Signed First Edition
The second thrilling installment of the award-winning Nevernight Chronicle, from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.
In a land where three suns almost never set, a ruthless assassin continues her quest for vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church hierarchy think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending the men who destroyed her familia; in fact, she’s told directly that Consul Scaeva is off limits. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia's suspicions about the Red Church’s true motives begin to grow.
When it’s announced that Scaeva 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 him. 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 love and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.
About the Author
JAY KRISTOFF is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Lotus War, The Illuminae Files and The Nevernight Chronicle. He is the winner of four Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, nominee for the Locus award, David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named multiple times in the Kirkus and Amazon Best Teen Books list and published in over thirty countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 12,365 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell. He does not believe in happy endings.
Read an Excerpt
Nothing stinks quite like a corpse.
It takes a while for them to really start reeking. O, chances are good if you don't soil your britches before you die, you'll soil them soon afterward — your human bodies simply work that way, I'm afraid. But I don't mean the pedestrian stink of shit, gentlefriends. I speak of the eye-watering perfume of simple mortality. It takes a turn or two to really warm up, but once the gala gets into full swing, it's one not soon forgot.
Before the skin starts to black and the eyes turn to white and the belly bloats like some horrid balloon, it begins. There's a sweetness to it, creeping down your throat and rolling your belly like a butter churn. In truth, I think it speaks to something primal in you. The same part of you mortals that dreads the dark. That knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that no matter who you are and what you do, even worms shall have their feasts, and that one turn, you and everything you love will die.
But still, it takes a while for bodies to get so bad you can smell them from miles away. And so when Teardrinker caught a whiff of the high, sweet stink of decay on the Ashkahi whisperwinds, she knew the corpses had to be at least two turns dead.
And that there had to be an awful lot of them.
The woman pulled on her reins, bringing her camel to a stop as she raised her fist to her crew. The driver in the train behind her saw her signal, the long, winding chain of wagons and beasts slowing down, all spit and growls and stomping feet. The heat was brutal — two suns burning the sky a blinding blue and all the desert around them to rippling red. Teardrinker reached for the waterskin on her saddle, took a lukewarm swig as her second pulled up alongside her.
"Trouble?" Cesare asked.
Teardrinker nodded south along the road. "Smells like."
Like all her people, the Dweymeri woman was tall — six foot seven if she was an inch, and every inch of that was muscle. Her skin was deep brown, her features adorned with the intricate facial tattoos worn by all folk of the Dweymeri Isles. A long scar bisected her brow, running over a milk-white left eye and down her cheek. She was dressed like a seafarer: a tricorn hat and some old captain's frock coat. But the oceans she sailed were made of sand now, the only decks she walked were those of her wagon train. After a wreck that killed her entire crew and all her cargo years ago, Teardrinker had decided that the Mother of Oceans hated her guts, arse, and the ship she sailed in on.
So, deserts it was.
The captain shielded her eye against the glare, squinting into the distance. The whisperwinds scratched and clawed about her, the hair on back of her neck tingling. They were still seven turns out of the Hanging Gardens, and it wasn't uncommon for slavers to work this road even in summersdeep. Still, two of three suns were high in the sky, and this close to truelight, she was hoping it'd be too hot for drama.
But the stench was unmistakable.
"Dogger," she hollered. "Graccus, Luka, bring your arms and come with me. Dustwalker, you keep up that ironsong. If a sand kraken ends up chewing on my cunny, I'll be back from the 'byss to chew on you."
"Aye, Cap'n!" the big Dweymeri called. Turning to the contraption of iron piping bolted to the rearmost wagon in the train, Dustwalker hefted a large pipe and began beating it like a disobedient hound. The discordant tune of ironsong joined the maddening whispers blowing in off the northern wastes.
"What about me?" Cesare asked.
Teardrinker smirked at her right-hand man. "You're too pretty to risk. Stay here. Keep an eye on the stock."
"They're not doing well in this heat."
The woman nodded. "Water them while you wait. Let them stretch their legs a little. Not too far, though. This is bad country."
Cesare doffed his hat as Dogger, Graccus, and Luka rode up on their camels to join Teardrinker at the front of the line. Each man was dressed in a thick leather jerkin despite the scorch, and Dogger and Graccus were packing heavy crossbows. Luka wielded his slingblades as always, cigarillo hanging from his mouth. The Liisian thought arrows were for cowards, and he was good enough with his slings that she never argued. But how he could stand to smoke in this heat was beyond her.
"Eyes open, mouths shut," Teardrinker ordered. "Let's about it."
The quartet headed down through rocky badlands, the stench growing stronger by the second. Teardrinker's men were as hard a pack of bastards as you'd find under the suns, but even the hardest were born with a sense of smell. Dogger pressed a finger to his nose, blasting a stream of snot from each nostril, cursing by Aa and all four of his daughters. Luka lit another cigarillo, and Teardrinker was tempted to ask him for a puff to rid herself of the taste, accursed heat or no.
They found the wreck about two miles down the road.
It was a short wagon train: two trailers and four camels, all bloating in the sunslight. Teardrinker nodded to her men and they dismounted, wandering through the wreckage with weapons ready. The air was thick with the hymn of tiny wings.
