I still can’t believe I’ve finished this book…
I don’t know how to review this. Godsgrave is such a novel that you have to just devour and take in with everything you have. Anything Jay Kristoff writes is beautiful, dangerous and so utterly addictive.
Blurb: 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. Set in the world of Nevernight, which Publishers Weekly called “absorbing in its complexity and bold in its bloodiness,” Godsgrave will continue to thrill and satisfy fantasy fans everywhere.
I started Godsgrave in 2018, reading one-third of the novel in October but put it on hold at the beginning of November that year. I picked it back up Mid-September of 2019 and it only took me a week to fly through the remaining two-thirds of the novel!
Thankfully all I had read came back to me when I picked the novel back up in September, considering it had been 10 months since I’d last read it. The novel was $2.99 on kindle which helped me read it as quick as I did.
For people who are always hesitant to begin reading Godsgrave, especially if Nevernight (Book #1) has taken you so long to read. You’ve read most of the worldbuilding, because of this, Godsgrave is a far smoother read as it is purely character and plot development from here on out.
I really loved the banter between Eclipse and Mr Kindly as well as Mr Kindly’s self-awareness in one point of the novel where he speaks about not knowing where he came from. There are big things happening in this novel with Mia and her quest to kill Scaeva and Duomo, but the other unanswered questions are still there, sitting undiscovered. She’s not the only one who wants answers on what Darkin’s really are. The mystery of which is really fascinating.
I like how the question of Darkin’s kept coming up and the answers, seemingly near, always slipping away from Mia then falling out of thought because it interfered with her main goals of spectacle murder, which in all honesty, I was surprised actually happened. Although in true Red Church style, no one is ever truly dead – I’m looking at you Tric.
Speaking of Mia’s goals, I noticed all throughout this novel that she was severely blinded by her one single goal and ambition of making it to Godsgrave and murdering Scaeva and Duomo to avenge her family. Due to this, she didn’t see or act upon some things that may’ve been vital such as background events that may’ve contributed to her downfall. I had moments where I realised this and was shocked back into understanding how truly young and reckless Mia actually is. How much of her motivations and actions are shaped by her dominant emotion of revenge that she has no real-world experience besides what she’s been taught by Mecurio and inside the Red Church.
Mecurio played an interesting role in this novel. In Nevernight he was a mentor to Mia, a saviour and a supplier of knowledge, skill and goods to get her to where she wanted to be; the Red Church. In Godsgrave, we see him turn his back on his beloved church for Mia. Put himself in visible danger for Mia and as she realises this, we watch her understand that Mecurio is and has always been a father figure to Mia over the years he took the scared little girl in under his wing and trained her. It’s in those moments that also remind me that she is so very young and not an age-hardened adult woman.
We also see Mia grow soft in her emotions, recognising them more and more especially with the constant absence of her familiars. She pushes the feelings aside with ease, but it takes much more effort for her than it did when she was on her journey to and training at the Red Church. Mia becomes a martyr of sorts, saving those she likes and willing to go to all extremes to end the ones she doesn’t.
Ash and Mia. Look I’ll be honest here and say that I really didn’t see this relationship coming at the end of Nevernight but it’s perfect and I am here for it. Mia’s heightened emotional state is far more conflicted by her feelings towards Ash which throws her off course and almost gets her caught when she is sneaking around acting on said feelings.
Honestly, after all the reviews about how there are so many sex scenes and the extreme inappropriateness of the content in this novel, I expected more sex but it was the right amount for two tortured souls drawn together by feelings of infatuation. Also, this book is of the ADULT genre so lots of sex is okay. So shit up Janice. Your beloved 50 shades of grey is actually poorly written fanfiction.
I really do love how Jay thinks of everything and ensures there are no plot holes or unnecessary bits of information in his novels. Such as having people (staff? I forgot what they’re called…) of the Red Church from Nevernight, returning to work their magic to eff things up for Mia in Godsgrave (literally in Godsgrave).
One of the more unexpected and wtf scenes in the novel was when Mia finds out that her brother Jonnen is still alive and that she is now holding him in her hands. I have so many thoughts as to the ways in which she could tell him this or how he would react, etcetera and so forth but nothing in my head works in her favour. Obviously Jay would have had an amazing way to mitigate – or end – this, meaning I’ll have to read Darkdawn really soon because I can’t seriously put it off for as long as I have put off reading Godsgrave.
★ Rating ★
I rated this book ★★★★★ (5/5 stars). It was perfectly written and had everything you’d expect in a perfect high fantasy adult novel. I could go on and on and on rambling about how wonderful this series is, but you’d never read this post.
So TI;DL I can never write a review good enough to do this book, or the series justice and you just have to trust me and the hundreds of thousands of people around the world that have read and LOVE this series.
I cannot wait to start reading Darkdawn, hopefully in December when I’m relaxing by the beach enjoying a hot ass summer, I’ll be learning all about how Mia was fucked over yet again by the Red Church and I’ll smile knowing Jay Kristoff pulls no punches with his amazing characters.
See you back here on Monday’s (book reviews), Wednesday’s (storytime/ writing updates) and Saturday’s (other bookish content).