Darkdawn, Jay Kristoff – Book Review

Hello Humans. That’s right. It’s time. You’ve known it was coming.

It’s my review of Darkdawn.

Oh boy.

Spoilers ahead for Nevernight and Godsgrave but spoiler-free for Darkdawn. 



Goodreads Summary:

A ruthless young assassin’s journey for revenge comes to a stunning end in the conclusion of this acclaimed epic fantasy trilogy.

The Republic of Itreya is in chaos. Mia Corvere has assassinated Cardinal Duomo and rumors of Consul Scaeva’s death ripple through the street of Godsgrave like wildfire. But buried beneath those same streets, deep in the ancient city’s bones, lies a secret that will change the Republic forever.

Mia and her brother Jonnen must journey through the depths of the ancient metropolis. Their quest will take them through the Godsgrave underdark, across the Sea of Swords, back to the library of the Quiet Mountain and the poisoned blades of Mia’s old mentors, and at last the fabled Crown of the Moon. There, Mia will at last discover the origins of the darkin, and learn the destiny that lies in store for her and her world. But with the three suns now in descent, and Truedark on the horizon, will she survive?

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The stakes were high friends. I spent months leading up to this release worried that it would be awful. Because it really could have been. The Nevernight chronicles are such a love it or hate it series in part because they walk on such a delicate precipice – and for some, it’s too much. They’re self-aware in a way that not everyone enjoys.

Sidebar: if you don’t like the footnotes or the self-awareness of these books then don’t even bother with this book – just walk on by.

I’m delighted to be able to say that I really enjoyed this book. Of the trilogy, I still think Nevernight is the strongest book, but a lot of the things that terrified me about the prospect of ending the trilogy either didn’t come to pass or were satisfactory.

This is going to be a comparatively short review, especially considering how much I’ve raved about this series and the number of copies of this book that now sit on my shelves (it’s ok I can lend them out now), because a lot of the things about which I want to scream and yell at people are spoilers.

So forgive me if this is a tad broad.

The writing. I love the tone of this book. If you can, I really recommend the audiobooks of this whole series. The books are written as if someone is sat telling you a story and that works twice as well when reading aloud. Arguably Darkdawn takes that idea even further but we won’t say more than that.

*Mimes zipping lips*

The characters. Mia remains one of my favourite fantasy ‘heroines’ in the universe. I love her. What I’ve loved about Mia from the beginning of this series is that she has such clear motivation and drive, she does exactly what she needs to to get to her goals – and she’s willing to go through people to do it. That doesn’t make her inhuman – it makes her driven. There are a lot of books where things just sort of happen to the main character – Mia happens to the story, not the other way around.

Which is where my one issue with this book comes in. It’s the reason this doesn’t have five stars (broadly speaking). I felt like, towards the end of the book as things began to have a wider scope, we lost sight of that Mia focus that so drove the early books. Perhaps that was just my interpretation, and perhaps there was no way to make that work with the character, but it just felt like it lost some of the steel that the earlier parts of the book had.

That’s not to say the ending isn’t satisfying – though obviously, I can’t talk too much about that.

This is hard.

Overall, this cemented my love for this trilogy. They aren’t for everyone but they are for me – and that’s all I can hope for in a book that I’m reading really, isn’t it?

Is it worth re-reading the first two books before you go onto book three? I would say definitely. It’s not necessary by any means, the book will catch you up – it even has a quick recap at the start – but it’s so designed to be read as a three-part narrative I think you get more out of the story if you have a better recollection of the first two books. I personally listened to the audiobooks for the first two and then read Darkdawn – but you could do it in any way you wanted!

Right, I’m off to adopt a black cat and a black dog (shush no you’re allergic).

My rating: 4/5 stars

I bought this book (too many copies) myself, all opinions are my own.

Darkdawn is available now!

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What say you? Is this a series you’ve loved or hated? Let me know in the comments below!




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