Book Review: Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

Darkdawn
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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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I never planned on reading this book immediately after finishing Godsgrave but I just couldn’t imagine not picking it up after that cliffhanger in book 2. And I’m quite happy that I didn’t keep it for later. There will probably be spoilers for Nevernight and Godsgrave in the review below, so please keep a note of that.

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The writing this time around was fairly easy to read and I flew through this book even though it’s huge. The pacing dragged a bit in places, especially when newer characters were introduced, and I didn’t know why we had to read about them – but the author did a nice job bringing everything full circle towards the end and that’s what really satisfied me. And I really enjoyed the world building in this book because we finally get all the answers we have been waiting for since the beginning. However, I also thought many of the revelations happened very early on in the book, and this reduced the suspense a bit. And while I have been thoroughly entertained and thrilled and blown away by the previous installments, I ended up crying a lot at a few moments in this one. And I don’t expect anything less from a finale, so definitely thank you to the author for that.

There are some very spectacular action sequences, especially with Mia using the full scope of her powers and I really enjoyed visualizing them. Kristoff also definitely seems to be in competition with GRRM in how many characters he can kill and whenever I thought something good was happening, someone would die. This surely helped in the main characters’ development but I’m not someone who’s fond of so many deaths in fantasy novels. Some might say it’s unrealistic, but I like my books to end up happy. However, I did expect a very different kind of ending and I’m still not sure how I feel about what actually happened.

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Mia is still full of vengeance and rage, but there has been a considerable transformation in her since the beginning and I love it. She gets very introspective in this book, questioning how different she is from her father, is she justified in killing so many people, and is it fair asking her friends (or her familia as she calls them) to fight and sacrifice for her sake.

Jonnen is also the highlight of this book – from hating the assassin who killed his father to coming to love his long lost sister is wonderfully written. It is fraught with a lot of frustrations in between, but he is still a little boy and his reactions felt so realistic. And while I’ve always loved Mia’s compassionate side, it was a revelation seeing how much love she had for her brother.

I only started warming up to Ash towards the end of Godsgrave, but she turned a bit whiny and insecure in this one which made me not like her again. I could see where she was coming from but I still didn’t like it, and it took me a while to realize she just loves Mia too much and doesn’t want to lose her and her reactions are just a defense mechanism. Tric was another favorite addition to the story, and it was mostly his scenes that made me emotional. I’m still salty about what the author did to him even though he’s got a beautiful character arc. We also get to see more of the bond that Mia shares with Mercurio and her other gladiatii friends and it felt nice to see Mia love and trust so many people in her life.

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Finally, I have really have enjoyed my journey through this trilogy and getting to know one of my favorite assassins Mia. While Nevernight will always remain my favorite book of the trilogy, I thought this was a very good ending but I have a feeling it might be a little polarizing. However, if you’ve read either one or two of the previous books, what are you waiting for – pick this up immediately to know what happens to our beloved characters. And if you wanna read a new series with badass assassins hell bent on vengeance, you can always start from the beginning. You will not be disappointed.

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10 thoughts on “Book Review: Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff

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  1. As always, Sahi, fantastic review. I haven’t read this series at all! I’ve seen the cover for Darkdawn around but I haven’t checked it out.

    It sounds like a LOT of secrets and suspense has been building through the series! Would you recommend it for me? 🤭🤭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ahana…
      Nevernight can be a hit or miss… if you can manage to get through the first 100 pages, then I think you’ll enjoy it… but the writing style can be weird…
      But the assassins and revenge plot and action is pretty cool… so I would recommend it 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree… I loved Tric more in this book than in Nevernight… he deserves so much more…. 😭😭😭😭 still makes me cry thinking of him…

      And that ending was 😂😂😂 i mean I usually prefer happy ones but coming from JK it was a surprise 😁😁😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This series has definitely been on my list for a very long time and I look forward to trying it out now. It is indeed a bit odd that a lot of revelations happened so early in the book but I’m glad you still had a blast with this one. I’m intrigued by the character-killing instances by the author. It’s such a touchy thing to do in books and only some authors know how to do it without the community completely hating the author hahah Great review, Sahi! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you !!!! And in this series I think the fans have gotten used to the character killing coz the author has done it since the first book… everyone is just resigned and kinda hate it, but also love the story so we keep going… And as a reader who usually doesn’t read a lot of dark books, it was a different kind of experience for me… Not sure I wanna read something like again anytime soon though 😂😂😂
      I hope you give this series a try someday.. !!!

      Liked by 1 person

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