Release Date ~ April 3, 2012
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
E-galley received from publisher via Net Galley
Goodreads Synopsis: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?
Grave Mercy is a truly striking novel; it captivates your interest, draws you in without ever letting go and leaves you utterly breathless at the end.
The delivery itself is nearly flawless, and this is exactly what I want to see more of in YA: a remarkable narrative born out of historical fiction and brought to life with fantasy.
- A phenomenal heroine:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Ismae and her life; there was something so intriguing about herself and her past and I appreciated that she was determined and willing to fight back rather than allow herself to remain a victim. She's dedicated and committed, but curious as well, which lends to some rather interesting scenarios she later finds herself in. But I love reading about brave girls who aren't willing to let anything hold them down.
- A fairly unique premise:
Assassin nuns? It almost sounds silly, but that's just until you start reading. Once you realize how deadly these women are, you become aware of how it isn't silly at all. It's actually quite brilliant and an excellent way to incorporate some action and excitement into a historical fiction book based on a time already riddled with political intrigue and danger and then just laces it with some more ;) I adored reading about these women who refused to subscribe to society's norms for them.
- Sizzling, on-page chemistry:
To be honest, from the description alone I didn't even think there would be any romance at all! But then once we were introduced to this new male character I was really HOPING something would come up and I was so pleased when it did because I loved them together! I love it when two characters banter back and forth, and watching their relationship grow from loathsome to loving. It's completely believable, completely sweet and will leave you swooning for one of your own!
- The start to an exciting series:
Grave Mercy is the first in a series BUT the next two books actually feature different characters that we're introduced to in Grave Mercy (Sybella and Annith). So, Grave Mercy is wrapped up fairly neatly in and of itself, but there's still enough there to keep you connected to the world and the storyline. It's a really great blend of a standalone novel and a series which seems like it's going to work out really well overall!
- Robin LaFevers' writing:
I haven't read any of Robin's other books, but I feel like I've been missing out now! Her first YA book is impeccable; she masters the art of writing and action-packed fight scene then follows it up with a heart-pounding kissing scene. And she keeps her the voices of her characters separate from each other.
I honestly can't recommend this book enough; there aren't nearly enough like it, and I really wish there were more similar ones to this. I know it's early, but I can confidently say this will make it on my Best of 2012 list.