”Fear was Can’t.
Fear was Won’t.
But fear wasn’t ever a choice.”
In honour of this buddy read being with the Yoongi to my V, the one and only Paper Plane Nomad, a fellow BTS ARMY and the one who accepted me as the V to her Yoongi, I shall only be using Tae (aka V of BTS) gifs in this review! Let’s hope I can pull this off and won’t get bias wrecked every 3 seconds. *lol*
This said: Let’s start with the actual review!
As third books in a series go this was actually a good conclusion. Well, mostly at least. There were a lot of things I really enjoyed and a couple of new characters that got introduced which I immediately took to, but there were also some things I didn’t like and that made this final book a less enjoyable read than its predecessors. So what exactly were my issues? Well, for instance I missed a central theme throughout the entire book. In comparison to the other two (assassin academy & gladiatii) this one just seemed to be all over the place. Yes, there was finally the darkin story we’ve all been waiting for since “Nevernight”, but aside from that we just had too many other threads that played into the main plot.
Plus the ending was certainly not what I expected and it sort of fell flat for me. I don’t even know what I expected but it was something totally different than what I got. *lol* It kind of felt surreal? Idk how to describe it but after everything Mia went through I would have expected something more… epic? Okay, maybe it’s just me being weird?! XD
Or maybe it was me getting “eye-rollitis” whenever a certain character entered the page. *lol* I didn’t like that character and I sort of got angry every single time she opened her mouth, so I think that sort of animosity might have been another reason why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I should have. ;-P And speaking of characters: I think it’s about time to head to my character’s section because as you can tell I have THOUGHTS and FEELINGS and I really need to get them off my chest! Are you ready?
Welcome to my spoilery spoiler section, gentlefriends! This is going to be juicy so if you’re not ready to face the bitter truth you better don’t continue to read this. ;-P Take your lemonade glass and make yourself comfortable, this is going to take a while. *lol*
”I am a daughter of the dark between the stars,” she replied. “I am the thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. I am the vengeance of every orphaned daughter, every murdered mother, every bastard son.” Mia leaned forward and looked the man in the eye. “I am the war you cannot win.”
Mia sitting on that damn throne of the pirate king and later on telling Tric that to wear a shirt would ruin her “Murderous Bitch aesthetic” is my new aesthetic! *LOL* This girl!!! I never saw that one coming and I swear Mia is the embodiment of a badass heroine. I read about a lot of badass heroines over the years but none of them ever came close to Mia Corvere. XD Even more importantly: With Mia Jay Kristoff created a really unique character that has no equal. At least I never saw someone as compassionate, ruthless, stubborn, vulnerable and fierce as her. Mia doesn’t try to be a man, she makes use of her female assets and works with everything she got. So she’s a character that doesn’t try to be cool, she just is and that with such an effortless grace that you can’t help but admire her for it. I want to marry her so bugger off Ash! *lol* ;-P
”Two pices of the whole. One is just … darkness. Rage. She hates the world and everything in it. All she wants is to tear it down and laugh as it burns. And then there’s the me who thinks there might actually be something worth fighting for in all this. And maybe something to live for after.”
”See there you go.” She gifted the boy a wink. “A little bit of spit and fire, that’s what I like to see. But I’m fierier than you, Tricky. I’m quicker and I’m prettier and the girl we both adore ended up in my bed, not yours.” She drummed her fingers on her sword hilt. “I won. You lost. So stay away from her, aye?”
I really can’t with Ash! I just can’t! I mean look at this gif! This is literally me whenever Ash said something in this book!
I don’t like this woman and I just can’t forgive her for killing Tric. I know Jay Kristoff wanted us to dig her and Mia together because they both have some ruthlessness to them and a soft side, but quite honestly I never saw that soft side of Ash. Where Mia had some compassion, Ash was just mean and had a downright cruel streak. The things she said to Tric in here… I could have punched her in the face and I wouldn’t have regretted it even though I’m a pacifist. *LOL* Jay, how was I supposed to like this girl? She’s a witch and I think Mia deserved better than her! Someone that rubs things in the way she did with Tric is not someone I’d like to ship. #SorryNotSorry
And that half-assed attempt at a redemption arc also didn’t do it for me. Once again #SorryNotSorry To say it with my Yoongi’s words: I’m done with this! So done! XD
”Well,” Cloud Corleone sighed. “As my dear old tutor Dona Elyse said the year I turned sixteen, “Fuck me very gently, then fuck me very hard.”
