Darkdawn Review

Darkdawn Review | Jay Kristoff

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 Review

Darkdawn Review

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.

Characters

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.

Plot

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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42 thoughts on “Darkdawn Review | Jay Kristoff

  1. Sorry to hear you’ve been in a reading slump! They’re the absolute worst, aren’t they! Seems weird that a high stakes book has slightly off pacing? You’d imagine it would be full steam ahead for the whole thing!

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    • Thank you, so do I!! They’re a good read if you like a darker side of fantasy and I still recommend even though this one wasn’t the best for me.

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  2. It’s so hard to be in a reading slump! I’m not a fantasy reader but I enjoyed your review. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Thanks for sharing your review. I haven’t read it but will be sure to put it on my TBR now. If Mia is a badass, I have no doubt I’ll like the books!

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  4. I am in a reading slump too and it takes so much, but I am glad that you enjoyed this book anyway! I haven’t read this serie but i know people rave about it and from your review Mia sounds like a great character to read about! Thank you for sharing x

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  5. I haven’t gotten into this series yet, though I know it’s become incredibly hyped on bookstagram. I’m sure I’ll eventually get to it, though hearing that this finale book is slow gives me a bit of pause. I have a tough time with books that get super interesting only to slow down in their final stages. Bummer! But I’m glad you still found yourself enjoying some of it, even if it wasn’t quite as much as the others.

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    • I started it right when the first book came out so before the hype which I think helped because I didn’t have any preconceptions? The final one is still good, it just did not go the way I was expecting, for sure.

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  6. I have never heard of or read this book but it does sound like a good book. I love a good romance novels and what’s better than a love triangle haha? Reading slumps are normal, I just hope you get out of yours soon. Lovely review.

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    • While the romance is quite a strong element, there’s also a lot more going on – I’d call it more dark fantasy than romance but it’s fun. Thank you, me too!

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  7. Darkdawn sounds like an interesting read. Love that the characters have great story arcs with growth and everything. You can’t have a story without a spoiled brat haha. Glad you enjoyed the read, with its emotion-packed adventure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Nancy ✨

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  8. I’m in a slump right now so I feel you. It feels like it’s impossible to really enjoy something when you’re not feeling it even if you know you’d have loved it if you read it at another time. Interesting that the pacing was a little off, but I’m glad you still thought it was a solid read and the trilogy didn’t slowly die out towards the end x

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    • I’m really glad I did because there were a lot of little details that I’d forgotten about. It has been enjoyable, I’d definitely recommend if this is your sort of thing!

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    • Urgh, reading slumps are the WORST, aren’t they? I keep thinking I’ve managed to crawl out, only to slide back again, aha! I hope you can get out of it asap as well.

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