Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers


Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary by Goodreads:   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?

First of all, the cover. What first grabbed my attention was the red dress, indicating the time frame the story takes place, but the crossbow made me want to snatch it up and read it immediately. It seems I am reading more and more historical fiction/fantasy books, such as this one. The idea of reading some historical facts, but also getting the fantasy boost brings in the "not reality" feeling I love.

Isme's character suffers much in her young life. Abuse by her father, selling her off to a nasty old man at the age of 14, she is saved by a priest who takes her to a convent. There she is taught the ways of an assassin, serving her God, St. Mortain, the God of death. Isme has so many bad feelings toward men, that learning these skills is a pleasure for her. When she is sent out on her last mission before she takes her vows to the Convent, she learns what love really feels like. She grows so much, watching and learning how real families interact, how men can be more than just brutal.

Isme has to make some difficult decisions, including defying her convent or taking out those who she is commanded to kill. Knowing who to trust becomes harder and harder the longer she is at Court. She find new plots and schemes, betrayal and treason at every corner. She also finds love after hating men most of her life.

Obviously, this is a dark plot, considering the whole assassin thing, but with action and romance. I would consider this a mature Young Adult book because of the violence and adult situations.

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