Grave Mercy by: Robin LaFevers
Published: April 3rd, 2012
Escaping from the brutality of an arranged marriage, seventeen-year-old Ismae finds sanctuary at 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 be willing to take the lives of others.
Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany, where she must pose as mistress to the darkly mysterious Gavriel Duval, who has fallen under a cloud of suspicion. Once there, she finds herself woefully underprepared--not only for the deadly games of love and intrigue, 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 really enjoyed this book!
When I heard assassin nuns I was like, count me in! The premise just sounded unique and it intrigued me right off the bat. The story was definitely pieced together well. There was times when I was gasping. Other times when I started tearing up. And times when I was straight up snort-laughing.
I absolutely loved Ismae! She was such a strong, bad-a** female character. There are times in books when I am feeling anxiety over the safety of female characters because they are just straight-up not able to take care of themselves, but I never felt this with Ismae. If she was told to do something she didn't feel was right, she would't do it. If she was getting crap from other characters she would't take it. If I haven't convinced you she's awesome, I just wanted to let you know she's awesome.
I also liked that the romance wasn't what the story focused on. For the most part it was focused on the political aspect.
I did really enjoy this book, but on the other hand there were some things I did not enjoy.
At times I didn't get all the political things I believe I was supposed to pick up while reading. I couldn't really keep up with all the names of the convent members, the privy council, and the Breton court and Nobility. All the names are listed at the beginning of the book but while reading I didn't want to keep stopping to try and figure out all the names. This would not have been a problem if knowing all the character names and occupations wasn't such a large part of the book. This was basically the only reason I marked the book down a star. Besides that I enjoyed the book.
I would recommend Grave Mercy to any historical fiction lovers. The book was historically accurate, besides the whole assassin aspect.(Most events that occurred over the length of the book occurred in history) I would also recommend the book to anyone who likes strong female protagonists or books with political intrigue.
The last two books Dark Triumph and Mortal Heart follow different characters from the convent (Sybella, and Annith) and I'm really interested to see what they have been up to while Ismae was out and about. :)