Book Review: Godsgrave

Rating: 5 out of 5.

  • Author: Jay Kristoff
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Page Count: 419
  • Date Started: August 13
  • Date Finished: August 23

A Brief Description

Keep in mind that since this is the second book in a series, there may be spoilers for the first book in the following description.

Mia Corvere has found her place as a Blade in the Red Church, but many disagree with her right to be there. She is no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. After a confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church.

It is then 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 her to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end the ones who took everything from her. In the arena, Mia finds allies, rivals and more questions for her affinity for the shadows. Conspiracies continue to unfold and as the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge. She will uncover a secret that could change the face of her world as she knows it.

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That’s Fear talking. Never listen to him. Fear is a coward.

Jay Kristoff
pg 95

Initial Thoughts

Since this is the second book in a series, I’m going to say that this is going to a spoiler-filled for anything that happened in book one and that you should tread with caution. While my initial thoughts won’t be spoiler-y the rest of my review will be. Okay, I’m excited to read this. I was delightfully surprised by Nevernight. Having read another of Jay Kristoff’s works and not enjoying it, I was worried I wouldn’t like it. I couldn’t put the book down. Going into Godsgrave was no different. This second book in the series had the same high-octane pace that the first one had and there were a lot of unexpected twists and turns. I read this book very quickly and thought about it very frequently. When I wasn’t reading it, I wanted to be. Overall, I enjoyed this book even more than Nevernight. I’m going to go more in depth into my thoughts below.

The heavens grant us only one life, but through books, we live a thousand.

Jay Kristoff
pg 65

The very first book (or the first 12 chapters) of Godsgrave had flashbacks between the past and the present. In the past, Mia, finally a Blade in the Red Church, being told that she is unable to kill Scaeva and Duomo, her whole reason for joining the Red Church to begin with. To add to this, Mia comes face to face with an old enemy, Ash, where she learns that the Red Church is not all that it seems. In the present it tells the story of how Mia lets herself caught by slavers to sell herself to a gladiatorial collegium for the opportunity to compete in the grandest games in all of Godsgrave to end Scaeva and Duomo once and for all. I don’t mind the flashbacks, as I believed that this added some backstory and explained a few questions I had, but at the same time, I felt that it took me out of the story a little bit as well. I found myself having to go back to the end of the previous snippet to remember what had happened last in that time period.

The second and third book both took place after Mia had been purchased by Leona, widow of Remus, the justicus that Mia murdered in the previous book and the successor of her father. She is brought to Crow’s Nest, the home that she vacationed in as a child. Here, surrounded by a new cast of characters that I came to love, Mia fights for her right to fight in the magni. The winner of the magni would be crowned by Scaeva, and blessed by Cardinal Duomo, and declared a free man/woman. This would have been her chance to kill them both in one strike. Of course, things don’t go as planned.

For starters, I want to talk about some of the characters we were introduced to: I loved them all. Some of them took some warming up to, Sidonious (Sid) for example, but once I was in love, that was it. All of these characters are so morally gray and have such a complex history that you can’t help it. Mia, though she is ruthless and dark and twisty, you cannot say that she doesn’t care for those she loves.

The last 50 or so pages of this book had me hooked and gasping constantly. With the treachery that wasn’t really treachery, the death that wasn’t really a death, the reveal of Mia’s true parentage and the return of two previously thought dead characters, I was breathless by the end. I think it’s safe to say that this book may have blown me away. I can’t wait to have Darkdawn in my hands come September 3rd.

Better to run than die on your knees.

Jay Kristoff
pg 357


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