So as many of you have noticed, I didn’t do any posts for my Throne of Glass read-a-long this month, but that was because I was balls-deep into the #countdowntodarkdawn read-a-long hosted by Instagram’s @sammaybereading, @grumplstiltskin, and @amandasnoseinabook. I have never read a Jay Kristoff work before now and wow am I feeling a lot of emotions here.
Nevernight is the first book in the series, following the rise of Mia Corvere as she stabs her way into a religious institution set on training the most masterful of assassins. Mia’s is a story of violence and vengeance. Having lost her family to the opposing religious community that rules her home and yet also possessing a mysterious ability of the very dark itself, Mia hopes to avenge her fallen loved ones by burying those who took them from her.
It is hard to give a synopsis without spoilers as, like I said, this book is full of emotional turmoil. While I enjoyed the story from cover to cover, it took me a solid month to get through it and I really only finished on time thanks to the audiobook. Kristoff does not hold back when it comes to stomping on your heart with the sole of his boots until there’s nothing more than a bloody smear on the ground, and his unique style of writing is hypnotic. With winding, flowery prose as the regular narrative and then footnotes ripe with history, backstory, and enough sass to rival the author himself. But this also made the book far denser than I was expecting.
I knew going into it that this was not a YA novel, but considering the audience as well as the 16-year-old protagonist, I was expecting something…different. It is not a complaint, but the writing style is wordy as all hell and the footnotes range from single sentence one-liners to several paragraphs of lore that – at times – made reading slow. Given my headspace lately the weight of this book made me not want to pick it up at times, so perhaps that’s a warner that this is the farthest thing from light reading.
The twists and turns legitimately had me gasping and all of the murder came close to turning even my stomach in the best of ways. The word sensual comes to mind in more ways than one if I’m being honest.
When it comes to the characters, I loved Mia. She is a strong little bitch who refuses to be put down no matter how much anyone wants her dead. And yet, Mia makes mistakes. She makes friends. She gets betrayed. It’s nice to see a cold-hearted female character fail and yet still come out on top without it being predictable while also being able to truly care for those around her. Tric was this beautiful, young Jason Mamoa-esque beauty who I will not forgive Mr. Kristoff for. I even loved the nasty characters like Jessamine and Diamo.
But the best character of all, you ask?
Mister freaking Kindly.
I love this little shit of a not-cat and I would gladly kill in the name of Niah to have a not-cat like him pooled in my shadow. He’s the right level of comic relief mixed with wise guide and Kindly stole every scene he was a part of.
Was this book a tough one to push through? Absolutely, and I can 100% understand the reasoning behind the mixed reviews. Was this book worth every second it took to read? Absolutely.
I give Nevernight a four out of five while also being hyped as hell for Godsgrave!