By Robin LaFevers
Reviewed from: from my library and I know own a copy of it.
Reading time: solid day so you pick up the details
Overall Rating: 5 stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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?
Where do I begin with this review? Let me tell you first, that I remember seeing this book all over the place on other blogs (back before I started to actively blog). I added to my TBR list and bought it recently for my library’s collection. It was just one of those books I was uncertain about but I thought I would give it a shot. Boy am I ever glad I did—this book was FANTASTIC!!
Ms. LaFevers writing instantly hooked me into the story. From the first page, I was drawn into the setting and quickly became attached to the characters. I am a big fan of historical fiction so I’ve spent quite a lot of time reading it. I just love the amount of detail that she included—it was not too much and not too little. Her characters are well developed and believable for both the time and the situations. I appreciate the amount of growth that Ismae and Gavriel both go through to get to where they are at the end of the story.
This is not an easy story for the most lighthearted readers yet neither is dark and grotesque. There is some violence, especially at the beginning when we learn of Ismae’s past and how she comes to be at the Abbey. There is intrigue, mystery and so much more than just the assassinations that Ismae is called onto to do. The relationship that develops between Ismae and Gavriel begins with each disliking the other, slowly to trust then onto love. This book really has something for most readers to latch onto so it hooks you into investing into the story.
My most favorite quote from the book:
“I feel grace. Warm and flowing like a river, it pours over me. I am awash in grace and cannot help but raise my face to it as I would to the sun. I want to laugh as it rains down on me, ripples through my limbs, cleanses them of fatigue and self-loathing. I am reborn in this grace, and suddenly, I can do anything” (pages 522-523).
The writing is just gorgeous!! I am looking forward to reading Dark Triumph, the second in the His Fair Assassins series. I have it on my bookcase right now taunting me to pick it up but alas, I need to get through a few more ARCs before I can read it.
What about you? Did you read Grave Mercy? What did you think of it?