By R.L. LaFevers
Publication date: April 3, 2012
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 549 pages
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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?
— Goodreads.com description
Oh, lord, I love this book.
I saw Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers in the bookstore this weekend and something just came over me. I grabbed it and hugged it and sort of shouted to my friends: “I LOVE BOOKS SET IN CASTLES!”
Yeah, I have the tendency to make a fool out of myself in bookstores. So what? I DO love books set in castles!
Grave Mercy is the type of book I know I’ll want to revisit again and again. It’s not QUITE high fantasy, but it’s the perfect read for fans of Fire and Graceling by Kristin Cashore or The Poison Study series by Maria V. Snyder.
My only little problem with Grave Mercy? The ages of the characters. I’d have a mental picture of a character as 19 or so…only to later find out she was 12. Or think of another character as around 22, and later find out he’s 30+. I chose to stick with my imagination, but it was a little confusing and rattling.
Still…there’s poison. There’s a hate-you/love-you romance. There’s a lead character who kicks ass. There’s intrigue and weaponry and adventure and MURDER, and if that’s not stuff worth geeking out over, I don’t know what is.
Bonus points: There is a map in the front cover. You know my feelings about this.