Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Narrated by Holter Graham
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, 16-year-old Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic – the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her within the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder and be one step closer to the only thing she desires: revenge.
Not going to lie, I had some trouble with this one. I think it may have been a bit overhyped. For the hype it received, I was expecting more.
The premise was good. We watch as Mia sees her father be executed, and as she breaks away from being killed herself, and then as she speaks to this shadow cat thing. Neither of us, the reader nor Mia, really understand this cat thing that is with her. For the time being, we have to just except this cat thing exists. Kind of like when we were young and just accepted our feet would stay on the ground and we wouldn’t float away into the sky because we didn’t know about this thing called gravity or how it worked.
Jumping ahead in the story, Mia is accepted as a novice in the Red Church, and trains to be an assassin. I liked the idea of the different schools of assassins within the Red Church. I don’t remember the exact names, but there was sword, poison, thieving, and secrets. Only the top person in each school will become an assassin of the Red Church, the others will become the hand or hands of the assassins. Mia works at all of them but makes a bet at which one she would have the best chance of winning, and puts a lot of her time and energy into solving the master’s quest. Each school has a master, and each master has a quest. The winner of the quest wins the favor of that master and is basically guaranteed a spot as an assassin. Although there is one final test.
I did try reading this as an ebook first. I had a whole bunch of trouble keeping up with where I was supposed to be with the buddy read for the Winter Quest, and had a hard time with writing style. I just could not get drawn in to the story. As much as I tried to connect and care, I couldn’t. A few people commented in the Discord for the buddy read to try the audiobook; they had also had issues with the writing but were doing better with the audio. I will say, the audio was easier to get in to, although I still wasn’t as drawn in with this story as I’ve been with others of Kristoff’s. Such as with Stormdancer, which I’m ashamed to admit, I read at least a couple years ago, loved and have yet to continue the trilogy. ?
Even after almost a month, I’m still a bit unsure about this trilogy. I may give the second book a try at some point, but I don’t think I’m going to rush into it. One thing which also left me wishing for something more, was something in the ending. I of course won’t say any specifics, just a bit upset at something that happens.