Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
Published September 5th 2019 by Harper Voyager UK
“But to live in the hearts of those we leave behind is to never die. And to burn in the memories of our friends is to never say goodbye.”
Spoilers for Nevernight and Godsgrave.
The greatest games in Godsgrave’s history have ended with the most audacious murders in the history of the Itreyan Republic.
Mia Corvere, gladiatii, escaped slave and infamous assassin, is on the run. Pursued by Blades of the Red Church and soldiers of the Luminatii legion, she may never escape the City of Bridges and Bones alive. Her mentor Mercurio is now in the clutches of her enemies. Her own family wishes her dead. And her nemesis, Consul Julius Scaeva, stands but a breath from total dominance over the Republic.
But beneath the city, a dark secret awaits. Together with her lover Ashlinn, brother Jonnen and a mysterious benefactor returned from beyond the veil of death, she must undertake a perilous journey across the Republic, seeking the final answer to the riddle of her life. Truedark approaches. Night is falling on the Republic for perhaps the final time.
Can Mia survive in a world where even daylight must die?
Well…It took me far too long but I finally did it, I finished Darkdawn and with it, the Nevernight Chronicles has ended. How do I feel about that I hear some of you ask? Honestly meh. I think I have a very real problem with books that are the last in their series and it’s very very rare that one ever lives up to my expectations, thankfully most of the book is pretty damn good.
There are a lot of great moments throughout Darkdawn, not just for Mia but most of the characters which I enjoyed, we get to see things from the POV of others which was really enjoyable and helped to make the story feel bigger than just Mia and it was great to see all these different connections she’s made throughout the books come together. I feel like in Darkdawn we really get to see Mia’s true self and as much as we all love her she’s obviously not perfect and in some ways could be considered no better than those who she has set out to kill (or killed already) and the third book defintley doesn’t ignore that which was refreshing for a story with a trained assassin as the main character.
The footnotes are back and honestly, maybe better than ever. Don’t forget that if they bug you, they’re just extra world-building bits so you can skip them if you want but they’re pretty fun and thin out towards the end of the book so you’re not stopping every five seconds to read one (thanks Nevernight). I lost count of how many amazing quotes this book has too, some amazing writing has gone into this, not to mention the twists along the way and I absolutely had a good cry now and again with one really big ugly cry but I’ll leave the details of those for the spoiler-filled video and/or reading Vlog to come because I have A LOT of thoughts.
Unfournatetly, for me this book felt like it suffered from last book syndrome. Although there weren’t too many moments that really bothered me, one moment in particular really has me up in arms and I found some parts to be a little much I guess? It’s hard to articulate but I didn’t come away from Darkdawn with the kind of feeling I thought I would, which is not to say it’s inherently bad in any way because overall it was bloody good, but perhaps I had the conclusion hyped up a different way in my mind, I’m not sure. I’m still glad to have read it, even with the negatives it was an enjoyable and at times heartbreaking read and in Jay’s own words, “However it ends, at least you had a story to tell.”