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Summary

From New York Times best-selling author Jay Kristoff comes a dangerous new fantasy world and a heroine edged in darkness.

Mia Corvere is only 10 years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Destined to destroy empires, the child raised in shadows made a promise on the day she lost everything: to avenge herself on those that shattered her world.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, and Mia must become a weapon without equal. Before she seeks vengeance, she must seek training among the infamous assassins of the Red Church of Itreya.

Inside the Church's halls, Mia must prove herself against the deadliest of opponents and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and daemons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Church is no ordinary school. But Mia is no ordinary student.

©2016 Neverafter Pty Ltd (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

Critic reviews

"A brain-churning, gore-splattered monster of a book." ( Daily Mail)
"With a delicate balance of the ancient and the magical, this tense and brutal tale is unflinching, thrilling and satisfying." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Joins lyrical high fantasy, Pratchett-like humour and unflinching descriptions of violence.... Something special." ( SciFi Now)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book.

When I first started this book I was a bit “is this something I will enjoy “? It then got better and better and had twists that I didn’t see coming, a rarity for me. Superbly read. Already downloaded book two. A must for those who like a gripping fantasy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Oh So Sassy!

If you like gritty, sarcastic humour to accompany your fantasy fix. This one's for you!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best fantasy novel in ages

Once you get past the first 2 chapters the story is all consuming. Fascinating characters and plot development. Rarely predictable & accomplished writing style. Great narration. Normally I'm only a fan of British narrators but Holter Graham knocks it out of the park!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love it, and love it even more after listening

Original Review: 17 August 2017 - Book:

Having read Illuminae and Gemina that are co-written by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff and loving them I decided to read this to see what Jay's solo style was like. This took a while for me to get through because it was so detailed but in a good way as it was not over saturated. The world was rich and the characters well fleshed out and an amazing story to boot. The only thing that kept it from being a five star book was that it took a while to get going but that's no major complaint as most books that are first in a series are usually a bit slower to get started. Also liked the addition of the footnotes adding extra genuinely interesting bits of trivia about the world. Can't wait to see what's next for Mia!

Edit: 07 September 2018 - Audio:

After experiencing this for a second time and enjoying it even more owing to the audio having the footnotes inserted at the correct places making it easier to follow as well as great narration I have increased the rating from 4.75 Stars to 5 Stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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just wow!

I can't remember when a book last gripped me like that. I couldn't stop listening. highly recommend!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved this book, looking forward to the next!

Brilliant book that kept me wanting more. There was one moment that I thought seemed a little sloppy compared to the rest of the storey but a great book all the same.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Superb

Dark, gripping and evocative. The best in this genre I have listened to since Locke Lamora and The Name of the Wind. A breath of fresh air after many mediocre and same-y stories I’d listened to recently.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rh
  • 04-04-18

Alright story but the narrator was not for me

I wouldn't say that this was a masterpiece, but it was good enough (based on the three-ish hours I listened to). However, I found the narrator's reading style extraordinarily annoying and the story did not capture me enough to make me want to stick it out. The opening was pretty brutal, but it is a story about an assassin, so this was expected and some promise. I will keep an eye out for a print version though. I would recommend listening to the sample to see if the reading style suits you or not.

*edit* I did end up finishing the book and added stars as it had an ending I didn't see coming, and the characters grew on me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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dope story

when you think it's going to follow the same old story trope, you take a left turn in to something fresh and fun.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Nevernight - Marmite?

First the disclaimer . . . I only made it three and a half hours into this one so maybe I missed out on something . . . The odd thing is that after half an hour I thought I was on to something a bit special. The opening is dark and brutal. There is a passage describing two very different "first-time" experiences for Mia that I thought were brilliantly written. Bold, almost shocking writing that I thought was very powerful and told in parallel it came over as very original too. There were also some hard-hitting scenes about Mia and her family when she is ten years old.

At this point I was really looking forwards to carrying on. Then the book developed into the more humorous style that was to follow. Suddenly this strong, hard-bitten and motivated character became a typical cliché fantasy heroine albeit with a touch of Lisbet Salander. What developed was a Hitch Hiker's Guide but for fantasy format with background stories interspersed into the narrative - though it never descends to the glorious silliness of those books! There was a discussion on the merits of the c-word and while I'm no prude the unrelenting clever humour just seemed to grate. It was unrelenting.

So, I think we have a clever writer of some talent but I'm just not on his wavelength and I just didn't buy into the characters. Others I suspect may well love it and with Audible's goodreads guarantee what is there to lose?

11 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • fiona
  • 17-04-18

Rather gore filled

More blood and gore than I would usually keep reading but the story was gripping and the narration very good. I have just downloaded the next volume.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful