Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday #Review - Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff #Fantasy @misterkristoff @StMartinsPress

Series: The Nevernight Chronicle # 2 
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Source: Library
Genre: Epic Fantasy

A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.
When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo 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 them. 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 loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

Godsgrave, by author Jay Kristoff, is the second installment in the authors The Nevernight Chronicles. Godsgrave picks up 8 months after the slaughter by the Luminatii on the Quiet Mountain and the Red Church. Since then, protagonist Mia Corvere has become one of the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder. There are some, however, who continue to believe that she didn't really earn her title, even though she freaking saved a bunch of people's lives. Were it not for Mia, a whole lot of others would be dust in the wind.

“If Vengeance has a mother, her name is Patience.”   

Nonetheless, Mia still doesn't exactly have a clear path at finally getting her revenge on those who killed her father, shoved her mother and brother in a hole, and tried to drown her. That would be Consul Scaeva, and Cardinal Duomo if you missed the first book, or synopsis. Thankfully, Mia is a badass who has two daemons in Mister Kindly and Eclipse helping eating away her fears, and giving much needed humor to a very dark story. Let's really talk about this story without giving away any spoilers. Godsgrave has moved away from being a Hogwarts School for Assassins, and in return, moves into a gladiator arena where anything can happen and does.

That means that Kristoff's world has grown immensely bigger as well. Mia's desire for revenge sets her on a path that takes her all over the Republic of Itreya, including one stop at her families former home called Crow's Nest. It is the gladiator story itself that sits at the foundation of Mia's plan for taking out the last two people responsible for her families demise. If you thought that Kristoff was going to go easy on you after the first book, you thought wrong cupcakes. This is one of the more bloodier books I have read this year, and I have no idea why that appeals to me on such a strange level. 

This story actually alternates between two very curious timelines I believe to be several months apart. The present storyline is Mia's attempt at surviving as a slave and being sold to a collegium where gladiatti, (gladiators), fight for their freedoms. The past timeline is where things get tricky, especially when Mia encounters several curious paths to her path to revenge, including being allied with the one person she should be killing on sight. I can honestly say that the author really punches the readers in the mouth with both the ridiculous bloodshed and revelations about who Mia should be focusing on, as well as the heart pulsing final chapters that really left me saying HOLY SHIT! 

If you are curious about the artwork on the books cover, I can say that it indicates a particular scene in the book which was not only action packed, but set the cornerstone for what will lead into the third installment. This is one of those books where the author definitely proves he is not just a one trick pony, that there is plenty more in his repertoire. At the same time, he gives you a push off the cliff, while tossing a parachute after you in hopes that you catch it in time to save yourself from excruciating pain. While the story definitely kicks the middle book syndrome in the coyones, it did leave me curious as to not only Mia's future, and that of several others, but whether or not we will finally get an understanding about what it means to be a Darklin, and who the strange she meets in this book is.

"Fear not, little mortal. The song is not yet sung. This is but the calm before the crescendo."     

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