Conquer your fear, conquer the world.
Mia Corvere, destroyer of empires, has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry do not believe she has earned it.
Her position is precarious, and she’s still no closer to exacting revenge for the brutal death of her family. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.
When it is announced that Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself into slavery for a chance to fulfil the promise she made on the day she lost everything.
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, secrets are revealed and the body count rises within the collegium walls, Mia will be forced to choose between her loyalties and her revenge.
Author: Jay Kristoff
Narrator: Holter Graham
Series: The Nevernight Chronicles (Book 2)
Run Time: 19 hrs 51 mins
Audio Release Date: 11/09/20117
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers ltd
My Rating of ‘Godsgrave’: 5 out of 5
I remember originally taking Nevernight off my reading list because I couldn’t be bothered to suffer through yet another ‘kid goes to school of his/her chosen skill (assassin in this case) and becomes the best in the world at what they do’ type story. Coming of age just really isn’t my thing and I was totally happy to kick this series to the curb because of that. I then had a good amount of people telling me that I needed to give it a chance and just read/listen to Nevernight.
So I did.
And I was blown away.
Nevernight review can be found here.
I then eagerly downloaded Godsgrave and was equally, if not more so (probably more so) blown away by this book. I say more so because this had so many explosive revelations that just set the third book up perfectly.
With Godsgrave, Mia decides that her vengeance is more important than the wishes of the Red Church, so she opts to go against their wishes in order to kill the men she needs to see dead. The whole ‘going to school/church’ dynamic has been thoroughly left behind in book one. Mia is no longer on the lower rungs of the ladder as far as the church is concerned after the events of book one. This sees her having a bit more freedom to get out and stretch her legs.
Godsgrave is set predominantly in the gladiatorial arenas and collegias (think modern day sport teams) where the gladiators are training and fighting their way towards the biggest event of the year on the gladiatorial calendar.
I have seen a fair few reviews that don’t like the informal writing style. I think it works wonderfully (can only speak for the audio version) and think the narrator brings the piece to life in ways simply reading it in my head couldn’t manage. So bravo to Holter Graham for his stellar work. If reviews on audible went up to a six instead of a five, his narration would have punched it up to a six.
The back and forth banter between Mr Kindly and Eclipse was, as ever, some of my favourite moments of the book. I love the dynamic between the shadow cat and wolf. As far as other character work goes, there is plenty of it. Characters you thought were on the wrong side of good and evil may make you think twice and new plot arcs involving current characters give some of them some incredibly interesting developments. I am already far too eager for the third book.
The few negative aspects of the book I had ready for my review changed when, as the end of the novel drew near, those lingering questions were answered. Oh, and regarding the ending … What an ending! Certainly didn’t do anything to stop that burning eagerness I already had for the third book.
In short: Pretty damn awesome. A bit better than book one in my opinion which gives me even higher hopes for book three.