… exceptional storytelling … with dazzling fights & unexpected treachery …
In this book, our attention shifts from Mia‘s education in the Red Church to her training for the gladiator games at Godsgrave where her father’s murderers will be making a rare public appearance. Mia sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium and she needs to be the last fighter standing for a chance to get close enough to kill them. Accompanied by her not-cat shadow Mister Kindly and not-wolf Eclipse, Mia negotiates her way through the gladiator school finding new friends and enemies as the body count rises and glints of treachery appear.
Jay has an exceptional world building talent and in it he has placed a complex and likeable heroine. But that is not all: what I will remember most about the book is his exuberant story telling which gave me so much pleasure. The novel starts with two stories which doubles the tension; he mirrors scenes between different characters; and he is a master of a great one-liner.
Set amongst a well drawn array of secondary characters, the story has some brilliant plot twists – with some dazzling fight pieces – and a tremendous (abrupt) ending, leaving me wanting the next book – immediately.
(An aside about his footnotes: I ignored them as they slowed the pace too much for me and didn’t detract from the main narrative. Perhaps they are meant for the second or third reading.)
Apart from that, Godsgrave is a real pleasure to read and I highly recommend it.
NB: Godsgrave contains scenes of graphic sex and extreme violence and so is definitely Adult rather than Young Teen territory.
Cover design moment : The UK cover illustration is again by the Philippines-based Kerby Rosanes and is brilliant. His website is here. A real asset to the novel. Well done Micaela Alcaino who designed around it (website here) and whoever at HarperVoyager for crediting them both on the back. I don’t mind the US cover version but feel this design series has more presence and, quite frankly, I could do without an artist’s impression of Mia.
Jay Kristoff is the author of the award winning Japanese Steampunk series, The Lotus War; and a second well received series, The Illuminae Files. With his work, Jay has been a winner of the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Short Fiction and a nominee for the David Gemmell Award. For further information his website is here. His twitter feed is fun to follow. Currently he is calling himself Jay Killzurfavesoff.
Godsgrave was published by HarperVoyager in September 2017. It follows Nevernight which was published in August 2016.