[A quick note: I read Nevernight early in January. You can find my review HERE. I put off Godsgrave because I knew it was going to be INTENSE. I wasn’t wrong. If you love assassins and morally gray characters, I strongly suggest you give this series a go. It’s just fantastic!]
“𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗻'𝘁 𝘀𝗲𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀, 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝗸𝗲𝘆?” ―Jay Kristoff
Mia might have found her place within the Red Church, but she is far from destroying the men responsible for killing her familia. When it becomes clear that the Red Church has no intention of entertaining her thoughts of vengeance, she constructs a bold new plan that takes her straight to the heart of the republic’s famed gladiators.
Tons of action. Fast paced. High stakes. Wow. Just wow. I closed this book and my head is STILL spinning. There were so many twists and turns at the end, I’m still digesting some of the bombs that were dropped. This is one of those books that sticks with you. Not only was it better than the first, I cannot stop thinking about it. Every facet of it was glorious! The plot, the world building, the characters, all of it. Bravo, Mr. Kristoff.
My favorite aspect was the world of the gladiators. It was a complete change compared to the setting and style of the first book. This gave it a fresh, different feel. I loved that. Also, I’ve always considered Rome’s history of its gladiators fascinating, so reading a story that centered entirely around that inspiration was fantastic! The writing and portrayal felt true to the source. I appreciated the harsh glimpse into the gladiator lifestyle and the struggle of slavery. Mia’s eyes were opened to something she hadn’t truly considered before, and that allowed her significant growth.
One of the best things about this series is the plethora of morally gray, flawed characters. Every single character feels real. They have their own demons, imperfections, and arcs. The dialogue between them is soooo good. Mia was killing people left and right. Did I hate her for it? Of course not! I bet Jay (through Mia’s character) could tell me that every innocent human needs to die and I’d STILL love Mia’s character. I don’t know how he does it, but Jay Kristoff never ceases to impress me.
Lastly, I’d like to re-emphasize how wonderful the world building in this book is. It’s clear that significant thought and attention is given to locations, history, and politics in a way that most authors gloss over. Jay utilizes footnotes to add context that isn’t necessary but appreciated! For someone like me who appreciates detail and depth, I go through EVERY footnote while I’m reading. But these can easily be skipped.
This trilogy is quickly becoming a top favorite. Even though it’s not the sort of light-hearted fantasy I tend to prefer, its compelling and raw and gritty and just SO DAMN GOOD. I’m falling in love. With Mia. How could I not? 𝗠𝗬 𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚: 𝟱/𝟱⭐️