by Jay Kristoff
Published by Thomas Dunne Books
Book 3 in the Nevernight Chronicles
The greatest games in Godsgrave’s history have ended with the most audacious murders in the history of the Itreyan Republic.
Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run. Pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion, she may never escape the City of Bridges and Bones alive. Her mentor Mercurio is now in the clutches of her enemies. Her own family wishes her dead. And her nemesis, Consul Julius Scaeva, stands but a breath from total dominance over the Republic.
But beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. Together with her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life. Truedark approaches. Night is falling on the Republic for perhaps the final time.
Can Mia survive in a world where even daylight must die?
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Violent New Adult Intriguing
Darkdawn is the final book in Jay Kristoff's Nevernight Chronicles. It continues almost right where the second book leaves off, with Mia finally getting her vengeance for the murder of her family, and getting someone unexpected back - her brother, who she believed dead. But it's not over yet. When she finds Ashlynn, and with her, someone returned from the veil of death, she is forced to face some truths. One - her mentor is now in the clutches of the Red Church. Two - Her act of vengeance wasn't all that is seemed. And finally, she is set on a path to find out the secrets to what she is - and what it means for the world, and herself.
This series was a hard one for me. I loved the first book. The second book was a slow-burn for me, and I didn't really get into it till the last 100 pages. This third one ... I just wasn't crazy about it. I was already on the edge of not liking the characters as it was, and this book had me, well, not liking them. It was a slow build up to the action, and by time I got to it, I just felt kinda meh about it. BUT I want to make some things clear before I get further into my thoughts on this. Jay Kristoff is a brilliant writer. His wording, his attention to detail was delicious, and everything was easily pictured while I was reading it, like I was watching a movie. This trilogy remains one of the most original stories I have ever read. (spoiler)----------> I fucking LOVED finding out that Mercurio wrote the Nevernight Chronicles, and Jay poking fun at his own writing and footnotes. <---------------
My problem really is with the characters. I pointed out that I liked Mia's strength and intelligence ... but I just don't like her, which, as the heroine of the story, is important. There is being kick ass, and there is just being plain ruthless, and Mia crosses this line time and time again. I felt a bad taste in my throat when ---------------> knowing Tric's feelings for her, she is all over Ashlynn in front of him. Knowing the details of why he came back, knowing the pain she was causing him, shouldn't she have at least tried to not rub it in his face? <------------ The only times I liked her was when she was comforting Jonnen, and when she was saying goodbye to everyone. She is better suited for Ashlynn though, and neither of them are truly good people. I would have continued to like Ashlynn is she hadn't ----------> purposely rubbed Tric's nose in her relationship. Considering what she did to him, she could have a little class. <--------------. It truly sucks that the only characters I liked were, Tric, Mercurio, Jonnen, and Sidonius and Bladesinger. -------------> and after Tric and Mia say goodbye to one another, he kills himself! My only peace with this, is that he is now warm by the hearth, and happy. I couldn't imagine being hearthless was easy. <---------------. At least the characters I liked, minus one of course, got happy endings.
I am not sure if I will continue with more of Jay Kristoff's work. I loved the adult nature of it. I loved that our protagonist was bisexual, and didn't care who knew it. Jay's writing skills are phenomenal. I just didn't like the characters. Let me know what you think of the Nevernight Chronicles.
Mercurio finding out about the Nevernight Chronicles
Finding out what Darkin is, and what Godsgrave is.
Mia and Scaeva talking
The uncomfortable dinner with Cloud, Mia, Tric and Ashlinn
Cloud telling Mia the story of his brother, and why he will help her
Mia comforting Jonnen during the storm.
Mercurio horrified about the sex scenes in Mia's autobiography
Everyone talking about their first times, and Mia covering her brothers ears
Adonai saving Mia and the others
Tric telling Mia why he came back
Mia killing the Pirate King
Tric and Mia making out
Mia and crew taking out the church
Bladesinger and Sid <3
Ashlinn finally showing remorse for what she did to Tric, and Tric forgiving her
Mercurio and Mia's goodbye
Tric and Mia's goodbye
Mia arguing with the Camel
Ashlinn returning, and saving Jonnen, while Mia fought
Where to Buy
When all is blood, blood is all. - Motto of the Familia Corvere
Mia: "The deed is done. And all things considered, nothing went too badly tits up."
