Mia Corvere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.Destined to destroy empires, the child raised in shadows made a promise on the day she lost everything: to avenge herself on those that shattered her world.GoodReads
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, and Mia must become a weapon without equal. Before she seeks vengeance, she must seek training among the infamous assassins of the Red Church of Itreya.
Inside the Church’s halls, Mia must prove herself against the deadliest of opponents and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and daemons at the heart of a murder cult.
The Church is no ordinary school. But Mia is no ordinary student.
The Red Church is no ordinary school, but Mia is no ordinary student.
The shadows love her.
And they drink her fear.
Like with most fantasy series, I’m a little late to the party on this one but all I can say is that I’m thrilled I’m late enough that the series is complete as after that ending… Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves!
I really loved the characters in this novel, especially Mia and Mister Kindly. I thought their dynamic was brilliant and they complement each other well. I also liked Mia’s interactions with Tric when they were travelling to the Red Church. I wasn’t expecting the humour that this novel had and there were many instances where I was laughing out loud following their conversations. I also really enjoyed all of the different characters that we meet at the Church, the Shahiids (teachers) were all so interesting and eccentric! I especially liked how they were committed to teaching their craft, even if it resulted in the deaths of some of their students who weren’t quite good enough.
The novel is told by an unnamed narrator who is recounting Mia’s life, I thought this was a great way to tell the story. I really liked the tone of the narrator and, whilst I understand that some people might find them annoying or intrusive, but I did enjoy the addition of the footnotes too. Occasionally they were quite long which I found took me out of what was happening in the novel, but I appreciated them as it gave a lot of extra depth to the world. Throughout the first half of the novel we also get flashbacks to the events that lead up to Mia making the decision to join the Red Church. I thought by dividing the chapter between flashbacks and current events really helped with the pacing – we were given some explanations without being taken away from the action too long.
I was totally hooked by this novel and I am gutted that I asked for the next two novels for Christmas as I am desperate to read them now! The last few chapters were simply jaw dropping. Up until this point you feel that you understand the characters and the world and you can see what will come next, however this is all turned on its head and you’re left wanting more. A brilliant way to end the first book of the series.
I imagine most fantasy fans out there would have already picked this one up, but if you’ve slept on it like I have then it’s time to wake up and immerse yourself in Kristoff’s fantastic world.