Book Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Apologies for the hiatus! One of us is involved in moving right now, and, well… if you’ve moved recently that probably says it all! The other has been assisting. We probably would have broken up if we were dating. Luckily, we’re family!

How Excited Was I to Read Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevres? SO excited. Not my favorite cover but I am totally into assassin heroines right now. Think Graceling or Throne of Glass (click link for my recommendation!).

How Excited Was I After? This series has potential, but I have to admit that I enjoyed the above two books more.

Book Jacket: 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?

Review: One of the cooler elements of this book is the way in which politics, religion, and history (or a version!) are entertained to create this complex fictional world. To the author’s credit, she sets up this complexity without letting things drag.

Our heroine Ismae has good intentions and comes to some important realizations over the course of the book. She transforms from a blindly naive tool to a self-actualized thinker. She learns to question assumptions. Go Ismae go.

She also falls in love. I am spoiling nothing there. Unfortunately, it’s a blinding sort of love. She may have chosen a good hero but as she begins to question her orders, she starts to follow her gut. She thinks things through too. I was just a little afraid she had accidentally transferred one master for another, albeit by making her own choice. The more independent – even in love – Katsa is more my style. (Sorry to those that haven’t read Graceling! And to those that haven’t, do it!)

I also found lots of Ismae and Duval interactions odd. Like when she wonders if he will force himself on her and then thinks about how maybe she’d like it if he did? Yeah, I am not cool with that. It was no Fifty Shades of Gray (which I haven’t read, I’m just guessing) – the undercurrent was subtle, but I don’t like any weird domination elements (or allowances) in my romantic subplots!

Recommended for: Those looking for a kick-ass heroine, not a damsel in distress!

If you enjoyed this book you should also check out: The two books mentioned above, Throne of Glass or Graceling! Definitely.