Thursday, August 11, 2016

#Thursday Review - Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (Epic Fantasy)

Series: The Nevernight Chronicles # 1
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

The first in a new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author.

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?

Nevernight is the first installment in author Jay Kristoff's new series called The Nevernight Chronicles. If you are looking for a book that is dark & bloody, that offers no restraint when it comes to badassery, and a heroine who can walk the walk, while talking the talk, then you definitely need to read this book. I have seen Jay's summary of the book calling this Hogwarts for assassins set in a place not unlike the Roman Empire. I am totally on board with that description.

"Never Flinch. Never Fear. And Never, Ever Forget."

Kristoff's setting is the fictitious world of the Itreyan Republic where Three Suns commonly referred to as the eyes of the God of Light, keep the country in sunshine. There are exceptions, and that is when darkness makes it's presence felt. Nevernight's protagonist is 16-year old Mia Corvere. Mia is the daughter of a failed revolutionary. When she was 10, her father was found guilty of treachery and treason. Mia watched as her father was hanged. Shortly thereafter, Mia's mother and baby brother were taken away, and she found herself running for her life after soldiers were told to drown her.

Mia's escape is nothing short of extraordinary thanks in part to determination and some skills she was trained to use by her own father. Oh, and perhaps a little intervention from a higher, darker power that allows Mia to bend shadows. For 6 years, Mia trained hard under Master Mercurio to put her desire for the ultimate revenge against THREE main characters who were responsible for destroying her family and upending her life. Alongside Mia is her ever faithful and chatty SHADOW cat known as Mister Kindly. 

Mia arrives at the school of assassins for the Red Church with her new found friend Tric. Acolytes train to become Blades for the Lady of Blessed Mother and each has to prove themselves with everything from fighting skills, to poisons, to using one's body to gain information from various sources. It is a school that people will kill to get ahead. A place where friends are more likely to betray and shove a blade in your back than help you. It is a school where the instructors are not smiley happy people.

They tend to put the acolytes through pain and suffering because that is the reality of the world they live in. This school is pure betrayal, backstabbing, and sleight of hand in order to survive. With each acolyte trying to outlast, and defeat a class of 30 others who have been chosen to train at the preeminent school for assassins. It will take Mia's strange abilities, cunning, and her own faith in order to survive and become a Blade. Even though Mia is a hardened character thanks to the events that have shaped her life, she's not all bad.  

Please don't allow your choice to read or not be based on someone else's choice not to finish the book. We all have different likes and dislikes. Yes, there are more than a few choice profanities and other not so nice words that I wouldn't consider using towards another person. Mia does. This is a book about a girl learning how to become an assassin in order to KILL PEOPLE who destroyed her family. She's not trying out for the covenant.  There are complexities that abound in Kristoff's world, and her characters are not afraid to use sex for release. 

Unless you are one of THOSE people who are quickly offended by the rain falling, or someone beeping the horn at you because you are in the wrong damn lane, then you should enjoy this book. If you are one of those people who need a quiet spot to hash out your feelings because you are quickly offended, then maybe this book isn't for you. Lighten up folks, life isn't easy. It was never meant to be.

This book is not considered Young Adult, or even New Adult. 

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