Saturday, December 29, 2012

Book Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Title: Grave Mercy
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: YA (historical fantasy)
Why I read it/how I found it: The author was at a book signing I attended.

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?

I loved the concept of this book. Assassin nuns. I was a little curious about how it would play out, but LaFevers nailed the building of the saints/gods and how they interact with the world. Also, serving the god of Death isn't as morbid as I thought it would be.

The beginning starts out exciting, and sort of...fizzled from there. I can sit through long books, as long as things are happening. It wasn't a snorefest, but it got to be a little much for me. And the mystery wasn't so huge to me. I guessed it pretty early on, although I'm sure some other readers were taken for a surprise.

I loved Ismae's character. We really got a depth and understanding to her, and she used her brains. She's tough and definitely a character to root for. Duval, the love interest, is also a pretty great character. Not the stereotypical love interest, which was refreshing, and the two of them had time to get together.

Other information: This is the first book in a three-book companion series. You can find Robin LaFever's website here.


  1. This is one I've wanted to read. And pleased it's a companion series and not a trilogy.

  2. Thanks for posting the review! I love RL LaFevers and cannot believe I haven't read this yet...seriously, I've been a very bad fan-girl lately :)

  3. This is another one of those books that I have not got around to reading yet... idk why.
    It sounds really good!
    Thanks for your review Nobonita! Ismae seems to be a strong female lead character.
    I'm sure I will enjoy this one when I read it!

    Micky Johnson (SEO Seattle)


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