Mister Kindly: "...what difference does it make, the direction your breasts are pointing ...?"
Mia: "Spoken like someone who's never owned a pair."
Mia: "They should be here by now."
Mister Kindly: "...shhhh ... do you hear that ...?"
Mia: "... Hear what?"
Mister Kindly: " ... it appears to be the sound of ... breasts tilting skyward ... ?"
Drusilla: "I should have you killed for your betrayal."
Mercurio: "And yet I can't help notice I'm not dead."
The old man peered under the sheets.
Mercurio: "Or that I'm sans trousers. You certain I'm not here for an encore? I've learned a few tricks since -"
Drusilla hurled a gray robe at the old man's head.
Mercurio: "Nevernight. Stupid name for a book."
Father: "I love you, Mia."
Mia: "I love you, too."
Father: "Promise you'll remember. No matter what comes."
She gave him a puzzled smile.
Mia: "I promise, Father."
Mia: "Our familia had a saying. Before your father destroyed it. Neh diis lus'a, lus diis'a. Do you know what that means?"
Jonnen: "I do not speak Liisian."
Mia: "When all is blood, blood is all."
She held out her hand again.
Mia: "Blood is all, little brother."
Mia: "How can you be here if you're dead?"
Tric's black eyes glinted in the cold lantern light.
Tric: "THE MOTHER KEEPS ONLY WHAT SHE NEEDS."
Mia: "No more riddles, Tric. Tell me once and for all what's going on here."
Tric: "IT WILL NOT PLEASE YOU."
Mia: "Fucking speak, damn you!"
The shadow of a smile curled Tric's bloodless lips.
Tric: "YOU STILL HAVE A STRANGE WAY OF MAKING FRIENDS, PALE DAUGHTER."
Mia: "Cleo's journal. Those were her words."
Tric: "NO. THEY'RE NIAH'S. SHE SANG THEM TO ME IN THE DARK. THE MUSIC OF HER PROMISES DROWNING OUT THE LIGHT OF THAT TINY HEARTH AND ALL DESIRE TO SIT BESIDE IT. AND WHEN HER LULLABY WAS DONE, THE MOTHER SHOWED ME A PATH, ACROSS THE DARK BETWEEN THE STARS. AND THROUGH COLD SO FIERCE IT BURNED, THROUGH A BLACK SO BLEAK IT ALMOST SWALLOWED ME WHOLE, I CLAWED MY WAY BACK. AND I BECAME."
Mia: "Became what?"
Tric: "HER GIFT TO YOU. HER GUIDE."
Ashlinn: "You ... You .... fucking ..."
Mia flipped the sword in her hand, wiping her tears away on her grubby sleeve.
Mia: "Aye. But I'm a clever fucking bitch."
Mia: "Tric. Do you remember that time we were acolytes and you talked me out of doing something I desperately wanted by appealing to my sensible side?"
The boy tilted his head.
Mia: "Me either."
Tric: "YOU MUST LET THE PAST DIE, MIA."
Mia: "Sometimes the past won't just die. Sometimes you have to kill it."
Scaeva: "It is good to see you, Mia. You've grown into quite an astonishing young lady."
Mia: "Go fuck yourself, you unspeakable cunt."
Scaeva: "An astonishing young woman, then."
Mia: "You killed my father!"
Scaeva looked at her with pity
Scaeva: "My love, Darius Corvere was -"
Mia: "He raised me! I may not have been daughter of his blood, but he loved me all the same! And you murdered him!"
Father is another name for God in a child's eyes.
And Mother is the very earth beneath her feet.
Mia: "You seem awfully concerned about Jonnen, Father. And I can't bring myself to believe it's out of sentimentality. Could it be your dear wife Liviana isn't the one can't have any more children?"
Dark eyes glanced below his waist
Mia: "Getting soft in your old age?"
Ashlinn: "Is your ship a swift one?"
