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?
My entire thought process whilst reading this book:
Seriously. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?
Jay Kristoff, you have officially broken me. You slaughtered my heart. You’ve broken me. I don’t know how I am going to live until the next book. I neeeeeeed it now!
I. NEED. IT. NOW. RIGHT. NOW.
The characters were beyond incredible. I absolutely fell in love with every single one of these characters. And that really hurts because this is a brutal, murderous book. My favourite character is definitely the protagonist: Mia. She is such an incredible main character, and Kristoff developed her so wonderfully that she almost sprang off the page (which would be utterly terrifying, because this girl is a kick-ass assassin!).
The relationships she developed throughout the book were wonderfully written. Again, I’m not quite sure I’d want to be “best friends” with them, because these characters would probably kill me in a second. But, I absolutely loved Tric, Carlotta and Ash.
FIGHTING SCENES. DEATH SCENES. BRUTALITY. MURDER. EVIL.
Kristoff does a wonderful job at writing scenes that are incredibly intense. I loved the fighting scenes. The dark, brutal scenes were probably my favourite. And I need more of these scenes in my life. I need suspense. I need action. And if you do too, this book is definitely for you.
Other reasons you should be reading this book?
The strong and interesting female characters. Seriously. Mia is not the only awesome female character in the book. (Even if she can control and conceal herself in darkness, and owns her own cat-that’s-not-a-cat.) Ash is fantastic. I loved Carlotta. Naev was very interesting. And I would have loved to learn more about Jessamine.
The setting — because that is JUST as intriguing as the characters. This is not Hogwarts people. This place is incredible and creepy and amazing and terrifying. AND THERE IS A HUGE ASS LIBRARY! YES THERE ARE THINGS IN THERE THAT COULD EAT YOU, BUT… BUT… BUT… BOOOOOOOOOKKKKS!
Can you tell that I absolutely love this book?
However, I should mention that I have a few problems with this book. Firstly, the beginning was a little slow. It took me a while to get into the book, but once we were introduced to the Red Church, it just took off! So, if you find yourself reading this book and finding the beginning a little slow, please push through! I urge you to continue reading. You can do it!
And, secondly, I really disliked the inclusion of the footnotes. I think a lot of this has to do with how I’ve been taught in school. I was always told that if you have to put information in footnotes, then that information mustn’t be important because it would have been put into the essay if it was. Footnotes are only meant to be for references. I think that Kristoff wanted to do something different, but for me, it didn’t work. I just choose to ignore them and I still very much enjoyed the book.
Overall, I loved this book. If you enjoy Game of Thrones, I have a feeling that you will enjoy this. There is brutality, fighting scenes and very graphic sexual content. (Though, was this just me, or did anybody else see similarities between Mia and Arya Stark’s storyline in Game of Thrones? This didn’t really bother me, but as I was reading, I was automatically picturing Maisie Williams as Mia.)
I NEED THE SECOND BOOK RIGHT NOW!