Monday, May 21, 2012

Grave Mercy Review

Author: Robin LaFevers
Release date: April 2, 2012
Publisher: Harcourt
Pages: 549
How I got it: For review via Netgalley 
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?
So I didn't expect to like Grave Mercy that much, (I'm not even sure what compelled me to request it. Probably the cover.) because I'm just not a historical fiction kind of girl and this book is set in the late 1400's. But I figured I'd give it a try since I'd heard good things about it and I had been told it had assassin nuns.

Much to my surprise, I ended up absolutely LOVING Grave Mercy. Between the court politics, amazing heroine, swoon-worthy guy, and oh yeah THE ASSASSINS NUNS, I was floored by Grave Mercy. Seriously, where has this book been all my life? Days later and I still cannot stop thinking about this fantastic story.

Ismae is fricking AWESOME. She'd been dealt a crappy hand in life, until one night when she was fourteen she was driven to a convent and promised to be taught all of the ways to kill a man. Now Ismae's seventeen and deadly, and she's just now stepping out into the world to you know KILL PEOPLE. Which leads her to meet Duval, the duchess' handmaiden and all-around wonderful human being that made me swoon. The SEXUAL TENSION between these two was crazy great.

But do not think that this is YA historical romance book! It is SO MUCH MORE. This book has politics and power struggles up the ying-yang. Oh an FIGHTING and DEATH and shizz. It is such a well-crafted story.

Mayhap I'm a tad obsessed with Grave Mercy. Like, I may have to write and/or read fanfiction while I wait for the next book (which is something I've NEVER DONE), which will be told from Sybella's point of view. (YAY.) It has been a looong since I've freaked out so much because of a book, especially one that isn't a contemporary. So, what I'm trying to say is this:

Read this book if you like historical fiction. Read this book if you don't. Just READ IT.

(Also, now I need some more historical fiction recommendations. Help me out?)

Plot: Sososo good.
Characters: Sooooooo good!
Writing: Superb.
Ending: LOOOVE.
Kid friendly? There's mentions of rape and sexual harassment and consensual sex, as well as drinking and some swearing.
I may have ignored my friend a little too much to read this book.
While I was reading most of Grave Mercy I had a friend over, and I may have forced her to sit and read with me because I just could not put this book down. (But I think it's okay since she's done it to me before too.) A new and surprising addition to my Favorites shelf! 


  1. I've got to get a copy of this book! I've heard so many amazing things about it.

    1. You totally do! I need to get my own copy, too.

  2. Read this book, totally loved it. I liked almost everything about it.

    But it was SO long...O.o


    1. Very true, but for me it passed rather quickly. (Actually, I probably could've kept reading if there had been more...XD)

    2. I find the longer it is (especially on account of Grave Mercy), the better. At the end, I was sad when it was over. I couldn't put it down and now I want a physical copy of my own; not just the library's loll.

    3. You took the words right out of my mouth, Xueehua! :)

  3. I agree! It takes its time to build up, but the payoff is so worth it. The resolution was strong enough for Grave Mercy to be a standalone, and while I see the potential for a sequel (it's a trilogy right?), I'm not sure what other huge events will be adapted for it.

  4. I completly agree. I have never had any love for historical fiction but Robin had a way of making the book so it was impossible to turn away from. My only wish is that the second and the third books were also in Ismae's point of view. I'll still read it though. I heard that the thrid book will be in Anniths point of view. . .

  5. I wasn't sure I would like it because of the fact that I've never been a historical kind of person, but this completely stunned me. i didn't think i would like it as much as i thought i would. I don't think I will continue the series because I've come to love Ismae.


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