Cloud: "Swifter than my heart beats looking into those pretty eyes of yours, Sister."
Ashlinn: "You're trying to be charming, I assume."
Cloud: "Trying and failing, apparently."
Ashlinn: "May I help you with something, Captain?"
Cloud: "I've a bed in my cabin, too, should the hammock grow tiresome."
Ashlinn: "Still trying to be charming, I see ..."
Cloud: "Well. I've a thing for women in uniform."
Ashlinn: "More out of the than in, I'd wager."
The captain grinned.
Ashlinn: "The balls on that slick bastard."
Mister Kindly: "...i wonder where he keeps his wheelbarrow...?"
Eclipse: " ...AM I HONESTLY EXPECTED TO BELIEVE THIS BOORISH CUR AND ITS PREPUBESCENT HUMOR IS THE FRAGMENT OF A SHATTERED DIVINITY ...?"
Ashlinn: "If this were any more obviously a fucking trap, they'd have a row of high-priced courtesans' dancing in Liisian lingerie atop it, singing a rousing chorus of 'this is obviously a fucking trap.' "
Mia smiled faintly
Mia: "I love that song."
Mia: "I kept my promise to you. Your grandfather died screaming."
Tric inclined his head
Tric: "MY THANKS, PALE DAUGHTER."
Mia: "You must think me a heartless cunt."
Tric: "YOU'D ONLY CONSIDER IT A COMPLIMENT."
Mia: "It's ..."
Tric: " ... COMPLICATED?"
She nodded slow.
Mia: "But life always is, neh?"
A mirthless chuckle slipped over his lips.
Tric: "TRY DYING."
Mia: "I'd rather not, if I can help it."
Tric: "DEATH IS THE PROMISE WE ALL MUST KEEP. SOONER OR LATER."
Mia: "I'll take later, if it please you."
He met her eyes then. Black to black.
Tric: "IT WOULD."
So he did what any sensible man would have done in his boots.
Cloud: "Fuck this."
And he ran.
Cloud: "More wine, anyone?"
Glaring at Ashlinn.
Mia: "Fuck yes."
Tric: "SOME OF US BECAME MASTERS OF IT."
Tric said, staringg at Ash.
Tric: "MURDER, THAT IS."
Ashlinn: "That shouldn't be a surprise. Given what we trained for."
Tric: "A KNIFE IN THE HAND OF A FRIEND IS OFTEN A SURPRISE."
BigJon: "I saw you best that silkling at the Whitekeep games. Won a strumpet's cuntful of coin on you, too. Bloody magnificent, lass."
Cloud: "Four Daughters, BigJon. Mind your cursing at the table, neh?"
BigJon: "Fuck. Apologies."
BigJon: "Fuck. Sorry. Shit ... FUCK ..."
Mia: "No, it's all right. I was bloody magnificent. I trust you spent your cuntful on something fucking marvelous."
The littleman grinned with silver teeth, raising his glass.
BigJon: "O, I like you."
Mia: "Don't mind him. He's a spoiled little shit."
Jonnen: "I am the son of an imperator!"
Mia: "But you're not above a spanking! So mind your fucking manners!"
BigJon: "Will you marry me, dona?"
Ashlin: "Get in line, littleman."
Tric: "JUST DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK. ASHLINN DISLIKES COMPETITION."
Mercurio: "She's eighteen years old. She doesn't deserve any ending yet."
Aelius: "Since when did 'deserve' have anything to do with it?"
Mia: "I missed you."
Ashlinn: "How much?"
Mia: "Not entirely sure how to measure that. Couple of feet, maybe?"
Ashlinn: "Fuck you."
Mia: "We'll need to buy ourselves some horses, I suppose. I fucking hate horses."
Tric smiled, his dimple creasing his pale cheek.
Tric: "I REMEMBER."
Mia: "What else do you remember?"
He tilted his head, and the look in his eyes made her chest ache.
Cloud: "Aye. We work by a system, matey. Just because we're pirates doesn't mean we're lawless brigands."
Sid look astonished
Sid: "... That's exactly what it fucking means!"
Bryn: "Waker. I don't want to go downstairs."
Waker: "... No?"
Bryn: "No. I want you to warm me up."
His eyebrows drew together with glacial slowness.
Bryn: "Four Daughters! No wonder you never got your end away! Can I make this more obvious? Would grabbing you by your fucking ears and planting one on your dopey chops be of assistance in clarifying position?"
Tric: "IT ... I SHOULDN'T SPEAK OF IT."
Mia: "Tric. Tell me. Please."
Tric: "BECAUSE WHEN I LOOKED AMONG ALL THOSE FACES, THE FACES OF ALL THOSE I'D LOVED, THE ONE I LOVED MOST WASN'T AMONG THEM. I CAME BACK FOR YOU, MIA. THAT WAS THE FIGT THE MOTHER OFFERED ME. SHE WASN'T STRONG ENOUGH TO BRING ME BACK HERSELF, SHE COULD ONLY SHOW ME THE WAY. I HAD TO RIP MY WAY BACK THROUGH THE WALLS OF THE ABYSS ITSELF. THAT WAS WHAT I GAVE UP MY PLACE BY THE HEARTH FOR. NOT THE CHANCE TO MEND THE BALANCE OR RESTORE THE MOON OR SEE THE WORLD PUT TO RIGHT. I CARE FOR NONE OF THAT."
He took Mia's hand, pressed it to his chest, and she was astonished to feel a heartbeat, strong and thudding beneath her palm
Tric: BUT I WOULD STRIKE A THOUSAND BARGAINS WITH THE NIGHT FOR ONE MORE MOMENT WITH YOU. I'D DIE A THOUSAND DEATHS AND DEFY THEM ALL, JUST TO HOLD YOU IN MY ARMS ONE MORE TIME."
Mia: "Tric, I -"
Tric: "I LOVE YOU, MIA. AND NIGHT WILLING, I'LL LOVE YOU FOREVER."
Sid: "Blaming yourself for another's work is like blaming yourself for the weather. And I'll mourn them as a brother and sister lost, aye. But taking a beating is part of being alive. And let me tell you something, Mia - the best brawlers I ever met were the ugliest, too. Broken noses and missing teeth and cauliflower ears. Because the best way to learn to win is by losing."
Mia: "I don't -"
Sid: " Pretty warriors can't fight for shit. You can't know how sweet it is to breathe 'til you've had your ribs broken. You can't appreciate being happy 'til someone has made you cry. And there's no point blaming yourself for the kickings life gives you. Just think about how much it hurt, and how much you don't want to feel that way again. And that'll help you do what you need to do the next time to win."
Ashlinn: "Were you a fisherman, or ...?"
Butcher: "Fisherman? I ought to box your bloody ears, girl. Could a fisherman slay Caelinus the Longshanks in single combat in front of twenty thousand people? Or gut Marcinio of the Werewood like a fish?"
Sid: "Aye. A fishman could probably guy a man like a fish, Butcher."
Butcher: "I was a pirate, you fucking cunts."
Mia: "But ... you were seasick, Butcher. You spewed your guys out the entire way from Whitekeep to Galante."
Butcher: "Well, I was a shitty pirate, wasn't I?"
Cloud: "Right. I'm dangerously close to being hideously fucking murdered here, so if you bastards would like to catch me up with what the 'byss you've been doing since you arrived, that'd be appreciated."
Bladesinger: "Murdered? He's done nothing but smile since you walked in."
Cloud: "The more Valdyr smiles at you, the closer you are to dead. He's about two crossed words away from slitting my throat and fucking the wound."
Ashlinn: "That's disgusting."
Cloud: "Aye, the last man who endured it probably thought so, too."
Mia: "Are you a liar or a fool, sir?"
Draker: "Watch your mouth, whore."
Mia: "Call me whore? Fool it is, then."
Mia: "My name is Mia Corvere. Blade of the Red Church. Champion of the Venatus Magnu. Chosen of the Dark Mother and Queen of Scoundrels. Never call me girl again."
