Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff continues the story of Mia Corvere, a young assassin in The Nevernight Chronicle.
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.
Like the first one, I listened to Godsgrave on audio. The narrator, Holter Graham, once again did such a fantastic job bringing this book to life, I can’t imagine anyone else’s voice in my head now even if I were to read the print version.
For those of you that haven’t read Nevernight: there’s sex, violence, swearing, and a good deal of humor about all of those things. If these books were films they might be something akin to a dark comedy and with all of the asides from the narrator of the book, they may be something Deadpool fans would enjoy. For those of you that have read the first book, this one is all of that and a bag of tricks. We have Mia, now a member of the Church, carrying out missions of assassination for them.
I love Mia’s character even though I’m not always rooting for her in this one. She’s single minded and determined to have her revenge at any cost. That’s not necessarily a good thing. In order to get her revenge she’s become an assassin carrying out murders in the name of the Church. But what about all of the people she’s killed? Do they deserve the end of her blade or is she creating others like herself left in her wake? Also, does her father even deserve her revenge? In this book she encounters information that makes her rethink her loyalties and her relationship with the Church. It also makes her rethink her relationship with a former enemy.
I admit that I spent a good deal of this book both wanting Mia to succeed with her revenge plan, and being frustrated with her for who she’s decided to trust. Then again, perhaps she should not have put her faith in the Church either. Perhaps she should only trust herself.
The pacing in Godsgrave was good and much like the first book. Once she commits to her plan as a gladiatorial slave things take an interesting turn. The fights in this are pretty epic and the way they’re written I could easily imagine them in my head or on a screen being played out in front of me. They’re nothing short of the best kind of spectatorial violence you’d find in any action movie today. Only with more blood and cursing. This isn’t PG-13. I think these parts were some of the most fun for me, not because of the violence of them but because of how outlandish they are. I love reading about Mia being an epic bad-ass.
There’s one driving force behind these books and that’s Mia and her revenge. The end of this book leaves us questioning everything. That ending!!! I wanted to scream and yell and proclaim how I knew everything, but people probably would have given me funny looks so I’m writing it here instead. I can’t wait for Darkdawn. 4/5 stars.