Book Review: Darkdawn

Darkdawn – Jay Kristoff

Release date: 3 September 2019
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Book Depository link
Rating4.5 stars

Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3) blurb:

The greatest games in Godsgrave’s history have ended with the most audacious murders in the history of the Itreyan Republic.
Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run. Pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion, she may never escape the City of Bridges and Bones alive. Her mentor Mercurio is now in the clutches of her enemies. Her own family wishes her dead. And her nemesis, Consul Julius Scaeva, stands but a breath from total dominance over the Republic.
But beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. Together with her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life. Truedark approaches. Night is falling on the Republic for perhaps the final time.
Can Mia survive in a world where even daylight must die?

Book 1: Nevernight
Book 2: GodsgraveParagraph divider
Oh. My. God. I cannot believe it’s over. This series has been FOUR years in the making. It has spawned fan art, funkos, tattoos, candles, and half of my pin collection.
I, just like most people who read this series, am addicted. And it was basically the greatest ending I could have imagined for it. In fact, it was greater than even I imagined. And I was taking pot-shot guesses as Jay kept running around yelling* “MIA DOESN’T SURVIVE. IT’S NOT A SPOILER.”

And what a story! The book picks up immediately after the end of Godsgrave, and we are reintroduced to some characters, and of course we meet some new ones. Mia’s friends and family from previous books make appearances throughout, but I must say my favourite characters in this book were Cloud and BigJon. Despite being your almost classic pirate type tropes, they definitely stole the show in their scenes.
There’s enough adventure and action to soothe the most bloodthirsty, and enough plotting and twists to sate the detectives. There’s also enough tender moments, family and lovers, to satisfy the romantics at heart. Which means if you’re all three, prepare for a banger of a book. There were a couple of small things that I thought were predictable, but enough that weren’t that I enjoyed it. Hell, I even felt betrayed by it at times!
As per usual, the world building is just a class act. Kristoff weaves his own kind of magic that never leaves you wanting. The footnotes seem to be controversial, but it’s addressed in the book itself. “What?” I hear you say. Oh yes, gentlefriends, get ready for some Deadpool-esque fourth wall breaking. It’s actually quite impressive.

Deadpool talking to the camera, narrating.
Deadpool is the narrator?!

So why is this only 4.5 stars? Well, if you have read the ending and want to see my thoughts on that finish, feel free to click below.  Please note that I am NOT RECOMMENDING this for those of you who haven’t read the books! Read further at your own peril.


So… that ending… was unexpected.
I’ll be honest, I was expecting a more dire ending for our girl. Especially after I heard Jay speak at the Melbourne book launch. In fact, what he said was:
I wrote three different endings for this story, and this one was the least depressing.
But the way he spoke after that made me think “oh gawd… we are REALLY in for it.” Honestly, I thought it was kind of … sappy?
Now, it’s entirely possible that I just have a very black and withered heart, or that I was expecting SUCH a horrid ending (like, with Mia not bringing back the Moon, not ending Scaeva, and possibly Jonnen killing her) that the niceness of the ending threw me. Also, all of Jay’s yelling about Mia not getting her ‘happily ever after’ meant that at the end of the series, I thought the best case scenario would be Mia sitting heartside. Not basically living as an immortal with her love by her side, in the family home. So, I guess you could say that I was a touch disappointed. I didn’t even cry.
However, I will say that I think Mia did get what she deserved, which was a hero’s ending. Appropriate for a true hero like her.
Two other things:
1. I might be the only person in existence who didn’t care when Ash died. (In fact I might have cheered a little?)
2. I am so disappointed that Bastard didn’t make an appearance.

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* I mean, not literally running around screaming. But he was posting about it on Twitter and Instagram A LOT.


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