Jay Kristoff’s The Nevernight Chronicle is the story of a daughter seeking revenge against those who destroyed her family. Set in a fictional world akin to ancient Rome and medieval Venice, with three suns in the sky and truedark only occurring every two-and-a-half years. Mia apprentices for the Red Church who shape her into an assassin, training her with blade, poison, and in the subtle arts. During her quest she builds her skill, power and knowledge to avenge and protect her family – both blood and found.
Mia’s tale is told over three books: Nevernight, Godsgrave and Darkdawn. The books are ruthless, gripping, hilarious, shocking, heart-warming, and infuriating. Would recommend. It has assassins, amusing footnotes, gladiators, smut, pirates, terrific one-liners, gays, treachery, a fully-fledged mythology, and all the rest – what more could you want, gentlefriend? I’ve just finished the final book; here’s my copy (signed!) which I picked up at an author talk Jay Kristoff held in London at St James Piccadilly – a 17th century church which provided the perfect atmosphere.
Some choice quotes from the books to give you a flavour:
- ‘When all is blood, blood is all.’
- ‘Our scars are just gifts from our enemies,’ Ashlinn whispered into her mouth. ‘Reminding us they weren’t good enough to kill us.’
- ‘Go, brother! If I’m not back aboard in half an hour, tell your wife I love her!’
- ‘Never flinch. Never fear. Never forget.’
- ‘They said he was a traitor.’ A shrug. ‘A traitor’s just a patriot on the wrong side of winning.’
- The girl shrugged. ‘All’s fair in love and larceny.’
- ‘Will it hurt?’ he asked. ‘… That depends.’ ‘On what?’ ‘Whether you want me to lie or not.’
- ‘Nothing is where you start. Own nothing. Know nothing. Be nothing.’ ‘Why would I want to do that?’ The old man crushed out his cigarillo on the boards between them. His smile made her smile in return. ‘Because then you can do anything.’
- ‘Sneakier than a fart in Church, you are.’
- ‘My father used to say the art of telling a good story lies in knowing when to stop. Keep talking long enough, you’ll find there’s no such thing as a happy ending.’
- ‘That’s the power of words: twenty-six little letters can paint a whole universe.’
- After five turns of ceaseless butchery, the thought of a few more reprobates sent to slaughter seemed positively pedestrian.
- ‘Fuck me very gently. Then fuck me very hard.’