Now there’s a character I loved! Cloud Corleone and BigJon were two amazing new additions to the cast and Cloud’s four-bastard smile really grew on me. *lol* I think after Sturmhond he’s my second favourite privateer. XD I just loved how he and BigJon flirted so shamelessly with Mia and Cloud’s serious backstory was quite something to take in. >_< I’m glad Jay invented him in this book and I would have loved to read even more about Cloud and his crew. Maybe one day Jay will indulge us with a novel or short story? You never know. 😉
Corleone tilted his head. “You mean to tell me you know who crews aboard my ship better than I, Hangman? When was the last time you set foot on my decks?”
“When I was ploughing your mother,” the captain growled.
“O, aye, she sends her regards, by the by,” Corleone replied without skipping a beat. “She told me to tell you she hopes you’re not still embarrassed. It happens even to the best of men, apparently.”
”… if you wish a dog who simply rolls over when you growl, bring eclipse with you. but i’ll speak my mind, if it please you …”
“And if it doesn’t please me?”
“… i’ll speak it anyway…”
This is actual footage of me when I read the scene in which Mia tells Mr. Kindly to go away. Like OMG!!! I couldn’t believe she told him to get lost and even though I understood why she was angry I really didn’t get why she blamed it all on Mr. Kindly. He was right to tell the gladiatii the truth and he was also right to let them decide themselves. The rift between Mr. Kindly and Mia hurt so much and if there’s one thing I didn’t like about Mia in this book then it was the fact that she turned on him. Despite everything Mr. Kindly was still loyal to her though and worked in the background so she could face Cleo and I really hope Mia appreciated what he did for her!!! Mr. Kindly is the best! ❤
”… i am a part of you, mia. before i met you, i was a formless nothing looking for a meaning. the shape i wear is born of you, the thing i became is because of you. and if i must do what you will not, so be it. at least you will be alive to hate me …”
Mia & Ash:
”If you wanted a snog in the hallway you could’ve asked.”
“Not asking,” Ash shook her head. “Taking.”
And here we go with another actual footage of me. *LOL* I can’t believe Jay went for a HEA like that! Like WHAT??!!! Jay will probably never admit it but deep down he might be a romantic after all. XD I already said it in “Godsgrave” and I’ll say it again: I don’t ship the Mash ship! Urgh! Ash is just a selfish witch and she doesn’t deserve Mia! Period! Alone that quote above. Yep, that’s my problem with Ash she just takes without ever asking and she’s ruthless and doesn’t seem to have any sort of conscience… at all! How am I supposed to dig a character like that? Plus she’s petty and super jealous as well. Not the kind of woman I’d want to have by my side. I still think we need more sapphic romances in books but I can’t seem to be able to like this one because it’s actually sort of toxic. If Mia likes a girl that will kill everyone who just looks at her: Okay. I personally hate jealousy in relationships so Ash is a no for me. Also and someone has to say it – you’re allowed to take out your pitchforks now – I think a HEA in which Mia would have spent the rest of her days with Jonnen and Mercurio would have been more realistic. Yes, I would have even been okay if Ash would have been with them. But she basically fights the entire book for Mercurio and Jonnen’s freedom just to end up on that Threelakes shore with Ash? Of all people! Why? It beats me! *shakes head*
”And while the press of Ash’s lips left Mia feeling almost dizzy, the thought of her touch even now, laying senseless and sated, sending warm and delighted pulses up her thighs, a part of Mia – the part Mister Kindly would have filled, most likely – was still suspicious of the girl in her arms.”
Mia & Tric:
”She was losing herself in it. The feel of him, the taste, the familiar shapes, carved anew by the Mother of Night. Falling down into the need of him, aching from the touch of him, wanting to forget and remember and for a tiny moment, simply enjoy being lost inside it, with him inside her.”
