Format Read: Paperback
Published by Harper Voyager UK on September 7th 2017
Book Depository | Buy from publisher
A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.
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 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.
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.
Sanguii e Gloria.
Wow, what a ride. Godsgrave is one of my most anticipated books of 2017, and it surely did not disappoint. After the cliffhanger at the end of book one, Nevernight, I was keen to jump back into Mia Corvere’s dangerous world and see what shenanigans she got up to in book two on her journey towards seeking vengeance for her family. The whole lovable gang is back — oh Mr Kindly, how I missed your snark — with some wonderful new characters and some surprising old faces as well.
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but the Roman Empire is one of my favourite times in history. I studied it in high school, and till today, its history holds a dear place in my heart. So it’s no surprise that I continue to adore this world Jay Kristoff’s dreamt up for Mia Corvere — and it’s been so interesting exploring the gladiatii side of it.
Part one of Godsgrave flickers between the past and present, where we find Mia being enslaved and sold off in the Hanging Gardens to a gladiator house run by Justicus Marcus Remus’ widowed wife. It was intriguing to jump backwards and forwards in time, piecing together the puzzle of how Mia ended up at the Hanging Gardens in the first place. Because if you know Mia, then you know she always has a plan. Or ten. I’m not going to spoil the backstory, but I can say it was a wild ride and it only gets crazier.
Adopting the name of Crow, Mia is sold off to Remus Collegium where she trains as a gladiatii turn after turn, for a spot in the peak of gladiator clashes — the magni — where the best of the best gladiatii fight to the death for a chance at freedom. Or in Mia’s case, a chance at vengeance for her family. She’s not there to make friends…she only has one thing on her mind, and everything else is just collateral. This cold blooded side of Mia is frightening to see, but in Godsgrave we really see the growth in Mia as a character. Not only that, but her skills training as a Blade and gladiatii really exemplifies just how dangerous this tiny girl has become. Sure, she has some magically capabilities, but Mia doesn’t rely too heavily on this side of her skills. She trains hard on the sand…and only uses her magic where necessary to keep herself alive.
And if you’re a fan of fighting scenes, well Godsgrave will definitely be a treat for you. I’m not sure how Kristoff does it, but every fight, every draw of blood, had me on the edge of my seat wondering…who’s going to die. Because you know Kristoff is totally evil and has no mercy for any of his characters 😛 And the fact that they’re gladiatii really doesn’t help — their whole role is to walk on the blood-strewn sand in front of thousands of Itreyans and fight for their lives, and the wellbeing of their gladiatii house.
And OMG, did I love it. I lapped up every fight, every death (I know, morbid), every part of it. Did Jay Kristoff do the fight scenes justice? Hell yeah.
One thing I couldn’t help drawing parallels to however, was how familiar some of the gladiatii scenes were. And then I remembered why. I’ve watched it before…or something similar at least. Like I said, I really like the Roman Empire, and around five or so years ago, I was enamored by a Starz TV show called Spartacus. Mia’s first day at Remus collegium felt like deja vu to me. Now I’m not saying it was completely the same — the words spoken were different, and the scenes happened differently. I don’t know enough about gladiators to say whether the scenes are just normal occurances, and something that regularly occured whenever new gladiators joined a collegium. However, some scenes were familiar enough to make me do a double take. Regardless, I still loved every part of Mia’s time as a gladiatii.
Something I didn’t enjoy (and I’m probably the only one to say this) was Mia’s relationship with a certain character that helps her out a lot through the book. I never felt their chemistry and thought the relationship was super abrupt and unnecessary. Not to say they don’t deserve happiness, but not many people can forgive an enemy like that. Especially Mia. That just felt super out of character to me.
While Godsgrave is definitely fast-paced and filled with action, I’m also still filled with so many unanswered questions. Kristoff seems to be dropping small reveals here and there, but I need more! Barely anything has been answered about being a darkin even though Mia does meet another one like herself and Lord Cassius during the course of the book. Really, I now have more questions than answers having finished the book. But knowing Kristoff, he’s evil like that and just want to keep us hanging until the very end 😉
Godsgrave is definitely a very well writen follow up in a spectacular series. When’s book three coming out again?
Thank you to HarperCollins / Harper Voyager Australia for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.