A slaughter, by the look. Arrows littered on the sand and studding the wagon hulls. Teardrinker saw a fallen sword. A broken shield. A long slick of dried blood like a madman's scrawl, and a frantic dance of footprints around a cold cooking pit.
"Slavers," she murmured. "A few turns back."
"Aye," Luka nodded, drawing on his cigarillo. "Looks like."
"Cap'n, I could use a hand over here," Dogger called.
Teardrinker made her way around the fallen beasts, Luka beside her, brushing away the soup of flies. She saw Dogger, crossbow drawn but not raised, his other hand up in supplication. And though he was the kind of fellow whose biggest worry when slitting a man's throat was not getting any on his shoes, the man was speaking gently, as if to a frightened mare.
"Woah, there," he cooed. "Easy, girl ..." More blood here, sprayed across the sand, dark brown on deep red. Teardrinker saw the telltale mounds of a dozen freshly dug graves nearby. And looking past Dogger, she saw who it was he spoke at so sweetly.
"Aa's burning cock," she murmured. "Now there's a sight."
A girl. Eighteen at most. Pale skin, burned a little red from the sunslight. Long black hair cut into sharp bangs over dark eyes, her face smudged with dust and dried blood. But Teardrinker could see she was a beauty beneath the mess, high cheekbones and full lips. She held a double-edged gladius, notched from recent use. Her thigh and ribs were wrapped in rags, stained with a different vintage than the blood on her tunic.
"You're a pretty flower," Teardrinker said.
"S-stay away from me," the girl warned.
"Easy," Teardrinker murmured. "You've no need of steel anymore, lass."
"I'll be the judge of that, if it please you," she said, voice shaking.
Luka drifted to the girl's flank, reaching out with a swift hand. But she turned quick as silver, kicked his knee and sent him to the sand. With a gasp, the Liisian found the lass behind him, her gladius poised above the join between his shoulder and neck. His cigarillo dangled from suddenly dust-dry lips.
The girl's eyes flashed as she snarled at Teardrinker.
"Stay away from me, or Four Daughters, I swear I'll end him."
"Dogger, ease off, there's a lad," Teardrinker commanded. "Graccus, put up your crossbow. Give the young dona some room."
Teardrinker watched as her men obeyed, drifting back to let the girl exhale her panic. The woman took a slow step forward, empty hands up and out.
"We've no wish to hurt you, flower. I'm just a trader, and these are just my men. We're traveling to the Hanging Gardens, we smelled the bodies, we came for a look-see. And that's the truth of it. By Mother Trelene, I swear it."
The girl watched the captain with wary eyes. Luka winced as her blade nicked his neck, blood beading on the steel.
"What happened here?" Teardrinker asked, already knowing the answer.
The girl shook her head, tears welling in her lashes.
"Slavers?" Teardrinker asked. "This is bad country for it."
The girl's lip trembled, she tightened her grip on her blade.
"Were you traveling with your family?"
"M-my father," the girl replied.
Teardrinker sized the lass up. She was on the short side, thin, but fit and hard. She'd taken refuge under the wagons, torn down some canvas to shelter from the whisperwinds. Despite the stink, she'd stayed near the wreck where supplies were plentiful and she'd be easier to find, which meant she was smart. And though her hand trembled, she carried that steel like she knew how to swing it. Luka had dropped faster than a bride's unmentionables on her wedding night.
"You're no merchant's daughter," the captain declared.
"My father was a sellsword. He worked the trains out of Nuuvash."
"Where's your da now, Flower?"
"Over there," the girl said, voice cracking.
"With th-the others."
Teardrinker looked to the fresh-dug graves. Maybe three feet deep. Dry sand. Desert heat. No wonder the place stank so bad.
"And the slavers?"
"I buried them, too."
"And now you're waiting out here for what?"
The girl glanced in the direction of Dustwalker's ironsong. This far south, there wasn't much risk of sand kraken. But ironsong meant wagons, and wagons meant succor, and staying here with the dead didn't seem to be on her mind, buried da or no.
"I can offer you food," Teardrinker said. "A ride to the Hanging Gardens. And no unwelcome advances from my men. But you're going to have to put down that sword, Flower. Young Luka is our cook as well as a guardsman." Teardrinker risked a small smile. "And as my husband would tell you if he were still among us, you don't want me cooking your supper."
The girl's eyes welled with tears as she glanced to the graves again.
"We'll carve him a stone before we leave," Teardrinker promised softly.
The tears spilled then, the girl's face crumpling as if someone had kicked it in. She let the sword drop, Luka snatching himself loose and rolling up out of the dirt. The girl hung there like a crooked portrait, curtains of blood-matted hair about her face.
The captain almost felt sorry for her.
She approached slowly across the gore-caked earth, shrouded by a halo of flies. And taking off her glove, she extended one callused hand.
"They call me Teardrinker," she said. "Of the Seaspear clan."
The girl reached out with trembling fingers. "M —"
Teardrinker seized the girl's wrist, spun on the spot and flipped her clean over her shoulder. The lass shrieked, crashing onto the dirt. Teardrinker put the boot to her, medium style — just enough to knock what was left of her fight loose from her lungs.
"Dogger, set the irons, there's a lad," the captain said. "Hands and feet."
