Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Content Warnings: Violence, explicit sex, mentions of rape, racial conflict and talk of slavery

Disclaimer: There has been some controversy over this book and how it depicts people of color. Specifically, Maori people. The person I originally saw discuss this took down her post. I'm not Maori. I'm not a person of color. I read this book before the controversy, and re-read it just now. I enjoyed the book and cannot speak on the racism. If you're a person of color, and especially if you're of Maori descent, you might want to stay away from this book.

SynosisIn a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

Review: Nevernight is one of those books that you either love or you hate. From the first chapter, you can tell that the writing is rich and unique. Each of the characters are haunted by their past and they don't try to hide it. The story follows Mia, but you get an interesting cast of characters who all add to the story. I adored Mia. She takes no shit. Even from Mister Kindly. She starts off being really harsh to just about everyone at the Red Church, but she slowly realizes that she can have friends in this school of assassins. Which brings me to Tric. Tric. Is. Precious. I enjoyed watching him learn how to love and how to appreciate himself. Mister Kindly was my absolute favorite. He isn't afraid to speak his mind, but he is never cruel. He always looks out for Mia, but doesn't hold her hand. I loved hearing his insight to situations Mia got herself in.

This story is dark. Not just because it's set in a school for assassins. Its clearly an adult fantasy book. There is sex and gore, but none of it felt unnecessary. The story moved slow at first, but picked up when the trials began. Kristoff did a great job of showing what was at stake as the students progressed through the trials. None of the twists felt obvious to me which was appreciated. I was always left wondering what would happen next and who would end up on top. Overall, I loved this story and I can't wait to get my hands on book 2.

5 howls