Book 16 on My Book List 2019
”You’ll be a rumour. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. The last thing you will ever be in this world, girl, is someone’s hero.”
Well, I suppose that’s only to be expected when you set out on the dark path of revenge. Not that Mia wouldn’t be able to deal with it. 😉 Truth be told, after reading this book I’m convinced that there is absolutely nothing our heroine wouldn’t be able to deal with. Except of maybe the many bad ratings this book got? *lol* When I started to read “Nevernight” I already knew that I was late to the party, but after reading it and skimming through some of the reviews I also realized that it’s apparently a rather controversial book?!
Why the ‘byss I wondered and started to investigate. As it seems most of the reviewers that gave it a low rating just couldn’t with the writing style and the recurring footnotes. Which admittedly, is a valid point. If you’re no fan of paraphrases and poetry or prose I’m fairly certain that you will end up hating this book. So I guess what it truly comes down to is if you’ve liked Tahereh Mafi’s “Shatter Me” series or not. If you loved it there’s a high chance you’ll enjoy the writing style of this book as well, if you hated it, I’d recommend borrowing “Nevernight” from the library and seeing if you enjoy the first few chapters. 😉
As for me, I can only say that I LOVED it! It might have taken me ages to get through this book and the footnotes were kind of distracting at first, but it was definitely worth it! I’ve read so many YA books in my life and even though the initial story of an assassin novice that has to survive her training and initiation is nothing new, the way Jay Kristoff wrote it still managed to give this story a unique spin. This is nothing like Sarah J. Maas’s “Throne of Glass”, this is nothing like Robin Hobb’s “Assassin’s Apprentice”, this was something completely different! Dark, twisted, cunning, cruel, gory, violent and only just a little bit x-rated. ;-P (If you’ve read ACOTAR those scenes won’t shock you though, they are pretty tame in comparison) And of course all the characters are so “morally grey” that they border on obsidian, ebony or jet-black which brings me right to my characters section! XD
Welcome to the Red Church, where killers are made into proper assassins! You might have the necessary traits but do you also have the guts to improve your skills? Find out and enter the mountain. Where spoilers await you in the darkness, always ready to pounce on you if you happen to cross their path. Or in other, less flowery words: Spoilers ahead! Be careful! *lol*
”Never flinch.” A cold whisper in her ear. “Never fear. And never, ever forget.”
It feels like I’ve been waiting for a heroine like Mia Corvere for my entire life!!! I ADORE this girl! <333 She’s direct, loves books, doesn’t care about anyone’s opinion, curses like a sailor, smokes like a dragon, has a great humour and is kick-ass and cunning af!!! And most of all she feels real!!! Whenever authors try to make their heroines as tough as the male MCs they seem to fail. Jay Kristoff? HE FREAKING NAILED IT!! Well, at least for me he did! It was such a pleasure to follow Mia’s journey. She has the mind of a killer but still shows compassion when no one else does. Throughout the entire book she walks a fine line between becoming a killing machine and trying to keep her humanity. She has no trouble to kill people that hurt the ones she loves, but she draws the line at killing innocents for pleasure and I could have kissed her for refusing to take the final test! <333 Also she was so brave in so many ways! Yes, some might argue that it’s easy to be brave when you have a not-cat that eats your fear, but sometimes bravery means more than just being able to overcome your fears. It’s also brave to stand in front of 5 people that could easily kill you and still refuse to do what they want you to do. So yes, I’m Mia Corvere trash now and I think I might be in love with her. *lol* With both, Mia and Mr. Kindly! Their not-friendship was everything! <333
”Iron or glass? they’d asked.
Mia clenched her jaw. Shook her head.
She was neither.
She was steel.”
”Apologies,” Mia frowned, searching the floor as if looking for something. “I appear to have misplaced the fucks I give for what you think…”
”They can give you a new face, but they can’t give you a new heart. No matter what they take from you, they can’t take that away unless you let them. That’s real strength, Tric. That’s real power.”
”… You’re a little frightening sometimes, Pale Daughter.”
She gave him a wry smile. “Only a little?”
“Well, most times, you’re just plain terrifying.”
“Come on,” she said, slapping his arm. “I’ll buy you a drink.”
