Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff. Thomas Dunne Books/Harper Voyager UK, 2017. Hardcover. 448 pages.
Where do I even begin writing a review for a book that I found to be simply flawless? Godsgrave is installment number two in Kristoff's Nevernight Chronicles, a trilogy that has only one more book to go. I'd been waiting for Godsgrave since I read the ARC of Nevernight last year in late June and completely fell in love with the world, characters, and writing style Kristoff created for this trilogy. Just as a preface before I fully dive in to this review: I'm going refrain from mentioning any specific plot points, largely because they could easily give away spoilers for Nevernight, and that's not something I want to do in case you are interested in this series and haven't yet read started the trilogy (my review for Nevernight can be found here!).
The first thing about this book that I loved before I even read the first page was a beautiful, in-depth character list found at the beginning of the book. It listed all of the important characters from the first book along with a brief-but-thorough description of who they are and what they did/what happened to them in Nevernight. It was so helpful.
This book was truly brilliant. Kristoff's worldbuilding is once again filled to the brim with fascinating details and vivid descriptions. It is a wonderful blend of Ancient Rome and Old World Venice, which creates a truly exciting backdrop for the events of this book, while also maintaining an overarching sense of a historical setting that is wonderfully appealing.
Mia herself is such a fantastic character with so many things that I love about her. She's tough as hell, but at the same time... she's utterly human. She struggles just like the rest of us, and even though she seems like a tough shell that's impossible to crack, we reader are allowed to see that she still has doubts, uncertainties, and hard emotional struggles to deal with. However, she does possess a strong amount of confidence that grows throughout this book, although she is often knocked down a peg or two, which seems to keep both her character and the events of this book extremely realistic. Her confidence and ability to find strength in the hardest times is part of what is so enticing about her.
I also love Mister Kindly and Eclipse. They are perfect in every way, and I can't get enough of their additions to the dialogue. Mister Kindly feels like that inner voice that we all (well, I, at least) have and he is absolutely one of the best characters.
As much as I want to into depth about some of the other supporting characters, I'm going to refrain from doing so because the could be spoiler-y in general. However, I will say that new characters we meet are just as wonderfully crafted as Mia and every other character in Nevernight.
One of the best things about Kristoff's writing is you never know what's going to happen. I'm pretty sure that he just delights in throwing curveball after curveball to keep his readers--and his characters-- on their toes. Just when you think you know how something will work out, he does something completely contrary to whatever you're thinking and it blew my mind. Even if you're right about how something will work out overall, the way in which it gets to that point is absolutely crazy. If you want a crazy, intense, amazing ride--read this book. Oh, and there's blood. Lots and lots of blood. And yes, many figures in this book will indeed meet a dark, bloody end.
The last area I'd like to discuss is prose. Some people don't like Kristoff's narrative voice or his usage of footnotes in these books, but they are what make me love this book so so much. His voice is incredibly distinct and full of life -- it is witty, sarcastic, and wonderfully done. The footnotes only serve to further comment on and expand upon certain ideas or parts of the world, which only enhanced the worldbuilding.
Overall, absolutely five stars!
You might also like:
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas