Have you ever felt trolled by a narrator before? Because The Final Word in Godsgrave was like a punch to the soul.
2021 Update: While I enjoyed and positively reviewed this book when I originally read it, I no longer support the author or recommend their books, and have unhauled my copies. You can learn more in this video here.
Publisher: St Martin’s Press | Release Date: September, 2017 | Pages: 419
Genre: Adult, Fantasy | Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.
When it’s 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 herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.
Set in the world of Nevernight, which Publishers Weekly called “absorbing in its complexity and bold in its bloodiness,” Godsgrave will continue to thrill and satisfy fantasy fans everywhere.
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My Review for Godsgrave
Narrative style: third person | Perspective(s): single (omniscient narrator)\
“You cannot afford to pity those men, Mia. Swimming this deep, your compassion will only serve to drown you. You must be as hard and as sharp as the men you hunt.”
Gentlefriends, I don’t know how I am going to string together words about this one. Have you ever felt trolled by a narrator before? Because The Final Word in Godsgrave was like a punch to the soul. One of the reasons I put off reading this trilogy until now was because I heard the ending was a Time, but I had no idea what was in store for me.
Despite being warned by the narrator that Mia is not a hero and she will die come the end of the trilogy, I can’t help but love and root for her even though it feels pointless. She’s just as dogged in her pursuit of vengeance for her familia but still holds on to that part of herself the Red Church hasn’t been able to destroy.
I love that Mia is a complex character who struggles with her own sense of right and wrong while pursuing her goals. It is her connection with people that I really enjoy the most, especially when she kind of goes with her gut.
“Fear is the only enemy in your path. Conquer your fear, and you can conquer the world.”
Godsgrave delves a bit deeper into Mia’s sexuality. Through her actions in Nevernight, it was obvious without a bunch of fanfare that Mia is bisexual, and this book sees her with both men and women. The f/f relationship that develops is absolutely beautiful to watch unfold for how it opens her up (even though I am still more than a little sus, sorry).
“Death is the only promise we all keep. This life we live… there is no room in it for love, Mia. But a love like autumn leaves. Beautiful one turn. A bonfire the next. Only ashes the remainder.”
Even though the world is so different from that which we know on Earth, it remains accessible and feels true somehow. Days are turns, night only happens once every couple of years, and there are three suns – but the world is tinged with Roman influence, the people just as power-hungry and vengeful as depicted in our history books. Kristoff manages to expand the world-building even further in this installment without weighing down the narrative.
“The heavens grant us only one life, but through books, we live a thousand.”
As a nerdy person, I relish in the Roman inspiration and Latin phrases found in this trilogy. As much of a pain in the ass it was to study Latin (I am convinced that the Roman Empire’s downfall was in fact the pluperfect verb tense), it remains ingrained in one’s brain. I outright laughed during the play – ¿ Et Tu, Brute? – and the world’s own version of Julius Caesar.
Just as with Nevernight, the book is fast paced and action-packed. In my opinion, the narrative is more driven by the action itself primarily rather than the characters or plot. Sure, the action drives the plot… but I found myself less interested with the fight scenes and looking for where our characters are talking to one another or the plot moves forward after the fighting. And since this book takes place in a coliseum, there is a lot of fighting, which for me personally is never fun to read copious amounts of.
Overall, I found Godsgrave to be a fantastic sequel that doesn’t stop pulling punches. Although I personally found myself a little bored with some of the action scenes (it’s a me thing), I am so here for Mia’s journey and am excited & sad to see how it ends. Lots of questions were raised at the end of Godsgrave that I cannot wait to see answered in Darkdawn.
Content warnings: animal death (pg. 327), attempted rape (referred to), blood, child death (off-page), death of a parent, human trafficking, loss of a loved one, murder, sexually explicit scenes, slavery,
Representation: bisexual main character