasy story with witty characters and funny details (you know, to lighten up the darkness of it all), then this is a story you need to read.
Have you read the Nevernight Chronicles yet? What are your thoughts on them? Or do you want to read the series? Let me know in the comments!