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?
Rating – Try It, 3.5/4stars
Published August 9th 2016
Read from 1st to 15th February
This is where my rating system gets a bit funny. I would say to try this book but I pretty much would call it a four star review and for me it is all down to the beginning and the unique style of it. I think you need to be of a particular mind-set and reader to enjoy this. You will notice that this whole review is from my very personal perspective because I know that my nature has affected my opinion and it wouldn’t be honest to not state that up front.
Ok so I want to preface a few things first before getting into a full scale review:
- This is not a YA book; there is a lot of violence, sexual and graphic content. It is an adult or new adult book, however, depending on your disposition you should know this before going in. I was reading this type of context at 15 or so but I come from a culture that allowed me to.
- There are a lot of problematic themes within this and I struggled with the cultural miss mash portrayed. I would recommend reading this post to gain some understanding http://anjuliewritesstuff.weebly.com/blog/racism-author-accountability-and-nevernight. This was not my personal problem with it but I had some trouble with the Scottish feel to it due to the use of language.
- You need to read a quarter in before you can make the decision to continue or quit. I hate that about books and I was lucky enough to be buddy reading it so was encourage to continue and after the fact I was fully involved in the story.
Ok, let’s now get into it. I’m going to start with the negatives because they hit at the beginning and then I really started to enjoy it.
So this feels like a really weird Roman/Italian world with different cultures all mixed in. The symbolic facial tattoos could be described as attributed to Maui culture, but the pale darkness of other characters felt very Scottish and it made me incredibly uncomfortable. This may not be the cultural background but due to my reservations this is what I took.
The writing style is very dense and lyrical and at times I really struggled with the large descriptions and paragraphs of thoughts and feelings. I also really struggled with what felt like a third and first person perspective switch. I struggled with the third person in terms that it felt like an overarching narrator but we had characters that spoke in the third person so I got really confused at points and didn’t understand that artistic and writing choice personally.
So I am not a massive fan of the characters, they were good and they were all individual but with such a large cast it can all get a bit muddled along with the uncommon names. I also didn’t really connect with them but I still felt a close enough relationship to care what happened to them. I don’t know if I like Mia and that is purely down to my cultural problems with this book.
When we actually got to the assassin’s school it got so so so good. I loved the system and the brutality and each disciplines and how it was conducted. It really gave me a Throne of Glass feel and I loved that book when I read it first time around. The magical element was not at the forefront and I wonder if it was in fact needed at all. I loved Mr Kindly but and you know what…. That’s probably my favourite character of this book.
I liked the relationships in this book but it all felt so short lived and there was so much going on and so many deaths that the environment was constantly changing. I am upset about quite a lot of the deaths because I believe there was so much room for them to grow and develop and gain their backstory and so much of it goes unanswered. And I think that was the best and boldest move of this book along with the plot.
The plot is good and everything has a meaning. I saw a lot of it coming but the massive twist at the end caught me off guard. It is still sort of hard to see it even thinking back on it but I really enjoyed it and am glad with how it was done because it gave character death meaning.
The ending was good but I’m a bit apprehensive about the sequel. I’m not quite sure the direction would go in. I know the plot but it’s hard to see the story. I did look up the blub of Godsgave and I don’t quite know how I feel about it. I will continue on in the series but I’m still a bit unsure of it.
Has anyone else read this and struggle with it the way I did?