The Itreyan unslung the manacles from about his waist, bolted them about the girl. She came to her senses, howling and thrashing as Dogger screwed the irons tighter, and Teardrinker drove a boot so hard into her belly she retched into the dirt. The captain let her have another for good measure, just shy of rib-cracking. The girl curled into a ball with a long, breathless moan.
"Get her on her feet," the captain commanded.
Dogger and Graccus dragged the girl up. Teardrinker grabbed a fistful of hair, hauled the girl's head back so she could look into her eyes.
"I promised no untoward advances from my men, and to that I hold. But keep fussing, and I'll hurt you in ways you'll find all manner of unwelcome. You hear me, Flower?"
The girl could only nod, long black hair tangled at the corners of her lips. Teardrinker nodded to Graccus, and the big man dragged the girl around the ruined wagon train, threw her onto the back of his growling camel. Dogger was already looting the wagons, rifling through the barrels and chests. Luka was checking the cut he'd been gifted, glancing at the girl's gladius in the dust.
"You let a slip like that get the drop on you again," Teardrinker warned, "I'll leave you out here for the fucking dustwraiths, you hear me?"
"Aye, Cap'n," he muttered, abashed.
"Help Dogger with the leavings. Bring all the water back to the train. Anything you can carry worth a looting, snag it. Burn the rest."
Teardrinker spat into the dirt, brushed the flies from her good eye as she strode across the blood-caked sand and joined Graccus. She slung herself up onto her camel, and with a sharp kick, the pair were riding back to the wagon train.
Cesare was waiting in the driver's seat, his pretty face sour. He brightened a little when he saw the girl, groaning and half-senseless over the hump of Graccus's beast.
"For me?" he asked. "You shouldn't have, Cap'n."
"Slavers hit a merchant caravan, bit off more than they could chew." Teardrinker nodded to the girl. "She's the only survivor. Graccus and Dogger are bringing back water from the wreckage. See it distributed among the stock."
"Another one died of heatstroke." Cesare motioned back to the train. "Found him when we let the others out to stretch. That's a quarter of our inventory this run."
Teardrinker hauled off her tricorn, dragged her hand along her sweat-drenched scalp. She watched the stock stagger around their cages, men and women and a handful of children, blinking up at the merciless suns. Only a few were in irons — most were so heat-wracked they'd not the strength to run, even if they had somewhere to go. And out here in the Ashkahi Whisperwastes, there was nowhere to get except dead.
"No fear," she said, nodding at the girl. "Look at her. A prize like that will cover our losses and then some. One of the Daughters has smiled on us." She turned to Graccus. "Lock her in with the women. See she's fed a double ration 'til we get to the Gardens. I want her looking ripe on the stocks. You touch her beyond that, I'll cut off your fucking fingers and feed them to you, aye?"
Graccus nodded. "Aye, Cap'n."
"Get the rest back in their cages. Leave the dead one for the restless."
Cesare and Graccus set about it, leaving Teardrinker to brood.
The captain sighed. The third sun would be rising in a few months. This would probably be the last run she'd make until after truelight, and the divinities had been conspiring to fuck it to ruin. An outbreak of bloodflux had wiped out an entire wagon of her stock just a week after they left Rammahd. Young Cisco had got poleaxed when he slipped off for a piss — probably took by a dustwraith, judging by what was left of him. And this heat was threatening to wilt the rest of her crop before it even got to market. All she needed was a cool breeze for a few more turns. Maybe a short spell of rain. She'd sacrificed a strong young calf on the Altar of Storms at Nuuvash before she left. But did Lady Nalipse listen?
After the wreck years ago that had almost ruined her, Teardrinker had vowed to stay away from the water. Running flesh on the seas was a riskier business than driving it on land. But she swore the Mother of Oceans was still trying to make her life a misery, even if it meant getting her sister, the Mother of Storms, in on the torment.
Not a breath of wind.
Not a drop of rain.
Still, that pretty flower was fresh, and curves like hers would fetch a fine price at market. It was a stroke of luck to have found her out here, unspoiled in all this shit. Between the raiders and the slavers and the sand kraken, the Ashkahi Whisperwastes were no place for a girl to roam alone. For Teardrinker to have found her before someone or something else did, one of the Daughters had to be smiling on her.
It was almost as if someone wanted it this way ...
The girl was thrown in the frontmost wagon with the other maids and children. The cage was six feet high, rusted iron. The floor was smeared with filth, the reek of sweating bodies and carrion breath almost as bad as the camel corpses had been. The big one named Graccus hadn't been gentle, but true to his captain's word, his hands had done nothing but hurl her down, slam the cage door and twist the lock.
The girl curled up on the floor. Felt the stares of the women about her, the curious eyes of the boys and girls. Her ribs ached from the kicking she'd been gifted, the tears she'd cried cutting tracks down through the blood and dirt on her cheeks. Fighting for calm. Eyes closed. Just breathing.
Finally, she felt gentle hands helping her up. The cage was crowded, but there was room enough for her to sit in a corner, back pressed hard to the bars. She opened her eyes, saw a young, kindly face, smeared with grime, green eyes.
"Do you speak Liisian?" the woman asked.
The girl nodded mutely.
"What's your name?"
The girl whispered through swollen lips. " ... Mia."
"Four Daughters," the woman tutted, smoothing back the girl's hair. "How did a pretty doll like you end in a place like this?
The girl glanced down at the shadow beneath her.
