Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassin, #1
Series: His Fair Assassin, #1
Publication Date:April 3rd 2012
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover, 509 pagesBook & Purchase Info: Author's Website, Goodreads, Book Depository
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?
OMG!!! Grave Mercy is the best book I have read this year, and probably one of the best I will read. And I'm not saying that lightly. It's one of those books that just amaze you and you know that will remember for long after finishing reading it. It's simply incredible. The kind of book noone should miss the chance reading.
There's not a single thing I didn't like about Grave Mercy. Not a single one. And for once I feel so right to be drooling over a title from its premise alone. Cause what the premise promises, is exactly what you get from this book and then some.
The plot is fascinating, intriguing and so beautifully woven that you get sucked into Ismae's world and you don't want to resurface anytime soon. From Ismae's education in the convent to become a skilled assassin, delivering Mortain's will, to her introduction in the Brittany's court, Grave Mercy is an amazing journey of a girl learning how to stand by her own choices and distinguishing the right from wrong in a world where you can trust noone and a wrong decision might result in innocents dying.
Grave Mercy combines fantasy and historical romance with a dash of magic and all that in its finest form. It's a YA novel, but not quite. It's not the typical YA title one would expect. It's so much more. It's dark and death is ever present in this story, but despite all that it shows how even surrounded in death one can shine.
The writing style is amazing and the pace of the book even. While not heavy in romance it is one of the most romantic YA titles I have ever read.
All the characters in this book, main and secondary alike, are well developed and even better delivered, each and everyone of them with his/her own place in the story.
Ismae is slowly developing before the readers' eyes and I couldn't help but love her. She's yet one of my favorite female characters. She's not the damsel in distress, she's strong, she acts first and never asks for forgiveness if she believes that her actions are justified according to her inner sense of justice.
Duval on the other hand is one of the most honourable heroes I have ever read in a book. He's the kind of character who without speaking great words of love or doing impressive and heroic things all the time, managed only by his actions to grab my interest and make me fall in love with him. He slowly works his way into Ismae's and the readers' heart.
All in all, words can't possibly describe how much I loved Grave Mercy and how truly fascinating a novel it is! One thing is for sure. I will "stalk" LaFevers from now on. Her writing style is so good that I don't want to miss any of her work.
*This title was reviewed via NetGalley.