This Itreyan-Dweymeri boy is so sweet that I instantly loved him! Tric was such a great character and my heart bled for him! The way he got his scars and tattoos? It was so damn painful to read. My poor boy! T_T He was so young and he would have deserved so much better than that! I despise his grandfather Swordbreaker and what he did to him and I adored his mother for loving him so much! Tric’s mom was amazing and I’m sure a lot of his character traits came from her. ❤ I could understand his inner conflict about losing his scars though. I mean they basically were his past written on his skin. I agree with Mia though, they don’t define him. Also did anyone find out why he’s named Tric?! I mean he told Mia the story about his scars and tattoos but I can’t remember that he ever told her why he’s named Tric. If any of you know, could you please explain?! (If possible without spoiling too many details if it’s in one of the following two books. *lol*) AND now to the huge WTF moment of this book! I had to read the scene where Ashlinn kills him TWICE, because when I read it for the first time I thought my mind must have played a trick on me! I was so shocked!!! And I’ll never be okay with him dying!! Yes, they are at a school for assassins and there died plenty of the other students throughout the entire book, but TRIC??!! Really? He was one of the two freaking MCs!!! How could Jay do this to us?!! T_T My poor baby boy!!! I’m not okay with this…
”Drown him and be done.” His voice dropped to a trembling whisper. “They were her first words. That’s what she fucking named me. Drown him and be done.”
”Don’t trouble yourself about what that bitch said,” Ash whispered, glancing at Carlotta’s flawless cheek. “That’s not who you are any more.”
“It was never who I was.”
Charlotta’s hands fell still. Her stare growing clouded.
“It was just who they made me.”
I really liked Ashlinn and she grew on me until… well, until she freaking killed Tric!!! *lol* How could she? I feel as betrayed by her actions as Mia does! I was on the verge of falling for her character and then she does something like this?! Not nice! >_< And now I find myself second guessing every single thing she said and did in this book. Was it all an act? Did she really like Mia and Carlotta or did she just play games with them? I loved her humour and despite everything she seemed to be a compassionate and nice person. Just like the skilled thief she is, she stole my heart without me even noticing it and now I’m standing in front of the torn ruins of my ribcage. To say it with Mr. Kindly’s words: Dear gentlefriends, I’ve to admit that I’m still wondering about what the hell happened in those last few chapters! Ash’s character arc left me with so many questions I feel a headache coming up! *lol* I can’t wait to see her in “Godsgrave” though, because seriously, there’s no way, I repeat NO FREAKING WAY, she won’t appear in the next book. XD (Or at least I hope so. ;-P)
”This is a game, children. But a dangerous one.” He waggled his eyebrows. “The only kind worth playing.”
”They will never see the knife in your hand if they are lost in your eyes. They will never taste the poison in their wine when they are drunk on the sight of you.”
”Never let your face tell a secret your lips should not.”
”Killers one, killers all. And each death we bring is a prayer. An offering to Our Lady of Blessed Murder. Death as a mercy. Death as a warning. Death as an end unto itself. All of these, ours to know and gift unto the world. The wolf does not pity the lamb. The storm begs no forgiveness of the drowned.”
The Shahiids were so amazing! I know I only mentioned a few of them here but when it comes down to it I really liked them all! Shahiid Spiderkiller was so deadly! XD I swear to poison your class frequently just to make sure they actually study is quite the way to motivate your students! *lol* No wonder they all tried to be top at her class. Haha! If your life depends on it poison studies will become your favourite subject. ;-P Shahiid Solis was kind of brutal and cruel so I didn’t like him all too much. I adored Mouser and Aalea though! I’m sure I would have loved to attend their classes. As for Lord Cassius, he seemed to be one of those mysterious characters you never get a grip on and since he died I doubt that I’ll ever understand his reasons and motives. >_< Marielle and Adonai? The Church’s weaver and speaker… well they were just creepy and terrifying! And they obviously had some incestuous relationship going on?! *shudders* I don’t even know how all the girls could swoon over Adonai, for me he was just trouble in a nice disguise. *lol*
”This is a library. You can’t smoke in a bloody library.”
The old man plucked his cigarillo, pondered it briefly, popped it back into his mouth.
“What if the books catch fire?” Mia asked.
“O, shiiiiiiiit,” the old man said, exhaling a cloud that made Mia’s tongue tingle.
Now here comes one of the characters I loved the most! Chronicler Aelius was legit the best thing about the Red Church!!! That guy was awesome!! I loved the first meeting between him and Mia and that he gave no shit about smoking at the library. *lol* He was like a grumpy puppy that grows on you and moreover he was pretty wise! ❤ I adored his stance on books and one of my fave moments was him offering Mia a smoke while they watched the enemy being eaten by the worms. (quite literally) Haha! Also the fact that he is dead!! OMG! That came as a total surprise! He really wasn’t kidding about getting lost in the library and dying there! I really hope there will be more of him in the next book because I need to read more about his intriguing character!!