Up to those glittering green eyes.
"Well," she sighed. "That's the question, isn't it?"
Four months earlier
King Francisco XV, sovereign ruler of all Itreya, took his place at the edge of the stage. He was decked in a doublet and hose of purest white, cheeks daubed with rose paint. The jewels in his crown sparkled as he spoke, one hand to his chest.
"Ever I sought to rule both wise and just,
But kingly brow as beggar's knees now must;
To kiss the dirt and —"
"Nay!" came a shout.
Excerpted from "Godsgrave"
Copyright © 2017 Neverafter PTY LTD..
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Book 1. The Red Promise,
Chapter 1. Perfume,
Chapter 2. Firemass,
Chapter 3. Shadows,
Chapter 4. Offering,
Chapter 5. Devotion,
Chapter 6. Mortality,
Chapter 7. Hungers,
Chapter 8. Prayers,
Chapter 9. Stepping,
Chapter 10. Secrets,
Chapter 11. Thunder,
Chapter 12. Epiphany,
Book 2. Blood and Glory,
Chapter 13. Egress,
Chapter 14. Breathing,
Chapter 15. Right,
Chapter 16. Honey,
Chapter 17. Stormwatch,
Chapter 18. Gloria,
Chapter 19. Yield,
Chapter 20. Three,
Chapter 21. Please,
Chapter 22. Quiet,
Chapter 23. Whitekeep,
Chapter 24. Obsidian,
Book 3. The Game,
Chapter 25. Rot,
Chapter 26. Silver,
Chapter 27. Severing,
Chapter 28. Scars,
Chapter 29. Rise,
Chapter 30. Interlude,
Chapter 31. Truelight,
Chapter 32. Gently,
Chapter 33. Begin,
Chapter 34. Magni,
Chapter 35. Gone,
Chapter 36. Godsgrave,
Also by Jay Kristoff,
About the Author,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
If you liked the 1st book, then you will probably enjoy this just as much. A worthy 2nd chapter that will leave you dreading the wait for part 3.
Great story cant wait for the finale!!
Blah blah blah read it!
Jay Kristoff is... IDK. I can't judge him personally but his writing is brilliant. Mia is the most kick-a** character to ever bleed on the sand and WTF just happened? I was worried that GODSGRAVE would be a pale imitation of NEVERNIGHT and I could not have been more wrong. Sass and sarcasm. Check. Sex. Check. Blood and guts and gore. #stabstabstab. There is violence and then there is violence and Mr. Kristoff has elevated hacking off limbs and severing heads to poetry. It's like a brutal ballet and I couldn't stop watching the blood splash across the page. The story is all twisty and turny (yes, that's a word now) and... and... and... I need the next book. What just happened! Jay Kristoff is a monster. He's my favorite monster.
“‘I know that you are meant for more than this,’ it said. ‘Your truth lies buried in the grave, and yet you paint your hands in red for them, when you should be painting the skies black.’” This book was FANTASTIC. It was overwhelming, and intense. I stopped and reread so many sentences, because I just couldn’t believe what had just happened. I love love loved it. Mia is the ultimate badass, and I am thrilled to be reading about a bad ass character that is willing to learn more about herself and who is growing as a character as these insane events are happening around her. Lets be honest with ourselves, with many of our favorite badasses the character development is often missing, but Jay Kristoff is doing a masterful job with our Mia. “Never flinch. Never fear. And never, ever forget.” This next bit might be considered spoiler-y. It really gives nothing away, but just incase i will give the warning. This story has also raised a thought provoking question in me, that I can’t seem to stop thinking about. We encourage ourselves and our friends our society to be fearless, to have courage, or maybe even face our fears. A conversation happens in this book between Eclipse and Mr. Kindly that really made me think about this. “‘I wonder sometimes, what we are making of her…’ ‘we are making her strong, steel, ruthless as the storm and the sea..’ ‘…the thing we take from her…I wonder if she does not need it…’ ‘…you speak of fear…?’ ‘…no i speak of fashion sense…’ ‘…what need has she of fear. Moggy…?’ ‘…those who do not fear the flame are burned, those who do not fear the blade are bled, and those who do not fear the grave…’ ‘…are free to be and do whatever they wish…’” And as Mia goes into these really scary situations, without any fear as her shadows eat it away, I am wondering the same thing. What if a part of her needs at least some of that fear. Isn’t there a point to fear after all? I am not talking about the fear that takes over your life and makes you immobile as a person. But should we in general take a minute to examine why we or our friends might be afraid and determine the value of that fear before we just discourage it in hand? I am genuinely asking…. So anyway… my review… This is an ABSOTLUTE FIVE STAR read from me. It is the kind of book you will never forget. It is a rare gem of darkness, comedy, love, and blood and I will continue to eat up anything this author puts out there.
