“Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church hierarchy think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending the men who destroyed her familia; in fact, she’s told directly that Consul Scaeva is off limits. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia suspicions about the Red Church’s true motives begin to grow.
When it’s announced that Scaeva will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end him. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between love and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.”
What I thought:
My books look up to this series so much! <3 Choosing quotes to go with this review was hard. I’d throw the whole book at you if I could.
(There’s a lot of gushing ahead, by the way. In case you hadn’t guessed.)
Let’s start at the beginning. Everyone loves a map in a fantasy book, right? Well, Godsgrave has THREE! And they’re all gorgeous! I was tempted to share pictures just this once, just to show you how pretty they are, but this review is going to be long enough already. So just take my word for it, maybe?
Two passengers met in a dirty alley, in a little city by the sea.
The first was small, thin as whispers, cut in the shape of a cat. It had worn the seeming for over seven years now. It could barely remember the thing it had been before. A fraction of a deeper darkness, with only enough awareness to crawl from the black beneath Godsgrave’s skin and seek another like itself.
There are a lot of capitals in my notes for this review, and it’s mostly Mister Kindly’s and Eclipse’s fault. I love them SO MUCH! I love their banter, I love their sarcasm, I love how they care about Mia in their own ways, and I love that they’re there at all. More books need familiars. Or shadow familiars. Or shadow familiars with sarcasm. *takes notes* This books has a lot of the latter. It’s so good, friends.
The dark humour (and yes, the sarcasm – did I mention it has some of that?) was one of the many things that sold me on Nevernight, and Godsgrave has plenty more. It actually starts with a quick recap of who everyone is before the story itself begins, and I read that even though there was no way I forgot just because it put all the smiles on my face. I feel like the dark humour is the soul of this series.
She’d named him Mister Kindly. It fitted well enough. But somewhere deep inside, the cat who was not a cat knew that was not his name.
I know the footnotes in Nevernight aren’t everyone’s thing, but they’re back and I read every. single. one of them. I’m a sucker for lore and this series has so much of it. It was fascinating for me to read everything that’s related to the world but not necessarily to the story.
The relationships in this were excellent, and while there were some surprises it was the relationship between Mia and Mercurio especially that broke me. It was so special, friends <3 Really I’m lying, though, they all broke me. But Mia and Mercurio had a moment near the end and it stood out to me.
Looking out over the mezzanine to the endless shelves below, the girl couldn’t help but smile. She’d grown up inside books. No matter how dark life became, shutting out the hurt was as easy as opening a cover. A child of murdered parents and a failed rebellion, she’d still walked in the boots of scholars and warriors, queens and conquerors.
I accidentally read the last word in the book when I was only around halfway through (no, don’t go spoil it, don’t let me tempt you) but I’d seen it coming so I wasn’t shocked or felt like I’d ruined anything. And then I read the rest of the last page when I actually finished the book and wow, I don’t I don’t know what to think now! Looks like I’ll be pre-ordering Book 3!
There’s a lot of heavy swearing, gory blood shed, and sex in Godsgrave. I love that it doesn’t shy away from any detail, but it might not be your thing if you’re not into graphic detail and strong language. Otherwise, I’m recommending this series and insist you read it now if you haven’t already! It’s taken its place on my Forever Shelf alongside Nevernight, and I can’t wait to add the next one.
Have you read Godsgrave? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!
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