Monday, April 9, 2012

Review - Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers

Author - Robin LaFevers
Publisher - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date - April 3rd, 2012, 549 Pages
Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf? 

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. 

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?
                                                   *A copy was sent for review purposes*

I am still trying to collect enough words to describe how awesome this book is. I am not one that reads books that are set so far back into history but Grave Mercy, I LOVED! The writing style is beautiful and the characters are amazing. I normally try to shy away from reading anything that has to do with history or history based, but this…just blew my mind. It was easy for me to follow along and not get lost along the way.

Ismae is married off by her father at 14 years old, escapes and is taken to the convent of St. Mortain, where she learns that she is a daughter of death. If she chooses this path then she will be a trained assassin under the care of Death himself. Ismae is a strong character, stubborn but headstrong. She doesn’t take things from anyone and carries herself well. When she is provided a chance to prove herself she gives it her all and is taken by surprise by her own feelings.

Duval is the duchess brother and is trying his hardest to secure her a good husband with all the drama and backstabbing that goes around in the high court. He is the charming one that you have to unpeel one layer at a time, and what is left is beautiful and more courageous than you see at first sight. He will do anything to protect the ones that he loves.

What I wasn’t expecting to find in Grave Mercy was a great story that never let me go and a relationship that blossomed in front of my eyes. I didn’t have to worry about my nemesis insta-love in this, no, that didn’t happen at all. I loved seeing Ismae grow and see things in a new light. I cannot wait for Robin’s next installment in His Fair Assassin because this my friends rocked my socks off. If you haven’t added this to your list…do it you won’t regret it!



  1. So many people seem to looooooove this book1 I've got to read this. It sounds different but awesome.

  2. Great review Shel Shel. I liked this one but the politics really went over my head. I definitely loved Ismae and the romance though! I loved that it grew in front of my eyes like you say. It was really sweet and realistic for once.

  3. "He is the charming one that you have to unpeel one layer at a time..." Aah, I totally agree with this line! But the same time it sort of reminds me of Shrek, lmaooooo! And an onion. BWAHAH!

    Awesome review, Shellie! I completely agree! Grave Mercy was my first historical fiction and I don't know why I wasn't reading these before because I absolutely loooove this genre! I cannot wait for book two...even though it follows another character! :)

    Pdots, your book is going in the mail tomorrow! I was supposed to go today...but then...before I knew it, the post office closed, lol! Fail!

  4. I'm a big fan of LaFevers' Theodesia series, and was a little nervous about how such a pitch-perfect Middle/YA writer would deal with more adult situations (a main character who was an assassin) and romance (actual physical romance instead of glimmerings of affection).


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