The Nevernight Chronicle Book One
Written by Jay Kristoff
Fantasy, Mature Themes, Sexy Sexy Times
July 25th 2016
Thank you to Harper Collins
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Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.
The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.
Ten year old Mia Covere will never forget how her father was sent to death, an example of a rebellion at the mercy of the executioner's taunts. Her mother and brother ripped from her grasp, taken against their will while Mia awaited her own fate. Armed, Mia escapes with her life and the clothes on her back only to be found by a man who would train her in the fine art of revenge. And Mia wants to bring down an empire.
Six years of training have prepared her for The Red Church, a hidden institute that will sharpen her skills into that of a trained assassin. A Darkin cloaked in shadows for protection, Mia is but one of thirty students entering the fray, pledging their lives to Our Lady of Blessed Murder in the hopes of becoming a Blade. But within the cold, stone walls lies a killer among assassins, an Acolyte who is as bloodthirsty as they are merciless.
Only four Acolytes will become Blades, the remaining who survive will become Hands, destined to serve in silence. But Mia never expected to find allies within the walls of the covert church, or betrayal.
Never flinch. Never fear. Never forget.
Nevernight is a phenomenal read. A mixture of fantasy, violence and lust through the eyes of sixteen year old Mia, a trained assassin seeking revenge. For the past six years, Mia has carried the pain of her father's death, sentenced as a revolutionary who turned his back on the empire. Her mother and infant brother, cruelly ripped from her life on the day in which Mia was no longer expected to live. But yet, she escaped. Mia's story is harrowing. Once having lived a life of wealth and nobility, at the tender age of only ten years old she is facing life on the streets. Rescued by a man who taught with a firm hand and soothed Mia's longing for the family she mourns.
Mia is fierce but won't allow herself to be underestimated. Drawing comfort from the shadows, she refuses to become a victim and seeks the guidance of the secretive murder cult, The Red Church. I loved her character. Under her layers of bravado, she's also a sixteen year old girl who wants to feel a sense of belonging. She isn't afraid to die but of feeling more than disdain for others, refusing to form alliances and exposing her vulnerability.
The Red Church is a congregation steeped in history, a secret set beneath the mountains where they teach the fine art of butchery through stealth combat, potions and seduction. Thirty Acolytes will train as assassins, but only four will achieve the status of Blade. The rivalry between the Acolytes is viscous, most having been brought from esteemed families who also trained at the covert institute. The name Covere carries a disgrace which makes Mia a target and a threat.
The romance is an attraction and comradery, rather than the typical romantic relationship. Mia seeks out a no strings attached, sexual relationship with her ally and fellow Acolyte Tric. The sex scenes are descriptive but wonderfully written. They allow Mia's character not only a release but allow her power over her own sexual gratification. I love books that are sex positive and allow characters to want with abandon.
The footnotes included throughout the storyline were a brilliant concept, but I found the footnotes didn't work for me personally and neglecting to read them beyond the first few chapters never once impacted my reading experience as I still enjoyed it nevertheless. Although I struggled within the first few chapters, the storyline was intricately woven and truly stunning. The dialogue between the characters reminded me of a rich and luscious historical fiction. I loved the mixture of formal titles with colourful language and only proves how Australian authors continue to breathe realism into their teen characters, even assassins who are bloodthirsty and violent.
I loved it. The ending left me breathless if not slightly bewildered and holy fuck, I loved every moment. Jay Kristoff, you're fucking awesome.