BDN Archive – Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers – Book Review

This was originally posted by me at (no longer available) on April 11, 2013. 

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Genre & Length: Young Adult/Historical Fantasy, 576 pages

The Blurb:

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?

My Thoughts

Plot: I’m not sure I can give praise that lives up to the plot of this book. It’s unique, enthralling, and heart-wrenching. I absolutely fell in love with Ismae and Gavriel, and even Sybelle. (The next book, Dark Triumph, this one about Sybelle, comes out April 2, 2013 and I can’t wait!) This book has assassin nuns, all sorts of fun religious themes (I like books that make me think :P), and sweet romance. All while being moderately historically accurate (you know, except for the fantasy elements). It was fantastic.

Pacing: I could not put this book down. Seriously. I read it in . . . 3 to 4 hours, tops. Pacing was spot-on. I did not skim read once.

Writing Style: Truly a pleasure to read. LaFevers chose each and every word with care and precision, and I loved being in the head of a “young adult” who wasn’t an airheaded bimbo, for once.

Would I read this book again: YES. A thousand times “yes”.

What do you think?

About Rebekah

Rebekah Loper writes character-driven epic fantasy featuring resilient women in trying and impossible circumstances who just want to save themselves but usually end up saving the world, often while falling in love.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (...chickens. They're chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she's not writing, she battles the Oklahoma elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.