It’s time to bring another trilogy to a close as we wrap up Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight trilogy with today’s post. We’ve had blood, love and sex in abundance up until now – and I’m intrigued how this is going to tie everything up. Here’s my review on Darkdawn.
Publisher: HarperVoyager | Date: 2019 | Genre: Fantasy
Plot: 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?
Darkdawn was one of my most anticipated reads in 2020, and only took me so long because I re-read the other two first. I’m glad I did – there was a lot I’d forgotten and so much goes on that it helped having the details straight in my mind.
I want to rave about this book. It is a solid read. It also coincided with the worst slump I’ve had all year, and wasn’t enough to get me out. The story is solid, albeit takes a much bigger Gods/Destiny/everything changes route than I was expecting. But the tension didn’t always feed the momentum, and it dragged. The stakes are so high throughout that there wasn’t any change in the pacing, so I lost focus at times.
Mia’s revenge isn’t complete, despite careful planning. Scaeva is still alive, and now she must deal with a brother who hates her. Mia is bad-ass: she has been since book one. As her power grows, her solution to problems can be extreme, which results in interesting situations for her and her friends.
Mia also grows on an emotional level this time. She’s always been driven by revenge but now love pushes her: love for Jonnen; love for Ashlinn; love for her friends. At times, it softens her. Other points, however, it felt her close relationships were there to fuel her revenge when she loses someone. We’ve known from the beginning this isn’t the type of book where heroes always survive.
Talking of which, I’m not sure how I felt with the introduction of the love triangle between Ash/Mia/Tric. Tric was a favourite in book one, and I loved having him back. But in hindsight, I’m not sure what he did. His presence forced Mia to decide how she felt about Ashlinn, and he was handy in a fight. Then he just… left? Job done: back to the Hearth he went. It didn’t feel a satisfactory ending for him after everything.
To never fear was to never hope Never love. Never live. To never fear the dark was to never smile as the dawn kissed your face. To never fear solitude was to never know the joy of a beauty in your arms.Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
Ash grew on me in the second book, but Tric’s return puts her on the defence and jealousy rises. Her possessiveness meant I didn’t warm to her – again.
Jonnen was a favourite. A spoilt brat, self-entitled and wanting his own way, you witness this little boy find out about the real world after a sheltered existence, and his character growth was satisfying.
There’re multiple threads in this plot. The premise of Mia’s story being in the library was cool, but it served a purpose, then faded into the background. Everything with the Gods also was more extreme than I was expecting, which felt it broke from the tone of the first two of Mia learning to do things herself.
Darkdawn is an enjoyable read. It’s action-packed and full of emotion. All the characters from the first two books come together in a collision that literally destroys the world and the multiple deaths add tension: no one is safe.
I’ve enjoyed The Nevernight Chronicles, even though I’m struggling to pin down my thoughts on Darkdawn.
Have you read this trilogy? What did you think?
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