Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

We’ve made it to the end, gentlefriends.

For the last three years, my friends, my family, and my blog readers, have heard nothing but Nevernight. On an eight hour car journey to Bavaria, Germany, I began my love affair with this fanatastic series. It had been one of the first books I’d been aproved for on NetGalley, and ever since, I’ve been obsessed.

And now, after the third book being pushed back another year in 2018, we’ve finally reached the end of Mia Corvere’s story.

I’m not that upset about it, OK? *hides tears*

After pre-ordering Darkdawn twice and still eagerly anticipating both copies to arrive soon (different editions, I’m not an animal), I was still clambering for that beautiful UK proof copy that was making its way to booksellers.

I’m not a bookseller. I’m not in the publishing industy. And it looked like Harper Voyager was being very strict with the copies they handed out. However, after helping them reveal the UK cover back in February on social media, I was rewarded with a beautiful proof of my own.

Yes, I sobbed when I got the email.

The Nevernight Chronicles including Darkdawn lying on a bed in the sunlight

Clearly Aa and his four daughters had blessed me with good fortune, because it meant that I, good reader, was going to be reading Darkdawn a whole two months before general release.

So, here we are, just a couple of days before the big release day in the UK. I can’t believe it’s over. But, instead of blubbering on even more about the series as a whole, let’s get into the good stuff.

It’s a no brainer when I say Darkdawn is incredible. And, surprisingly, nothing like I’ve ever read before.

Gory, sexual and bawdy fantasies are not uncommon in publishing. And usually, it just isn’t my forte. Especially when it’s written by a man. Is that horrible? Yeah, of course it is. Super sexist and clearly not true since I’m writing a review about a fantasy series I love written by a man.

But to be honest, I don’t like male written fantasies because I don’t like how female characters are treated. They’re either beaten, raped, murdered, or all of the above. They’re prostitues, or slaves, or they’re considered worthy because they have the same characteristics as men.

I don’t need to read about women being subject to sexual violence and murder. I can just read the news or some incel’s tweets.

Darkdawn cover on phone along with hardbacks of Nevernight and Godsgrave

So, you’d think picking up Nevernight would be an absolute no-no for me. But instead, I wanted to give it a go. I’d heard of Jay Kristoff, a beloved author of many YA books already, and his first adult fantasy had a rather angry female protagonist.

My favourite.

In Darkdawn, Mia is still angry, and she’s that much closer to where she needs to be. Of course, absolute chaos ensues, and she’s a wanted fugitive. But her band of merry convicts, freed slaves and disgraced bishops aren’t done with Big Bad Scaeva who is just that – pretty fuckin’ awful.

Mia is, along with other female characters that I adore, angry, determined, and out for blood. She’s an anti-heroine, who’s butchered and sliced her way through to the end of her journey. And while we certainly see a softer side to her, through her familia and her lovers (without spoiling too much, my girl Mia is a bi queen!), she still lurks in the shadows, still takes the darkened path.

Kristoff’s Italian-inspired Republic of Itreya and the city of Godsgrave are corrupt, dirty, and full of criminals, but, like all the characters in the book, where you come from can make up who you are. And while I wouldn’t say all the characters are disgusting, they ain’t squeaky clean either.

Look, I’m not going to be able to describe this book or this series to you very well. But it’s been a pleasure to read The Nevernight Chronicles, and Darkdawn is a spectacular end to this bloody tale.

Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: 5th September 2019
Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆


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