Thursday, August 4, 2016

Book Review: Nevernight

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicles #1)
Published By: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: August 8, 2016
Page Count: 448
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher 
Audience: Fantasy - Adult



A failed attempt at overthrowing the Senate results in the execution of Mia's father, the imprisonment of her mother, and an attempt on her own life. Mia is taken in and trained in the assassin's arts, and when the time comes, she goes to the Red Church in order to be trained as a Blade - the deadliest assassins in the known world. If she survives the training she intends to return and kill those responsible for her father's death. But surviving is not a given.


Nevernight is set in a world that is reminiscent of ancient Rome, with shades of Venice thrown in for good measure. Three suns trail across the sky at different rates, making true night, and full darkness, very rare. The world building is extraordinarily rich, and this is mostly achieved through the use of footnotes. In the e-book version I had for review, these were at the end of the chapter. The UK/Aus paper version has them at the bottom of each page. The footnotes and introduction are in the narrator's voice, which is pleasingly sarcastic. We are not told who the narrator is, although we know it is someone who knew and loved Mia. In its tone, the narration, particularly the footnotes, remind me of Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams. You can happily read the book without looking at the footnotes if you find they pull you out of the story, but I loved the way they achieved a level of world building not possible in the text alone.

The book opens with a beautiful juxtaposition of life and death, or specifically, sex and murder. The script is the same, the outcome very different. I loved the way flashbacks were used to gradually introduce Mia's character and her history, and to explain how she came to be one of the most feared killers in the world.

Although the protagonist is 16, this is not a book I would recommend for young or immature readers. There is very strong language and violence throughout. Think Game of Thrones levels. 

Mia is a beautifully complex character. She is fierce and determined, she is emotionally broken, she is at once capable of brutal murder and absolute compassion. I loved her and can't wait for her story to continue.

The supporting characters are beautifully drawn. Ashlinn who becomes Mia's friend, Tric, who becomes something more. Mercurio who found Mia and shaped her into the killer she became. Adonai and Marielle who are both creepy and fascinating. And Mister Kindly, who is Mia's constant companion but has an agenda of his own.

As well as Mia's story of becoming an assassin and seeking revenge, there's an undercurrent of mythology. Gods who did battle in the past and shaped the world as it is now look set to come into play later in the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to find out what's next for Mia and those who survived this first installment.





Summary:


In 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?



2 comments:

  1. Yessss ohmygod the writing style is so fantastic. I loved the sarcastic footnotes, they added a really nice extra touch to the story.
    The beginning with the contrast between sex and murder was so beautifully don't wasn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I was captured from the start. And that life/death thing was totally what Jay was going for, he said. :)

      Thanks for checking out the review.

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