Jay Kristoff is an EVIL MASTERMIND that manages to warp my perceptions of what great books are every time I dive into another one of his masterpieces. BASICALLY, GODSGRAVE AND THIS ENTIRE SERIES WAS BRILLIANT AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF AFTER THAT CLIFF HANGER OF AN ENDING. I’ve been holding on to my review copy of Godsgrave (Thank you Harper India!) for a while now because I was waiting for the perfect time to put myself through ALL THE INSANITY that makes up The Nevernight Chronicles. Godsgrave, the second book in this trilogy, was INTENSE, even MORE #StabStabStab than the first book (is that even possible?) and really showed you the Republic of Itreya in a brutal, harsh light. There was so much Roman culture like Gladiators and the very republic itself and IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST WORKS OF (BLOOD FILLED) LITERATURE I’VE EVER READ. MY THOUGHTS: 1. If you’ve read Nevernight, or even my review of Nevernight, you’ll know that the world and the book had a slow start, and it took a while for me to really get into the series. Once I did, though, Nevernight was one of my few five star reads of last year and Godsgrave found it’s wat on my most anticipated list! 2. Godsgrave rivalled Nevernight when it came to pacing, the book throwing you into the fast paced deep end from the very first chapter. The pace and with it, the bloodshed, gore and dark humour worked perfectly in co-ordination with each other and it resulted in this EVIL, STABBY MASTERPIECE. 3. THE CLIFF HANGER ENDING AT THE END OF GODSGRAVE WAS 32 DIFFERENT KINDS OF INSANE. Do you know how normal plot twists have only one major reveal at the end that makes your jaw drop? Godsgrave had FOUR reveals, at the very least. I sped read my way through the last few chapters and then flipped backwards and read it all again because THE ENDING WAS STUNNING AND TWISTED AND I LOVED IT AND ALSO NEED BOOK THREE. 4. I loved how much more of the Republic we saw in Godsgrave. It really highlighted the problem of slavery that Iterya was built upon, the few rich feeding off the many, gladiatii and everything else. 5. I also loved that this book was SO INCLUSIVE, and despite the fact that the Republic is a less than ideal place to live in, it was still completely accepting of absolutely anyone on the LGBT spectrum because it was the NORM in this world. 6. I CANNOT EVEN EXPLAIN HOW THE STORY, THE WORLD, MIA, MISTER KINDLY AND ECLIPSE EVOLVED IN THIS BOOK BECAUSE EVEN SAYING A SINGLE THING IS SPOILING IT, BUT IT WAS ALL SO SO BRILLIANT. I loved reading each and every of the 400+ pages in this book because it kept your undivided attention throughout. 7. I SIMPLY MUST MENTION ALL THE SASS IN THIS BOOK because it made a laugh, snort and FALL IN LOVE. Yes for ominous shadow creatures that eat fear and spill sass like there’s no tomorrow. If you can’t already tell, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED Godsgrave. Jay Kristoff somehow managed to OUTDO himself with the book and I am so in awe of every book he writes. 5 Blood Encrusted Stars.
A fantastic read which picks up where Nevernight left off. A definite recommend for those who prefer a darker sort of fantasy.
It's surprising how hard it is to write coherent reviews for your favorite books. I mean, how to describe an amazing book with brilliant writing in my own words? Somehow, I always fail to fully convey its magnificence and perfection. Honestly, I am stupefied, overwhelmed, and absolutely drowning in feels. Godsgrave has everything one might want from a book—murder, love, wit, drama, intrigue, phenomenal storytelling, and so much more. This series is probably one of my most satisfying reads ever in term of vengeance, murder, and sexiness. I always worry that when I'm so excited for a book before reading it, that I am just leading myself to be let down, but that has never been the case when it comes to Jay Kristoff. He slays at complex plots, compelling and well-rounded characters, and just . . . everything! And while this story is darker than what I would normally reach for, the story is so captivating and heartfelt . . . you know . . . in between all the . . . stabbing . . . and death xD But I digress! There is no second book slump, and the writing is inspired—as is the story. Godsgave will keep you on the edge of your seat. It will take your emotions for a high-speed rollercoaster of a ride. And while this series is not for the faint of heart by any means, I nevertheless could not possibly recommend it more. About the Audio: Holter Graham is truly fantastic. There is no end to his voice acting skills. He truly makes the entire story come alive, and you feel as if you are in the thick of the action. There couldn't possibly be an individual more perfect to narrate this than him. I highly suggest picking this audiobook up, especially if you are put off by the amount of footnotes in the story. Graham takes an already incredible novel and puts it over the top.
Godsgrave, book two in the Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff, is a book I have been waiting to get my hands on pretty much since I finished Nevernight. If you’re looking for a dark and gritty fantasy definitely get started on this series. I will say that while this is coded as YA, I would definitely not consider it in that category. I love how Kristoff has created this world where danger lurks around every corner and you never know what will happen next. There is no guarantee that any character you like will make it out of this story intact (or alive) so brace yourself. Mia is Mia…that is really all I can say. She is still looking for her revenge and she has a plan no matter what the Red Church says and when she finds out what their motives are, I’m sure you can imagine what happens. As for other characters, we get to see some return from book one but there are also some new ones too. Not only do they help move the story forward but they all keep Mia on track. One thing that was in book one and carries over to this book is the use of footnotes. The structure is not my favorite and I found it distracting so I chose not to read them but went back to read after I finished. I know some people like them but they weren’t really for me. I do think Mia shows some growth in this book. Yes, she is still angry and still looking for revenge. She also pretty much does what she wants but when she is sold to the gladiatii, she finds herself in a place where she has to follow direction and in some cases, get along with those around her. There were some twists and turns I didn’t see coming during Mia’s time under the Domina’s rule but her abilities help her get around some of the rules. There isn’t a lot I can say about what actually happens because I don’t want to ruin a second of Mia’s story for anyone. Instead what I will tell you is that if you enjoyed book one, I don’t think you will be disappointed by Godsgrave. So much happens that I can’t even talk about it all. And of course, in the way that he does, Kristoff has ended this book by ripping out my very soul. Ok, ok…that might be a bit dramatic but HOLY CRAP that was completely unexpected and now I need to figure out who I need to talk to (read: BRIBE) to get a copy of book three.