”The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their mark on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of words. A girl with a story to tell.”
Mia & Tric:
”As you were kind enough to notice, I’ve fallen a little behind in Songs.”
“A little?” Tric snorted. “There’s training dummies up there who could mop the floor with you, Pale Daughter.”
“Well, thank you very much,” Mia scowled. “If you’d like to go somewhere and quietly fuck yourself, I’ll be waiting here patiently for your return.”
Haha! I loved how blunt they were! Those two were always honest with each other and never pretended to be something they are not and I think that might have been the main reason they hit it off. What I really liked about their relationship was that they started as strangers, became sort of best friends and then lovers. It’s rare authors take the time to go for a slow burn and I think this one was done nicely. And yes, in my eyes this was a slow burn because they didn’t do anything until the 60% mark or so? Mia can tell herself about a thousand times that she doesn’t love Tric, we all know better, right? *lol* You don’t go sharing your not-cat with just anyone when you’re about to be whipped by Marielle. >_< To say he was with Mia was such a stupid move but then again he didn’t want her to die and she would have died with a 100 lashes. Still, that they both got 50 in the end was horrible. *swallows* Poor Tric though! I’m sure Mia loved him. That he had to die this way was so cruel. I mean Ash only killed him because he had such an exceptional sense of smell. Such a stupid reason to die! And this might sound weird but it was good for Mia that she killed Swordbreaker and meted out revenge! It won’t bring back Tric but to know that his grandfather eventually got what he deserved must have been liberating for her. At least she could give him that. T_T
”For a moment, she wasn’t Mia Corvere, daughter of a murdered house, parched with the thirst for revenge. Not a fledgling assassin or a servant of a goddess. Just a girl. And he a boy. Their eyes blind to all but each other.”
”A wordless protest slipped from her lips, and she reached out, running her fingertips up his arm. Goosebumps rose on his skin. She rested one hand on the hard swell of his shoulder. Stopped him from pulling away.”
”Maybe we should start at the letter S?”
“S for stubborn. S for stupid. S for smart-arse.”
“S for shut it.”
“See, that’s the spirit.”
Mia & Ash:
”Huzzah! She can be taught!”
“Fair warning, I’m not much of a biter…”
“Ash, I swear to the Mother –“
Is it just me or was there a smell of romance in the air? I could have sworn Mia and Ash were attracted by each other. They kind of flirted and they kissed twice! This has to count for something, right? At the moment I don’t see how a relationship between those two could ever work out though. Ash killed Tric who was Mia’s lover and probably her first true love so to say they would be star-crossed lovers would be an understatement par excellence. Still, there was something in the air between those two and I’m sure if Tric would still be alive *sobs* he would actually tell you the same thing! I think before Tric I would have shipped this like crazy, now that I’m so uncertain about Ashlinn’s character I don’t know if I want to ship it or not. I’m kind of torn here. *lol* Maybe Ash will come back in book two and there will be an explanation for how she acted and why she did what she did? Not that an explanation would make me forgive her, but it certainly would help to understand her motives, because right now it’s all Greek to me and I no longer understand the world. XD I’ve yet to decide if I want to board this possible ship or not. ;-P
”Ashlinn, I could kiss you…”
“… I thought you’d never ask?”
”You know, folk around here have got you figured for a ruthless bitch after that stunt with Diamo. But I know better. Someone hurts those you love, you’ll not forgive it. But underneath it all, you’re a good sort, Corvere.”
Mia kissed Ash’s cheek, smiling. “Don’t tell anyone. I’ve a reputation to uphold.”
”She took a deep breath, as if about to plunge into dark water. And then she leaned in slow, cupped Mia’s face, and kissed her gently on the lips. It lasted a moment too long. Perhaps not long enough? Warm and soft and honeysweet. Before Mia could decide, it was already over. Ash broke the kiss, squeezing Mia’s hand. A million unsaid words shining in her eyes. A million more on Mia’s tongue.”
Where do I even begin?! This was something totally unique and if you ask me I can’t compare it to anything I ever read. The premise of the story might have sounded a lot like all the other assassin books I ever heard of, but Jay Kristoff managed to give it an incomparable spin and I’m very glad I picked this up. It was dark and at times brutal, it was gory and X-rated, there was a lot of cussing and smoking involved and… I loved it! *lol* Enough said! If you enjoy books like that I’m sure you’ll devour this too! ;-P