Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff is the second book in the Nevernight Chronicles. I had to wait almost a year to read this because it took so long for the paperback to be released and its fair to say that i was daft for waiting so long. I thought the first book was epic but this? This is on another level, it was even more dark and brutal than the first.
The novel continues on from the first book focusing on the character of Mia Corvere who is still out for revenge after her parents and brother are killed after a failed revolution organised by her father. She thus joins the Red Church in order to become a ruthless assassin to avenge their deaths and it is there where she learns so many skills such as alchemy, manipulation tactics and most importantly how to kill Mofos.
Using the skills and attributes gained from her training we see a change of scenery for Mia as in order to exact her revenge she takes the ultimate risk and defies the Red Church by selling herself into slavery in Godsgrave as you do. There she becomes a slave to Donna Leona owner of a gladiatorial collegium whose father is a ruthless dickhead member of senate. She also meets other slaves who she begins to form friendships with and also makes enemies. Each have their own backstory which was a great touch as many were forced into slavery due to tragic reasons(others deserved it). In order to reach her goal of revenge Mia along with the other slaves must take part in a bloody and brutal contests to reach the final last man standing contest which will grant them freedom. In Mia’s case she wants to exact her revenge on Scaeva and Duomo (they had a hand in killing her family) who will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave.
There are a few returning characters from the book however I loved the character of Ashlinn who is in the book a lot more than before. She also has her own agenda with the Red Church, but damn her development was great. Shes so funny and witty i fricking loved it lol. Speaking of witty, i loved the banter between the characters Mister Kindly and The Shadow Wolf. The way they took aim at each other with insults was hilarious and i couldn’t get enough of it.
Thus, like the first book this is another epic fantasy novel. It felt like a mix between the Gladiator, Lord of The Rings and Spartacus which are both awesome movies. The character of Mia is very much consistent which is something i appreciated, usually in sequels characters sometimes fall off but in this one she very much stays the same but even more baddass. The novel is also full of brilliant plot twists, Jay Kristoff in my opinion is the master of this and like a magician he effortlessly pulls them out of nowhere. I also love the depth of the side characters, each had their own unique personality, traits and agenda. As expected with more new characters there are gruesome and brutal deaths. Jay Kristoff doesnt shy away from brutality and i love it lol. It’s like Hogarts but for murderous assassins, there are many shocking and intense moments which really kept me on my toes as lots of things happened that i did not expect. AND THAT ENDING??!! I cant believe that i will probably have to wait a year or two for the third book because paperbacks are usually out late which i hate. But I might just give in 😂
Anyway in conclusion, i used to steer away from fantasy novels but this has made me want to read them even more now. It was epic, brutal and complex. Jay Kristoff is an absolute genius and i really cant wait to read more of his books now. Also! i’ve grown to love the footnotes! At first they were so annoying but i love how much I’ve learned about the lore of this brilliant world. If you loved Children of Blood and Bone which for me was my fantasy book of the year you will love this for sure.