Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Fantasy, YA
First published: 2016
Author: Jay Kristoff
Synopsis: Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.
I have been reading very little and updating this blog even less. This is the only book that I have read so far in February, but at least is was an awesome one. I had never read any of Kristoff’s works before, though I’d heard much praise for him. I can see why.
I have a weird and possibly disturbing fascination with assassins. And this book did not disappoint. Ah… so much murder. Okay, where do I begin reviewing this book? Let’s start with the world. It’s so freaking cool. It’s clearly inspired by Roman society, which I always find cool. I’m also getting a Venice vibe. Anyway, that’s not even the coolest part of it. The three suns that almost never set, I thought that was such a cool idea. And also, just the way the world was presented and built was amazing, I loved it. All the random little bits of history in the footnotes were awesome.
And speaking of the footnotes, it’s so cool how the book is written. I loved the footnotes. Let me say that again. I LOVED the footnotes! They added so much to the story and they were so funny. The writing and style is first class, I bow my hat to Jay Kristoff. Oh also, this was honestly THE most profanity-ridden book I have ever read, it’s fantastic. It makes it so much more hilarious. That’s one other thing I really love about it. There is so much humor in a book about death and a cult of murderers, but it’s not done in poor taste. It’s kind of… self deprecating? I don’t know how to describe it.
The characters! Loved them. I love all of them, honestly. I don’t think there was one character I did not enjoy in this book, which is rare. They were all so unique and so… real. And they were all snarky little bitches. Mister Kindly is by far the sassmaster of this cast though. Love Mister Kindly!
Finally, the story. I thought it was a very well told story. Always the right amount of tension, the right pace, the right balance between action and exposition. Loved the flashbacks, I always think flashbacks are such a powerful tool for worldbuilding and character building and just showing the reader something rather than telling them, if that makes sense. But of course, they have to be done well, this book did not disappoint. There was also the right amount of stuff revealed and stuff going on that the book wasn’t boring or didn’t feel like it was stagnating, but also left plenty for the following one. It was very well balanced.
One last thing I have to mention is that gorgeous cover, I mean look at it! I walked into Waterstones and saw that glorious hardcover and spent the following 40 minutes perusing the shelves while clutching it tightly, lest anyone else should even look at it for too long because it was MINE! No regrets.
So, yeah basically… when can I get the next one?