The thing I always have to remind myself about trilogies is how quickly the mood can change between books. I read Nevernight, the first in The Nevernight Chronicle series, immediately before starting Godsgrave. And I loved it. LOVED. Some aspects were reminiscent of other books in the same genre, but it was different enough that the similarities felt more like a homey familiarity, while the unique qualities made me ache to keep reading. Mia is super easy to fall in love with, which is a lot considering she’s training to be an assassin serving the Lady of Blessed Murder, all so she can seek revenge on those who destroyed her family. But she’s seriously kick-ass, snarky as hell, and beyond driven. My love for Mia goes deep! But I digress…I was talking about trilogies and this is a review about Godsgrave anyway, so…where was I? Oh, yeah. So, I loved Nevernight and was thrilled to have Godsgrave sitting and waiting for me because it needed to be the thing I read next. But it has to be said that the mood, really everything, is so very different. If it’s been awhile since you read Nevernight, it might not be quite so obvious, but if you’re reading them back to back? Just be prepared. In Godsgrave, there are some shifts backwards and forwards in time. Mia’s goals are the same, but time has passed, things come to light that were barely hinted at in the first book, the cast has changed a lot, and the locations are almost entirely new. Mia learns a great deal more about herself, some truths about her family, and while she continues down the path of revenge, she also tries to learn more about her darkin nature. In this book, Mia grows by leaps and bounds, and we start to get a glimpse into what the final book may bring us. In fact, I keep having to look back to confirm it’s a trilogy because it seems like there is so much more to cover that it couldn’t possibly be done in one final book. I have so many questions, I’m expecting it to be a behemoth volume. Whenever it comes, whatever size it is, I’ll be reading it as soon as I can get my hands on it. At this point, I’m so committed to Mia, there is no way I wouldn’t see her story through to the end. And based on what I’ve read so far, I don’t think Mr. Kristoff will disappoint. ;) Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
THIS BOOK COMPLETELY DESTORYED ME. I can't recommend Nevernight and Godsgrave enough. READ THESE BOOKS!!!
The sequel to Nevernight is jaw dropping! It's got everything I liked about the first book and yes a whole lot more besides. The sheer imagination behind this brutal and bloodthirsty tale just knocks me for six. The drama in the first book might have reminded me of a really scary Hogwarts but this time school is most definitely out! Mia is about to become a gladiator no less and it's a role that will bring her closer to her goal of avenging the deaths of her parents and brother. You don't need me to tell you that it's going to be a crazy ass kicking ride and you surely don't need to know that both old friends and enemies will show up here. What you do need to know though is that Mia is courageous, focussed and about to realise that she's just a pawn but as she's starting to get pretty good at games just who will be left standing at the end? Oh my trying really hard not to give unnecessary spoilers here. First the two shadow daemons are back which is fun all the way as they just never seem to agree but as they eat Mia's fear they have been vital in her quest. There's a hard lesson here and that is that fear holds you back more than you know and if you can rise above and conquer it then what you want is there for the taking. Ok I won't say who else is present but I will say that Mia struggles very hard not to make friends with her fellow gladiators who are vividly described making them each stand out in my mind. The amount of things I didn't see coming is astounding and I loved that in the midst of so much death and chaos Mia could still find the time to remember her own beginnings and even when it might be easier to kill innocents she gives them a chance but alas I can't say more. Such an intricate and nonstop story that simply had me gripped. I love the narrators voice that guides readers through and this time I really enjoyed the footnotes included. Not just because they expanded the world building but because they are ribald , funny and just plain rude! Yes humour finds its place, perhaps there is love too but as it ended I'm left adrift . How could the author do that? Oh you evil, sneaky man but honestly it was a fabulous instalment and lord do I need to know what happens next. This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
Jay Kristoff has done it again...he has managed to make me both revere and despise him. For all of you who think I'm exaggerating, close your eyes and picture this: A girl, sitting on her bed, head bent over a book..she look peaceful but only because she's mastered her reading poker face. Suddenly, she gasps, grabbing the book and pulling it closer to her face, as if that will make the words come faster. Now a strangled gasp escapes from her lips and her jaw drops. Reading the last page, she sucks in a deep breath, closes the book and FREAKS. OUT. Think screaming into her pillow (her pillow because it is 1 o' clock in the morning and she had to finish this book before bed) and cursing the name of Jay Freaking Kristoff. O, gentlefriends, this book was amazing. Picking up shortly after the ending of Nevernight, Mia Corvere is still hell bent on getting her revenge on those who stole away her familia. And damn if she isn't going to get it. I have to admit, I was slightly concerned I might have a case Second Book Syndrome on my hands. Would Godsgrave live up to it's predecessor? Would it be as bloody, action-packed and (somehow) sexy as Nevernight? The answer is a resounding YES to all of the above, gentlefriends. Somehow Godsgrave managed to be bloodier, more action packed and (whisper) sexier than the firstborn of this series. Godsgrave is the favored second born child, always one upping their older sibling. Oh you thought Mia was badass as a assassin? Wait until you see her as a gladati! "Soon, the sky itself will know my name." And, of course, we are led through this world by our ever so mysterious narrator, full of snarky comments and interesting Godsgrave facts in a..unique format to say the least. Godsgrave has opened a whole new door to the world of Nevernight with new people (both friends and enemies) and the ever-evolving Mia Corvere who leaves us hungry for more of her sarcastic, witty and general butt-kicking self. I am currently struggling to keep this review as spoiler free as possible but let me take a moment to say: damn you, Jay Kristoff. Can this man even write a book without a shaking ending? Is it physically possible for him? All the evidence is pointing to NO. For every answer we get, five more questions take its place. All I can say is BE PREPARED! ALL THE FREAKING STARS!
Devious, gripping and fast paced, Godsgrave has almost everything I expected of this much anticipated sequel, some that was entirely unexpected, and has left quite a bit up to the last book to deliver. I have no intentions of discussing the plot in detail, this being the second book, so as to avoid any possible spoilers - Vengeance is ever at the forefront though and consumes Mia’s thoughts, night and day. The plot continues shortly after the events of Nevernight, and it is a whole new world of dangerous that Mia is subjected to. Where most of the action in Nevernight took place in the Red Church, Kristoff has expanded the playing field exponentially with Mia traveling around quite a bit in her never ending quest for justice. Did it entertain? Hell yes! In SPADES. The story starts off with two different timelines, four months apart. The present storyline has you wondering what the hell Mia has gotten herself into, finding herself being sold as a slave to a Collegium of gladiatii or gladiators. The past timeline has her assuming her role as a church Blade, longing for her revenge, yet being held in check by the church for reasons, as of yet, unknown. We get to follow both these timelines until their convergence, where the reasons for Mia’s present quandary are made clear. All of this is of course outlined in the blurb for the story, but I tend to skip reading those before starting a book, so everything was likely more of a mystery to me than it would be to many other readers. The tale was action packed and enthralling, the author's worldbuilding continuing to provide more and more insight into the fascinating place Mia calls home. Pacing presented no issues whatsoever, with those action scenes mentioned being staggered perfectly through the book. I would even say that the writing has gotten better, with Kristoff omitting much of the extra flowery verse that reared it’s head in Nevernight, in favour of leaner, yet still beautiful prose. And the twistyness, o daughters, the twistyness. Mr Kristoff has shown his true, sly colours. He giveth and he taketh, he is ever so tricky. Let it be said though, that this book, whilst compelling and fast paced throughout, never quite reached the level that Nevernight set the bar at, in my opinion. It hovered just below that level throughout most of the story, likely only reaching it and momentarily surpassing it with a pull out all the stops finale. I am not able to pinpoint a clear reason for this. I just felt while reading, that I was not AS engaged as I was with Nevernight, even though it was more than engaging on it’s own. If I was forced to find something, I would most certainly name the following couple (pun intended), but these are likely just my own peeves with the tale: Firstly, two of the main characters in this book become an item. Though this may be a subterfuge beyond my comprehension on the one character’s part, I absolutely, unequivocally, HATED IT. In fact, hated sounds too tame although being the same thing, LOATHED and ABHORRED make better descriptors, for one of these two characters have gone beyond forgiveness in my esteem, and should never, ever have been given even a whiff of the other character’s time of day again, after the events that transpired in Nevernight. Harsh on my part, but as Mr Darcy said: “My good opinion once lost is lost for ever.'' In fact, the only way the odium* I have attached to this character could be removed is through his or her violent death. I guess
When I finished "Nevernight," I immediately sent an e-mail to the publisher basically begging them for a copy of "Godsgrave." I think I used the word desperate in my e-mail. I didn't hear anything back and thought I was going to die from need for the second book in the The "Nevernight" Chronicles. Imagine my PURE GLEE when "Godsgrave" was dropped onto my doorstep (aka my desk at work) by an angel (aka the mailman). I couldn't wait to read it. This book took me stinking forever to get through due to life and other similar distracting things, but it was SO VERY WORTH IT. 4 Reasons I loved Godsgrave (and why you'll love it to): 1. Like "Nevernight," "Godsgrave" follows no rules. Kristoff blends different fantasy worlds, real-life cultures, and sci-fi-like settings to create an entirely unique world. As readers, we have grown to expect certain things of "fantasy" and "sci-fi." Kristoff smashes those boundaries so that, as a reader, you don't know what the hell you're reading (in a good way, I promise). I can't even describe these books to people, because I feel like I have to use so many adjectives. They're truly their own thing. And that, my friends, is pretty damn impressive. 2. DAMNIT THESE CHARACTERS ARE SO STINKING GOOD. I'm getting all giddy thinking about how many characters I hated, then loved, hated again, then finally loved. Kristoff takes you on a whirlwind of emotions as you read through these characters interactions, and you don't know who you can and can't trust (sometimes you're even left questioning our main character, Mia). 3. The authentic-AF relationship. I won't spoil much about it. But it's FANTASTIC. 4. The bad-ass battles!!!!!!! I can't add enough exclamation points to this. There is a massive gladiator-esque tournament going on for the majority of this book, and it's gory, disturbing, heart-wrenching, and AMAZING. I was tense through so much of this book. The bottom line: This book is a raunchy and violent rule-breaker. Don't read this series because you think you know what to expect. Read this book to be uncomfortable, have your heart ripped out of your chest, and jump for joy when you find a new, completely unexpected favorite.