Haha! This gotta be the first time I’d have preferred a straight pairing over a sapphic one. *lol* But seriously, there was way more chemistry between those two than there ever was between Ash and Mia. I mean Tric basically told her that he had to rip his way back through the walls of the abyss to get back to her and that he gave up his place by the hearth just to be with Mia. Tric is too good for their world and it made me really sad to see that he came back for nothing. Also: Why throw a possible love triangle at us, Jay, if you don’t follow through with it?! I always thought love triangles were one of my pet peeves, tell you what, my new pet peeve are love triangles that are brought into existence and never play out. *lol* #TricDeservedBetterThanThat
He took Mia’s hand, pressed it to his chest, and she was astonished to feel a heartbeat, strong and thudding beneath her palm. “BUT I WOULD STRIKE A THOUSAND BARGAINS WITH THE NIGHT FOR ONE MORE MOMENT WITH YOU. I’D DIE A THOUSAND DEATHS AND DEFY THEM ALL, JUST TO HOLD YOU IN MY ARMS ONE MORE TIME.”
Ash & Tric:
”I’m sorry you had to go, but that’s just how it is! And I stabbed you friendways, in case you’ve forgot. In the front, not the damned back. I can’t undo it, so what the fuck do you want from me?”
“A HINT OF REGRET? SOME SHRED OF REMORSE? FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND SOME SMALL PART OF WHAT YOU TOOK FROM ME?”
“Remorse is for the weak, Tricky,” Ash said. “And regret is for cowards.”
I loved that dinner scene in which Tric finally called out Ash! *lol* She deserved it and her excuse of “I killed you because it needed to be done” is so weak that it would need two crutches to stand on its own feet! She needed to? Hogwash!! She just couldn’t stand that Tric won Mia’s heart fairly and because of that he had to go. Every time she rubbed in that Tric was dead and she was the girl at Mia’s side I got so damn angry! She kicked at someone who was already lying on the ground and that is behaviour I just can’t accept. That half-assed redemption arc totally didn’t work for me because of course she knew that he was a way better person than she’d ever be! Am I supposed to feel sorry for her now? She killed Tric and yes, she might feel remorse over it but the knowledge she’d feel remorse over it still didn’t stop her from stabbing him in the first place! She knew exactly what she was doing! So: #SorryNotSorry. Tric was a way better person than Ash will ever be!
”In truth, she’d always known it.
She knew what shed taken from this boy. She knew why. Extinguishing all he was and could have ever been. She knew how hard it must be for him, returning to a world so changed. To see the girl he loved in the arms of the girl who murdered him. And though he had every reason under heaven to hate them, to lash out in his rage and break everything around him, he remained true. Loyal to his love. Loyal to the last. That was the kind of boy he was.
That was the kind of boy she’d killed.“
Mia & Mercurio:
”Once he’d been fire. Breathed it. Bled it. Spat it. But now, the only ember that remained was the one he kept burning for her – that snot-nosed, stuck-up little lordling’s bitch who’d wandered into his shop all those years ago, a silver brooch shaped like a crow in her hand.”
I’m not ashamed to admit it: Mia’s and Mercurio’s relationship caused me to tear up multiple times. The love those two felt for each other was so true and ahhh when they parted ways… Mia is truly Mercurio’s daughter and Scaeva can jump in a lake! *lol* I really wish they would have gotten a happy ending and that Mercurio would know she’s still alive. I guess he’ll just have to live with the memory of her though because Mia is busy with Ash in that house at the Threelake shore. Me being bitter? Nope, no way! *lol*
”When everything else had been taken away. He gave me a home and he kept me safe when he had no reason under the suns to do it.” Mia looked up at the girl, eyes shining. “He’s familia. More familia to me than almost anyone in this world.”
Mercurio scowled, his ice-blue eyes welling with tears.
“Never took a wife,” the old man said. “Never had a familia. Didn’t seem fair in my line of work. But … if I ever had a daughter –“
“You had a daughter,” Mia said. The girl threw her arms around the old man and squeezed hard as she could. “And she loves you,” she whispered.
