Recollections: Reviews by a Book Lover

Grave Mercy Review

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

What it’s about: 

Ismae escapes a life of abuse and finds sanctuary at the convent of St. Mortain.  She is told she is a daughter of the god Death, and the sisters of the convent can train her to do his bidding.  Ismae embraces her new life and learns the art of killing in order to become a handmaiden to Death.  Her most important assignment takes her to the high court of Brittany where she must pose as Gavriel Duval’s mistress in order to help the duchess discover who in the court is a traitor to Brittany and telling court secrets to France.


I LOVED this book!  Ismae is a strong female character worth looking up to.  Yes, she has help escaping her fate, and turning her life around.  And yes, initially, she listens to the convent without question because she feels if not for the convent she would have been stuck in her old life, but she eventually questions what she has been taught.  With that question comes her decision to follow what she believes to be right rather than blindly following orders.

I love history (it was my major in undergrad) so I really appreciated that this was a historical piece taking place in Brittany 1485.  The list of characters in the beginning made me nervous.  How was I going to keep this many people straight?  However, the story is told in such a way the amount of characters does not overwhelm you (or at least it didn’t overwhelm me).   Oh and do you fall in love with the characters! This is the first book in a trilogy (His Fair Assassin), and I cannot wait for the rest.  I want to see which characters pop back up throughout and how.

Want to know another favorite of mine from this book?  The tag line:  Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?  Love it!  Our main character is a female, and she is strong.  We need more female characters like this, and fewer Bella’s who are willing to be the lamb.  Girls need to know they do not need someone to take care of them, they can learn to take care of themselves!

Also, I will admit I liked the love story in this.  You know from the book jacket (so I’m not spoiling anything) that Ismae falls in love with the person who is under suspicion by the convent.  So we know it is going to happen.  What I loved about it was how hard both characters try to not fall in love.  They don’t know what the other is keeping from them or if they can fully trust them, yet they begin to trust each other and the walls they have been trying to keep up start to crack.  I like that kind of love, the kind that sneaks up on you.  I also like how we don’t know what will happen in the end between them because they both have duties (or a calling in the case of Ismae) which they cannot turn their backs on.  This reminds me a little of Katsa and Po from Graceling.  Another literary couple I love.

I highly recommend reading Grave Mercy.


My photo was edited using PicMonkey.


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