Review by Booklist Review
Murder, magic, sex, and humor the first installment in Kristoff's new fantasy series is off to a rollicking start. Ten-year-old Mia, after watching the very public death of her father and the imprisonment of her mother, discovers she has a powerful talent, and a mentor to help her control it as a trained killer. Six years later, she sets off to join the Red Church to continue her lessons and ultimately be chosen as a Blade, an elite assassin. Of course, the path to one's goals is never free of obstacles. Kristoff has created a rich, vibrant world for readers, borrowing heavily from historical Italian political structures, which provide a base of stability and familiarity to the new creations. Footnotes accompany the story, at first on nearly every page and then slowing as the action increases its pace, embellishing and further developing the world, and providing a welcome and often biting wit. Dense and measured, this will appeal to fans of traditional and political fantasies.--Ciesla, Carolyn Copyright 2016 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Launching the Nevernight fantasy series, Kristoff (the Lotus War trilogy) creates a splendid world of corruption and violence. Mia Corvere is the last survivor of her family's fall from grace in the capital city of Godsgrave. After witnessing her father's execution as a traitor and her mother and infant brother's imprisonment by the consul of the Itreyan Empire, she dedicates her life to bloody revenge. She escapes her own murder and has nothing left but shadows and the help of a pitiless tutor. Making the most of these meager treasures, she sets out to become a weapon fit to shatter an empire, though she may destroy her own world with it. Kristoff portrays a world as rife with villains and treachery as the ancient Italian civilizations it echoes. Absorbing in its complexity and bold in its bloodiness, this beginning promises (and delivers) equal shares of beauty and decay. With a delicate balance of the ancient and the magical, this tense and brutal tale is unflinching, thrilling, and satisfying. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
At the age of 10, Mia Corvere was forced to watch as her father was hanged from the city scaffold, her mother and baby brother were marched off to prison, and her precious cat's neck was broken by the man who was planning to kill her. Mia has wanted nothing but vengeance from that day forward, and now she is finally ready to train as an elite assassin for the Red Church. Her unique affinity with the shadow world gives her an edge. But competition is fierce, only a small number are chosen, and notwithstanding her deadly skills, Mia is not the sociopath that many of her fellow students seem to be. Murder, she believes, should be deserved. Kristoff has created a medieval-style world lit by three suns, where true night is a rare occurrence, magic is shunned as evil, and religion is derived from belief in a family of gods whose love has turned to hate. The first in a new series, this violent, nonstop science fiction/horror story is an intense read from start to finish. It's hard to imagine that Kristoff didn't intend this as a young adult book, but a few graphic consensual sex scenes explain the adult designation. VERDICT Older high school and college fans of speculative fiction will appreciate this addictive title.-Cary Frostick, formerly at Mary Riley Styles Public Library, Falls Church, VA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
A dark and bloody fantasy about a young woman bent on revengeat almost any price.Mia Corvere was 10 years old when she watched her father be hanged as a traitor, saw her mother and infant brother hauled away to die in prison, and escaped death herself at the hands of two trained Luminatii soldiers. Shes darkin, which means she can control shadows, and her constant companion, a cat made of shadows, drinks her fear. But even that wont be enough to get the revenge she craves on the powerful men who destroyed her family. Thats why shes traveled out to the ends of civilization to gain entry to the Red Church, where the greatest enclave of assassins in the known world worships the goddess of night, Niah, Our Lady of Blessed Murder. If she can get inducted into the Red Church, shell have the skills she needs to exact her revenge. She just has to survive her trainingat the hands of the worlds most deadly, amoral assassins. Kristoff (Illuminae, 2015, etc.) comes on strong from the start, creating a shadowy world dripping with blood, in which our feisty, determined heroine must claw her way to the top of a deadly pecking order. Mia manages to find connection and even caring in the black pit of the Red Churchbut how long can it last? A sensuous, shades-of-moral-gray world; a compelling, passionate heroine; a high-stakes quest for revengethis is a fantasy fans wont be able to put down. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.