Mia & the gladiatii:
”And then Sid was running, catching the girl up in his embrace, lifting her off the ground as she squealed. Bladesinger collided with the pair of them, wrapping them up in her arms, Butcher staggered over, Wavewaker arrived like an earthquake, grabbing all four of them and roaring as he lifted them off the ground and jumped in circles.
“You magnificent little bitch!” Sid cried.
“Let me go, you great fucking lumps!” Mia grinned.
It was really great to see that found family together again but unfortunately that moment of peace and happiness was gone pretty fast! I can’t believe almost all of the gladiatii except of Sid and Bladesinger died. =(( Sid and Singer hooking up was a little random but I guess after everything they went through it was kind of logical as well. *lol* Still, Jay is a devil for killing them off. The way they all died? OMG! Bryn and Wavewaker quite literally died while having sex and Butcher was betrayed by the person he wanted to protect. Ouch! You did quite a number on them Jay! >_<
”Mia, you risked your life for us,” Sidonius said. “Everything you’d worked for danced on the edge of a knife. And still you gambled it all to see us to freedom. And now you’d stand there and tell us what we can and can’t do with it?”
“Damn right I do,” she snarled. “You owe me your lives? Go fucking live them. You want to give me thanks? Do it when you tell your grandchildren about me.”
Mia, Jonnen & Scaeva:
”Our familia had a saying,” Mia said. “Before your father destroyed it. Neh diis lus’a, lus diis’a. Do you know what that means?”
“I do not speak Liisan,” the boy growled.
“When all is blood, blood is all.”
Well, that was quite the familia. *lol* Jonnen was a really spoiled brat before he came to Mia so it was good to see that he changed for the better while being around her. Also that moment when she put him into his place when he was hostile towards Cloud and BigJon? It was such a typical thing an older sister would do. As for Scaeva? I hate that man! He actually had the gall to think he made Mia the person she is now??!! Also how he treated Jonnen! I mean he quite literally said “Obey me!” and killed Eclipse because she protected Jonnen. The fact Jonnen let it happen was a real betrayal but then again he was only a nine year old boy that was scared and Scaeva was his father after all… This said the ending was kind of … idk. It was supposed to be this epic battle but it kind of fell flat for me. It was just too much, you know? They were both too powerful and strong and that took away from the enjoyment. Like usually in a battle one side is always weaker and overcomes that weakness which makes for the suspense. In this case both of them were equal and so it got a little… boring? *lol* I dunno how to describe it but I hope you get what I mean. I’m glad Scaeva isn’t around anymore though. XD
”She had every reason in the world to be nothing but rage and hatred and misery. But he knew, as much as she tried to hide it, she hadn’t let life turn her cold. She loved with a heart as fierce as lions. Gave in a way that left her bleeding, but never broken. Because even with all she’d lost, all she’d sacrificed, all the hurt heaped upon her shoulders, she’d still come back.
She still came back for me.”
Scaeva gave a soft, bitter chuckle as he looked her in the eye.
“All you are? All you have become? I gave you. Mine is the seed that planted you. Mine are the hands that forged you. Mine is the blood that flows, cold as ice and black as pitch, in those veins of yours.”
He leaned back on the divan, black eyes burning into her own.
“In every possible sense, you are my daughter.”
”He’d been a hard man, no doubt. Never cruel, no. But heavy as iron. Merciless as the sea. Slow with praise, swift with rebuke, fashioning his boy into a man who might one turn rule an empire. Because always, his father had made it plain – despite his parentage, the throne would be something Jonnen must earn.”
“Darkdawn” was a good conclusion to “The Nevernight Chronicle” but unfortunately it wasn’t as good as the other two books. It had a couple of issues that kept me from giving it that fifth paw but I guess it might be just another case of the “it’s me, not the book” syndrome. *lol* Either way it was a very enjoyable read and I’m glad I buddy read this with my Yoongi! ❤
I hope you enjoyed my rather untypical gif review and I’m already looking forward to read the next book Jay Kristoff will throw our way. 😉