Darkdawn is a masterful end for this stabby, smutty, snarky, and definitely not YA series. As usual, I’d like to say thank you and fuck you to Jay Kristoff in equal measure.
Rating: 5 stars
I’d like to specifically thank whatever book god shined down upon me and convinced the good people at St. Martin’s Press to send me this ARC via Edelweiss. This ARC was sent to me at my request and all opinions expressed are 100% my own and not influenced in any way.
FYI: This review is spoiler free for the events of Darkdawn, but there are spoilers for the events of Nevernight and Godsgrave in the book synopsis below.
Author: Jay Kristoff
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Synopsis: 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?
Endings are always hard, but Jay Kristoff managed to craft a perfectly epic end for our beloved bloody assassin, Mia Corvere. Reading this book had me experiencing every emotion from abject horror to pure amusement to bone deep sorrow. Never have I read a finale quite like Darkdawn and I probably never will again.
After a glossary of characters/recap of previous events, which I am massively thankful for, we jump into the story right after the ending of Godsgrave. Much like Mia, we are never given much of a rest from the first word of this book. Kristoff takes us deeper into the world of Godsgrave and drags us, and our emotions, all over creation. The world building that Kristoff develops in his footnotes is ridiculously amazing and often filled with snarky comments.
The exploration of Mia as she grows over the course of these books is nothing short of fascinating. Kristoff has built a main character who is tough as gravebone, but that has a depth of feeling that makes her accessible to readers. Mia may call herself a heartless bitch, but that girl cares more deeply than she lets on and the readers see that in how she thinks and acts towards those she loves. And while all the characters in this book (and the series as a whole) are well written, Mia is complex in ways that female characters written by men typically aren’t.
Darkdawn is filled with all we’ve come to expect for this definitely not YA series: blood, snark, smut, and ample cursing. But Darkdawn has a vein of love in it that wasn’t present in the first two books and it shows the growth of this series and Kristoff. Underneath all the layers of wicked snark and wonderfully meta moments, you can see the care and emotion that Kristoff put into this novel and it makes it, dare I say, a delightful read.