Mr. Kristoff does it again with this fantastic book about a girl named Mia with a not-cat named Mr. Kindly and a whole lot of hate for the people running the government. To be honest it took me a while to really get into the story because it was so different from Nevernight as far as the setting and Mia's acquaintances were concerned but I ended up loving it just as much as the first book in the end. It definitely has a bit of a different feel from the first book but once you get into it and accept it, it does not disappoint. The author has created such a unique and interesting world around our equally interesting main character. I find that the character development in this series is great... and the plot even greater. The ending was so bittersweet and I can't wait until the next installment of this story. So many awesome things were introduced at the end of this it leaves you wanting more!
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff Book Two of the Nevernight Chronicles Publisher: St. Martin's Press Publication Date: September 5, 2017 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): 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. Set in the world of Nevernight, which Publishers Weekly called “absorbing in its complexity and bold in its bloodiness,” Godsgrave will continue to thrill and satisfy fantasy fans everywhere. What I Liked: ***SPOILER-FREE REVIEW*** (I promise!) Believe it or not, I wasn't planning on reading this book, and for a couple of reasons. I read Nevernight last year (a little over a year ago) and enjoyed the book, but a year later, I couldn't remember much from the book (except a key death in the ending). I couldn't remember who Mercurio or Ashlinn or Scaeva were. Heck, I almost forgot who Mister Kindly was! So as Godsgrave began to pick up speed in publicity and marketing, I felt less inclined to read the book - partly because I couldn't remember much from Nevernight. The other reason was because I thought to perhaps binge-read the series, once the third book was published. I'm glad I decided to read Godsgrave now, even though the ending was quite the cliffhanger, and there is a good chance I will forget everything while waiting for the publication of book three. Kristoff has put together an excellent follow-up to Nevernight, and it will not disappoint. In this novel, Mia Corvere has taken on a new task in her journey to get her revenge. She is now a Blade of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but the Red Church doesn't like her pursuit of revenge. She defies the Church, and has herself sold to a gladiatorial collegium in order to get closer to Scaeva and Duomo, who will make appearances during the grand games in which the gladiators fight. In the arena, Mia sheds more blood than she ever has, but she also makes unexpected allies. Her need for revenge competes with her loyalty and her conscience. And she will discover truths that she never thought possible, truths that will change her world. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
I didn’t think that Kristoff could top Nevernight. That book crushed me last year and I knew. . . I knew. . . that Godsgrave would either be even MORE soul-crushing or terrible because I didn’t think there could be an in-between. Spoiler Alert: It’s the first one. My first thought after finishing it was that I felt like I watched a ramped-up version of Spartacus. Like the show. There is a couple chapters or so that felt like they were EXACT COPIES of a few episodes (but with a Mia Corvere twist, of course). This book definitely had strong Roman/gladiator themes going on which I loved but were also more familiar than I expected (granted, I love watching historical dramas and Spartacus and Rome are two of my favorites so that’s likely why). Godsgrave didn’t hold back with the emotion either. Where Nevernight established that Mia is the baddest of the bad, its sequel made her question everything she ever knew — her family, her history, her revenge. Friendship was a means to an end but it wasn’t all at once. Mia couldn’t just be Mia the Blade, Mia the Assassin. And somehow Kristoff showed this in a million different mind-blowing ways. Because talk about plot twists. I mean it was one after the next for a while (mostly near the end) and sure, I could guess some of them because I was HOPING they would come true but in the moment? My brain just melted. Also I need to mention Ashlinn just for a sec because this girl has grown on me and now if something happens to her I will be a very unhappy reader. Where Nevernight set me up for craving a sequel above all other things, Godsgrave left me with a million questions. The VERY ending means that the wait for book 3 is going to be pure torture (which I’m sure was the intention), but mostly there were bits of history and the world revealed this time around that were never fully expanded on. I need more about the darkins. I think Mia needs more about info about the darkins. And then there were the footnotes. I loved them in the first book and this time they were just as funny but more spread out. I didn’t feel like I was constantly jumping to the end of the page to read a hilarious history lesson but when they were there, they were definitely worth reading. But at the end of the day, it’s the writing that wins these books over for me. The writing style Kristoff employs is unlike any fantasy I’ve read and just hooked me from page 1. Not only that, but each character is so intricately layered that just when I think I understand one, something new comes to light. This world is so rich and vibrant that you’ll be alongside Mia for the whole ride and wonder why you’re not in Godsgrave at the end. Honestly I’m trying REALLY hard to not just straight-out gush about this book. I finished reading it right before my shift started at work and spent the 5 hours following that in a bit of a daze where I recommended the series to basically everyone I talked to (I work in a library, I thought it made sense). If you had ANY doubts about Nevernight, the sequel will wash them all away. I can’t recommend this series enough and hope y’all can get your hands on copies of Godsgrave as soon as it’s out in the world!