Greetings everyone! Surprise! review today.
Surprise! Reviews are reviews for books I pick up and read on the fly, such as ARCs, new releases I couldn't resist getting (XD), etc.
Grave Mercy is the first in the His Fair Assassin Trilogy by Robin, aka R.L. LaFevers. Goodreads says:
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?
So this review is a long time coming. See, my Nook friend David graciously decided to send me an ARC of this book out of nowhere back in March (PS Thank you so much David! I am completely honored and grateful you thought of me. Thank you so much for the ARC. I salute you sir ^^). I started reading it voraciously. Sadly as time has gone on, other books took precedence over this one, and my reading of Grave Mercy slowed. I finally finished it on Friday, so lets get on with the review!
I'm happy to report that this book is fabulous! Save for steampunk, I'm normally not one for historical fiction. But this book really grabbed my attention, and held it as I went on the ride. I loved the idea of assassin nuns, a concept that is just so brilliant, I could not resist it. Although there is much more time spent on political intrigue and romance, I still loved the entire story, every last nook and cranny of it. I loved reading Ismae's story, and the stories happening around her. The political intrigue played more like a mystery, one which I was scrambling along with Ismae to solve. The twists shocked the hell out of me, and I loved every single one of them. I love a good twist that's hard to predict, and this book has them :)
Ismae is a kick-ass character, as well as a great protagonist. She is a badass assassin nun, sired from Death himself, and I loved her. She was fascinating, struggling to reconcile her past, her feelings for Duval, what to do with her convent, she handled everything so well. Ok, so I wish she had more action scenes, but I still loved reading her journey. I know I wouldn't want to mess with Ismae, knowing her skills. I especially loved her relationships with Beast, Anne, and Duval. Speaking of Duval, he was a great love interest. Sexy and sweet, honorable and just all around awesome. I loved how he was willing to do anything for the Duchess. At the same time, it was so much fun seeing him fall in love with Ismae, and watching the arc of their relationship play out. I can just picture him in my head, and oh boy he is sexy! I also loved Anne, the Duchess of Brittany. At first, I did not know how young she was. When I did find out, I was shocked! She was so mature, so, well, adult. I feel a tinge of sadness when I think of Anne, because she was forced to grow up at a young age, and had to deal with a boatload of shit. I give kudos to Anne as a character, because her strength was amazing, and I admire her so much. Like I said, I loved her relationship with Ismae. It started to turn into a sisterly bond, it was so sweet. I loved having to guess the villain, and was shocked at the end at who it was. I loved the backround characters, like Beast (Go Beast !! Rock on my friend), DeLornay, Annith, Sybella, and the whole slew of others who were fully developed and three dimentional.
Damn Ms. LaFevers, you are a great author! I loved Ms. LaFevers' writing style, it was perfect for this book. She made me truly engrossed in Ismae's world, developing it well, staying true to historical fact while adding her wonderful elements in it. She created such vivid characters, who have engrained themselves in my brain, I commend her on this book! I wish you much success :)
Until next time, viva la literature!