Prose for Pros: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Posted August 16, 2016 by Lizzie in Discussion / 0 Comments



  1. written or spoken language in its ordinary form, without metrical structure.
    “a short story in prose”

As an English major myself, I love deciphering prose. It’s like unwrapping a present and finding another present inside! But, I do also know that to the normal reader (especially the YA comfort zone reader, and I say that with zero shame as that is literally me) prose can be a bit intimidating. Not only is it littered with words you have most likely never read before, you can’t even use context clues to figure it out because the words surrounding it can be just as dense and confusing.

In my brief experience, I have always run into some seriously deep forest prose while reading Epic Fantasy. A genre that already contains pages of world building and blocks of knowledge to follow that link together to create the story. Add in prose (i.e confusing method of delivery) and wading though that mess can leave you feeling like abandoning ship.

But, my dear reader, do not give up! Because I am here to give you a little moral support in the form of prose candy. Yes, you heard me right: candy.

Prose itself is a concept that it much easier to read about than grasp, so instead of spending my time trying to think of tips as to how to understand prose better – I thought I might fill your brain with some delicious words that might leave you with just enough create motivation and images to push you through your pile of discarded prose with a little more determination.

The novel that I will turn to for candy today is none other than Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. I LOVED this novel (My dear Stephanie has a full review to come later this week!) and by the end my copy was littered with so many highlighter marks of my favorite lines my book is now fluorescent. So, without further ado I present small excerpts from one of the all time Pro’s of Prose Jay Kristoff:

  • “They drifted apart like dancers before the music stopped, vibration still thrumming along their strings.”
  • “She was breathing too loudly, her lessons all a-tumble in her head. But he was too numbered to notice — lost somewhere in the remembered cracks of a thousand stretched necks, a thousand pairs of feet dancing to the nooseman’s tune.”
  • “….and the shadows all across the forum shivered in her fury. The black at every man’s feet, every maid and every child, the darkness cast by the light of the hidden suns, pale and thin though it was…”
  • “Stained glass filtered a ruddy emerald light into the room, the glassware tingled with every hue- lime to dark jade…”
  • “Entire pages covered in black scrawl, like a true dark sky with the stars all picked out in patches of bare white.”

Those are just a few of my favorites, I hope they left with with the same sweet sorrow as they did me! I think I will continue this series with the next epic fantasy I review. Prose may be scary, but it’s worth the time and effort once you get through the initial shock of cold water. What are your thoughts? Do you have a hard time reading books with extensive prose? Tell me your thoughts down below!


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