I absolutely adored Nevernight when I read it earlier this year and was excited to get around to the sequel. Godsgrave takes a slightly different turn and is mostly based around gladiator style combat as entertainment. How Mia ends up in this position you may ask? Well it takes a fair amount of the book to explain it, with the story going back and forth in time in much the same style as the first.
If Vengeance has a mother, her name is Patience.
This narrative style didn’t quite work as well this time round, there was less intertwining of the tales, and I would have liked it to have been more linear. It took me a long time to really get into it, it’s not the kind of book you can pick up for a few minutes here and there. When the two timelines met, I found it much more compelling – then you know what Mia is really up to.
At the end of Nevernight, Mia’s left in an awkward position of being pretty much the only assassin left so the Red Church has little choice to give a place to the girl who chose mercy over following orders. Jump forward to Godsgrave and she’s letting herself get captured and sold as a slave. She has a plan.
Of course, Mia manages to get herself assigned to a gladiatorial collegium but not all her plans go smoothly. She meets another darkin, not quite like herself, and she still yearns to know more about who she is. Mister Kindly and Eclipse are possibly the best thing; they are constantly bickering and being snarky to each other. They don’t have to both be in Mia’s shadow all the time, and they do have their uses when they go elsewhere. They seem to balance each other out though, they both care about her in their ways, I don’t believe it is ever just about feeding off her fear.
If you can’t see your chains, what use is a key?
I’m not massively into lots of action, and assassinations are more my pace than battles, so I did find some of the arena “games” too long and too frequent. The whole concept of gladiators is brutal, and you do wonder if Mia is becoming someone else, someone without a heart. Some of the new characters are cold, some don’t make it through to the end and others you just want a better life for.
There is some romance and it is queer. I did like that it could have been made into something fraught with drama but was actually kinda sweet instead. Although at the end it is all but what does that mean for x, y and z?!
The ending! Yeah, well, you’ll have to read it to find out but gah, what a cliffhanger. Now we all need book three immediately. Despite this not being as perfect as Nevernight I am so excited about reading more.
Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones | Hive | Wordery
Book Source: Purchased