Nevernight by Jay Kristoff book review

Updated: Jan 25, 2021


by Jay Kristoff

Published by St. Martin's Press

Book 1 in the Nevernight Chronicles

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?


Violent New Adult Intriguing

Steamy High-Fantasy


Nevernight by Jay Kristoff is the first book in his Nevernight Chronicles. It centers around Mia Corvere, an orphaned sixteen year old girl, who is determined to become a Blade - an assassin - to avenge her family. But there are many things standing between her and the revenge she so desperately wants. Friendships. Love. A murderer killing fellow acolytes. The mystery of her darkin powers, that were gifted to her the day her family was torn away from her. Her own struggle with what is right and wrong.

So Nevernight wasn't on my tbr list. Apparently, the 1000+ books on there are not enough, and I just had to join a bookclub, and Nevernight was the pick of the month. To be honest, I didn't think I would like this book after I started it. I hated the narration of the story, and the footnotes. Hated that once Mia made it to the Red Church, that it felt like a weird combination of Hogwarts and Hunger Games (come on, admit you pictured potions class when they were studying poisons. Jessamine is Draco. Solis is Snape.).

Funny thing happened though. Things I didn't like starting out, I ended up liking them.

By the end of the book, once the world has been set up, I forgot that the narrator was telling me a story, and was able to immerse myself in it. The benefit of third person, was that at rare times, we got different perspectives from different characters, when Mia wasn't around. The footnotes I hated, either built on to the setting, or were weird side tangents that could end up being quite funny. On top of these things I grew to like, there were the things I instantly liked about this book too. A strong, determined female character (extra points given that it's a male author who wrote her), the action and mystery, the romance and sex, and the dry humor that pops up at unexpected moments.

The characters were very interesting, if somewhat a little too alike (which I guess is to be expected when the characters in question are all assassins, or training to be.) Mia is strong, and ruthless when she needs to be. She tries hard to be cold, but she can't help who she is. She can't stop herself from feeling.