Book Review! Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.

Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?

* Contains spoilers for first two books*

I love books that thoroughly encompass me as a reader, ones that drag you into the world inside headfirst and simply don’t let go. The Nevernight series was one of these reads for me. You jump into Itreya as effortlessly as Mary Poppins jumps in to one of Bert’s chalk drawings except instead of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious its SupercaliFuckingGorySexyandAudacious. It is wholly encompassing and it took me a good long while to re-adjust to the real world, one without murderous assassins and magic.

Darkdawn picks up at the exact shocking moment that Godsgrave ends, Mia has murdered the man who is to blame for the death of her parents, and has found her younger brother whom she had always believed to be dead. But we as the readers know more, much more that Mia does at that time, and we simply have to read along and watch as Mia’s world gets turned upside down. She actually murdered a lookalike of Scavea and the man to blame for Mia’s lot in life is still out there and gaining power. Most of her life has been a lie and there are so few people in her life that are exactly what they seem.

Mia is a murderous, revenge seeking bitch who I simply adored. You FEEL her inner turmoil as she makes her plans for revenge on Scavea, the man who was responsible for the deaths of her parents. She isn’t deluded, she knows she isn’t a good guy, that being as assassin will surely end with her dead, but she also knows that like draws to like and it will take someone with loose, if not nonexistent morals to bring down the true evil in this series. You so want her to get a happy ending, but as the author states in the first chapter of Nevernight, this isn’t a Happy ending and Mia will die, it’s just a case of waiting for the when, how and where.

We get introduced to a whole hoard of new characters in Darkdawn and we also get treated to some of our favourite’s from past books making an appearance. Mia knows that it will take all of her friends, even if she doesn’t want to subject them to near death, to defeat Scavea and the assassins of the Red Church that he has control over.

There were so many unanswered questions when we enter Darkdawn. Who is the narrator? What exactly are the Darkin? How will Mia Die? All of the answers to these questions get dropped on us throughout the book and although I had my suspicions I couldn’t have been further off the mark. Kristoff has a wondrous skill of making you look one way while having a whole other plot line sneak up behind you and shout ‘Boo’ You didn’t see that coming did you. No I bloody didn’t! It makes for an unputdownable story, one that I found myself reading at work and into the wee hours of the morning.

Mia had a whole host of bizarre but overwhelmingly loyal relationships. We have Ashlinn, the girl who murdered the boy that Mia loved and now shares her bed; Mercurio, a Bishop of Godsgrave who took Mia in after Scavea tried to have her killed. He is the closest thing Mis has to a father and regrets sending her on this path; and Tric, the boy that Mia loved, dragged himself back from death to be by her side always. Her relationship with Jonnen was one I found myself over invested in. Unaware that she even existed and determined not to accept a dirty mouthed assassin as his kin, their relationship was hilarious, infuriating and bittersweet.

There were definitely a couple of WTF moments in this book… chapter 30 anyone? And Kristoff is the king of twists and turns giving you that almost drunk buzz. There were times when I wanted to throw the book out of the window, and times where I held on to it so tightly my knuckles turned white. This book was the perfect ending to one of my all time favourite fantasy series it had me laughing, crying, getting a little hot under the collar and literally shouting at the pages in anger but the ending simply blew me away. I had an inkling of how I thought it might end and I was proved partly right, I simply didn’t expect the almost U-turn of events that made the ending as perfect as it was.

This book definitely contains some trigger warnings for blood, gore, murder and ALOT of sex. But if you can look past this, and you should, you get to enjoy a wondrously dark story about a girl who has everything taken away from her, the cat shaped shadow that saved her life and journey she is set upon when revenge is the only thing she truly cares for. An easy 5/5 read.

12 replies »

  1. Pingback: October Book Haul!
  2. I’m SO excited for this book! I’ve just re-read Nevernight and want to slot Godsgrave in as it has been a while, but I can’t wait. Now, reading this, I’m even more excited! Thank you for the awesome review!


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