This week has been an outstanding week of reading for me. I’ve only read two books but both were amazing and my bookish heart is happy.
Tarnished City by Vic James
When I finished Gilded Cage, I didn’t think any book could give me more feelings or have an ending that left me so gobsmacked. Enter Tarnished City. If you thought Gilded Cage was a rollercoaster, you’ve seen nothing yet.
Tarnished City is everything you could possibly want from the sequel: it has more plotting, more deviousness, more Skill, more rebellion, more Dog and more Silyen. I am there with a cherry on top for all the Silyen. He is just as unfathomable as before and his actions leave me with just as much confusion about his motives as I had previously. I love Dog, and I love the weird relationship he has with Silyen.
I was thrilled that we finally get to see what goes on inside Crovan’s house, and we learn a lot more about Skill: what it can achieve, how it works and what it means to the Equals.
There are also some unbelievable twists and surprises from other characters that I did not see coming and ASDFGHJKL they killed my heart. There is so much I want to say about this book, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, so read it and then come and find me so we can discuss all the feelings.
Vic James is a wonderful, evil genius of an author. I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next!
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Can I give this one all the stars? It deserves ALL THE STARS. Kelly gave me a push to read it during last week’s #SundayYA chat and I was not disappointed. Nevernight is dark and twisty (which anyone who knows me will know is my favourite kind of story) and it is honest about this from the start: the opener promises blood and gore and graphic violence, and that’s exactly what you get.
Mia Corvere’s story is one of revenge – she wants to wreak havoc on those who tore her family apart, living by the motto “Never flinch. Never fear. Never forget“. Her story slips between the present and the past, so we learn how Mia came to be where she is as the story unfolds; this is particularly wonderful at the start where her present life is clearly echoing her past. Mia is strong, fierce, passionate and independent, with a slightly hidden streak of compassion. I loved that she wasn’t prepared to compromise herself in her quest to become a Blade of the Red Church (one of the most deadly assassins in the world).
Other characters are wonderful too: Tric with his troubled past, who is as passionate as Mia; Ash whose passion and wit matches Mia’s and who has one of the most interesting developments of all the characters; Jessamine, who could so easily have been Mia’s friend with their shared past, but who chooses a path of hatred; the elusive Lord Cassius who could hold all the secrets to Mia’s past; and the wonderful Mister Kindly, the shadow cat with a serious attitude. The Shahiid of the Red Church are all fascinating characters too. We know they are some of the world’s most feared assasins and yet their shows of cruelty are still shocking. Spiderkiller particularly is unflinchingly cruel (and yet, of all the Shahiid, I loved her most). Nevernight is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever come across.
Jay Kristoff’s humour is deliciously dark and I adored the footnotes, which often made me snort with laughter. I personally had no trouble adjusting to this style of reading, but I can see how others might struggle initially: if you find yourself in that position whilst reading it, persevere! I promise you won’t regret it. I completely lost myself in Mia’s world, immersed in her story and I never wanted it to end!
Have you read either of these yet? If so, what did you think? If not, are you planning to?