- Page Count: 448
- Release Date: August 9, 2016
- My Rating: 2.5 stars
Goodreads book description:
In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.
Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.
Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?
So this just had too much violence with not enough romance/happiness to really be my type of book, but it was still interesting and I think a lot of people will like it!
The story sort of reminded me of An Ember in the Ashes meets the Young Elites at times, but I didn’t connect with Mia as much as I did with the characters in those books. I really do love badass assassins when they have some emotions and human qualities, but I really didn’t get a ton of that from Mia. And I get why she is the way that she is… but it’d still be kind of sad if you felt absolutely NOTHING when Arya’s ticking off her list on Game of Thrones.
The beginning totally pulled me into the story with how it contrasted the first time Mia slept with a guy to the first time she killed a guy — like wtf that was so clever. It instantly shaped the tone of the whole story and was just brilliantly done. I wasn’t terribly into the rest of the story, though, and got pretty bored in a lot of areas. It just didn’t have the pacing and tension I was expecting? And some parts were straight up weird.
The writing itself was kind of hard for me to push through, too… it was just full of too many of her memories in italics. And I equally loved and loathed the worldbuilding in the footnotes — it was super distracting and kind of pulled me out of the story, yet I really liked most of the smartass side comments!
I did enjoy that the characters were actually adults, though! I totally think this would still be considered YA (like middle schoolers watch Game of Thrones… they can handle this). And that beginning was still pretty brilliant. So there were many parts that I liked and I think it’s well done overall, but I just wasn’t into the story itself. This is more of a case of it’s just not my taste — there’s nothing wrong with Jay Kristoff’s writing or the book!!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy!