Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release: April 3rd 2012
Buy the Book at: Book Depository / Amazon
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?
Grave Mercy is UP-THERE!
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers is extraordinary in every sense. It is a brilliant and captivating story with highly well developed characters and plot. It is a story where war, love, justice, free-will, trust and loyalty intertwines in an exquisite and completely seductive medieval adventure that can easily become one of the 2012 favorite reads of teens and adults alike.
The original concept of Death handmaidens (assassin nuns) has certainly created one of the most kick-butt heroines in the YA world. In Grave Mercy, gifted girls are trained in a convent to server their God -Death himself- by obeying his word and bring death to those who deserve it (or so they think). Ismae is one of those girls, but her second and first big assignment turns her entire world completely upside-down.
Grave mercy is full of complex politics of the 15th century France. I loved the historical background LaFevers used to set this story and I loved the intrusion of the convent into this world as well. In addition, the characters are excellent. In Grave Mercy, Ismae is placed in a very complicate situation between her loyalty and heart, and even though she is grateful and loyal to the convent, she is not blinded by her devotion nor by her heart. Ismae is extremely brave, intelligent and sensitive enough to know what is right from wrong. Then, there is Duval. He is one of the most loyal characters I have come across in a long time. I really tried to find something negative about this character but I couldn't. However, this perfect image of a man doesn't disturb the credibility of this character. Actually, Duval has no powers, nor he posses the face of a fallen angel. He is just a very honorable man whose values excel among those of most man. In other words, Duval's soul is a diamond. A diamond that exist thanks to the infinite love he feels for his little sister.
Robin LaFevers has a marvelous way to build-up the atmosphere of the story. It is so powerful and bewitching that you can easily be transported into the 15th century. In addition, I think that LaFevers' exquisite prose makes of Grave Mercy a true gem among YA books! I can't express enough how much I love this book. Romance, intrigue, politics, action, drama, free-will, justice vs. vengeance, and women's right are some of the topics and themes you can find in this book. Grave Mercy really has it all!
LaFevers really surprised me with an excellent and well portrayed historical novel with a strong scent of fantasy that will forever remain as one of my favorites reads. Grave Mercy certainly deserve to be UP-THERE along with Poison Study, Finnikin of the Rock, Graceling and The Demon King! This one is a must-read that you will entirely devour in just one seat!
❤ Big Thanks to Thomas Allen & Son for providing me a copy of Grave Mercy for Review❤
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Visit the author's Website at http://www.robinlafevers.com/