Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicles #1) by Jay Kristoff
Release Date: August 9, 2016
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?
‘Byss and blood, fuck yes. This book, you guys.
So, I’ve been dying to read this since the summary was announced. Hell, maybe even before that. An assassin school? Another teen girl out for revenge after the slaughter of her family? Yes! Sign. Me. Up.
I swear I heard angels sing when the NetGalley approval came through, so I’ve gotta thank St. Martin Press right off the bat. And still, I didn’t want to read it right away. I think I knew just how incredible it was going to be.
I admit, the first 10 pages or so I was confused. I had to go back and reread things. I wasn’t sure if I had a faulty copy. But then, it just hooks you. And by 20 pages, you never want the story to end. Ever.
Anyway, we’ve got Mia Corvere, a 16 year-old whose family had been destroyed years ago. Her father, hung for treason. Mother and baby brother sent to prison. Even at 10 and untrained, she was kind of a bad ass. She escaped her own death, and was “found” by a Shahiid (I suppose a master of sorts) and they began training. Somewhat. However, he sends her on a journey to the Red Church — a school for wannabe assassins. And this is where the story really rocks. Because there are tests along the way, and she must pass to even gain entrance to the school. The trick? She doesn’t even really know where it is. She meets up with Tric, an attractive Dweymeri boy, who also happens to be seeking the Church. Together, they meet up with interesting characters and creatures BEFORE even arriving. It’s crazy cool and unique.
Most of Nevernight is Mia’s training. There are less than 30 acolytes when things begin, and they are slowly killed off (by various things or persons). We get to know several quite well. All of the classes are leading up to finals, when initiation will take place. There’s a whole to it, but it’s more fun to read about than explain. Just know that it’s awesome and very Harry Potter-esque.
This book is so incredibly plotted and well-written. I don’t think I have any complaints. Well, other than the first few pages. But I loved that we got pieces of the past mixed in with her time at the school. It really added depth to Mia’s character. And the taste for revenge that she so desperately craved. I wanted it too. I have to warn people that this is TRUE fantasy. The development takes time and patience, but again, the crafting is absolute perfection. The writing is intense, but amidst the seriousness is plenty of snark, humor, and heck yeah – sexy times. A little steam never hurt anyone, and Mr. Kristoff knocked those scenes out of the park. It doesn’t hurt that they were completely unexpected, too! But I digress.
The ending scenes. My gosh. For the last 20 – 30% of the story I was glued to my Kindle. At the same time I was savoring it. Things were so intense, and the twists! I really didn’t see the big one coming, so kudos on that! I did love how this ended, but I admit that it blows having to wait another year or so for the next book in the series. It’s too far away! This book is easily a top read of 2016 for me. In fact, I’d place it second only to Maas’s ACOMAF.
In my opinion, this is the best “girl-power” book I’ve read in a long time. Especially regarding the topic of revenge. Kristoff has built a world that makes me want to become an assassin the way I wanted to be a wizard in Rowling’s world. Move over, Celaena Sardothien. There’s another resident bad-ass female assassin in the literary world. Mia Corvere. Never flinch. Never fear. Never forget.
Kelli’s Rating: 5/5
Blush Factor: 4