Mia: "I am a daughter of the dark between the stars. I am the thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the nevernight. I am the vengeance of every orphaned daughter, every murdered mother, every bastard son. I am the war you cannot win."
Mia: "I'm cold."
Tric: "YOU COULD ALWAYS PUT A SHIRT ON."
Mia: "It'd ruin my Murderous Bitch aesthetic."
Tric: "I DENIED DEATH FOR YOU. AND I'D DIE FOR YOU AGAIN. KILL FOR YOU. I'D TEAR THE STARS DOWN FROM THE HEAVENS TO FASHION YOU A CROWN. YOU ARE MY HEART. MY QUEEN. I'D DO ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING YOU ASK ME, MIA."
Mia: "You're the babe she brought into the world. You're Cleo's son."
Aelius: "Not just a pretty face and a shitty attitude, are you?"
Bladesinger: "You can tell it was written by a man."
Sid: "... How's that?"
Bladesinger: "You didn't think the sex scenes gave it away?"
Sid: "I actually thought some of the smut was quite good.'
Bladesinger: "O, come off. 'Aching nipples'? 'Swollen bud'?"
Sid: "What's wrong with 'swollen bud'?"
Bladesinger: "I've not got a fucking flower between my legs, Sid."
Sid: "Well, what would you call it, then?"
Bladesinger: "The little man in the boat?"
Sid: "Why the fuck would you name a part of a woman's nethers the 'little man'?"
Bladesinger: "Something about the visual appeals? Rowing is hard. It's nice to imagine a man actually doing some work between the sheets for a change."
Sid grinned and shook his head.
Sid: "You're a fucking bitch, 'Singer."
Sid: "Crow ... Have you read these?"
Mia: "Only a wanker reads her own biography, Sid. Especially if it's got footnotes."
Mia: "Mercurio. You can't come on a weeks-long trek into a magically polluted hellscape. You're eighty years old."
Mercurio: "I'm sixty-fucking-two."
Mia simply stared.
Mercurio: "Never took a wife. Never had a familia. Didn't seem fair in my line of work. But ... if I ever had a daughter -"
Mia: "You had a daughter."
The girl threw her arms around the old man and squeezed hard as she could.
Mia: "And she loves you."
Tric: "I KNOW HOW MUCH YOU LOVED HER, MIA. I'M SORRY."
Mia: "I know."
Tric: "I MEANT WHAT I TOLD YOU IN AMAI. YOU ARE MY HEART, MIA. YOU ARE MY QUEEN. I'D DO ANYTHING YOU ASKED ME, AND EVERYTHING YOU WON'T. I DON'T CARE IF IT HURTS ME. I ONLY CARE IF IT HURTS YOU. AND I'LL LOVE YOU FOREVER."
Mia: "I love you, too."
Tric: "BUT NOT THE WAY YOU LOVED HER."
Mia: "Tric -"
Tric: "IT'S ALL RIGHT. IT'S NOWHERE NEAR ENOUGH. BUT IT'LL STILL KEEP ME WARM."
Mia: "I wish ... I wish there was two of me."
Tric: "THERE ARE, REMEMBER? TWO HALVES, WARRING WITHIN YOU. AND THE ONE THAT WILL WIN ..."
Mia: "... Is the one that I feed."
Tric: "DON'T GIVE YOURSELF TO SORROW, MIA. DON'T LOSE THE HOPE INSIDE. MORE THAN ANYTHING YOU ARE, MORE THAN THE COURAGE, THE CUNNING, THE RAGE, YOU'RE THE GIRL WHO BELIEVED. SO LET ME KISS YOU GOODBYE. THEN WALK ON. AND DON'T EVER LOOK BACK."
Mia: "Farewell, Don Tric."
Tric: "GOODBYE, PALE DAUGHTER."
Mia: "Remember me."
Adonai: "So quickly doth it cool."
Mercurio: "My heart fucking bleeds."
Mercurio: "Fuck that. I'll send something fancy. I'm too busy to go traipsing over the Four war-torn Seas just for a piss-up."
Jonnen: "And too old."
Mercurio: "Mind your fucking manners."
Check out the rest of the Nevernight Chronicles