“Nevernight”, gentlefriends, is a new favorite! I still cannot understand why it took me so long to read this book! I totally understand all the fuss around Mia Corvere and I totally agree! The girl is a bad ass assassin! But let’s take it from the beginning…
Mia Corvere is the daughter of Darius Corvere, the justicus of the Luminatii Legion and a failed revolutionary. He and his General Antonious raised an army and marched on their own capital, but both were captured on the eve of battle. The aftermath was that they both got hanged in front of the whole city of Godsgrave and Mia was forced by her mother to watch as her father left his last breath.
And never, ever Forget
From this moment on, the ten year old girl sees her life being destroyed. Her mother and baby brother are taken to prison and she is doomed to drowning. But somehow, she survives that fate and she swears to revenge her father’s death and her mother’s imprisonment. She founds old Mercurio and she receives his training on becoming a candidate Blade for the Red Church, an academy for cold blood killers.
Mia makes it to the mountain and takes her place along the other candidates. Her origins makes her some enemies among the flock, but her ability to calls the shadows surely works on her side. She learns to hold the blade, to make and dissolve potions as well as the art of seduction. She makes friends, finds herself a lover boy, get’s betrayed and finally get’s on the path of her revenge, as she always wanted.
Godsgrave, the city Mia grew up, is one very similar to Venice and the political system installed there reminds a bit of the Ancient Rome’s one. However, not exactly. There are more myths and legends on how the city was created, what lies beneath the city’s spine as well as which are the Gods that Itreyan people believe in. The world building is amazing! I love how Kristoff based his city of the structure of Venice, with all the bridges and the canals around the city and how he completely transformed it to something different. The myth of the giant that fell on that spot, yet we don’t get to know exactly how this happened and how it will affect the course of the saga. The parts of the giant’s body that name the different parts of the city and that they have a special meaning to the city’s topology. The Ribs, the Spine and all.
The characters in the book are a masterpiece! They are unforgettable the least. First of all Mia Corvere, our protagonist, is a girl of rare capabilities. She was about to get drowned when she found a friend in the darkness, one that never left her. One that always had her back. One that made her stronger, feasting on her fear and making her braver than she ever would be. She found an old tutor when she lost her family. She didn’t find the warmth or comfort a mother could give, but she found someone she could count on, a person that made her believe on herself. On that taught her well, that made her stronger. Old Mercurio is a fine trainer, a fine Shahiid for Mia. He never told her what to expect, so she would be always alert, prepared for anything. The other Shahiids of the Red Church are also memorable and they are who they claim to be. Cold blooded murderers.
This is not a Young Adult story. There is no love story around which all the saga revolves. This is a story about revenge, murder and blood and Mia Corvere is a first class assassin, taught by the greatest Shahiids in the Church of Our Lady of Blessed Murder. And this, O gentlefriends, is a new favorite!