Sunday, March 3, 2013

5+ Star Review: Grave Mercy (Robin LaFevers)

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?

Hardcover, 549 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Purchased myself for Review Purposes

R.L. LaFevers (Robin Lorraine when she’s in really big trouble) grew up surrounded by shelves of old dusty books and a passel of brothers. She has also spent a large portion of her life being told she was making up things that weren't there, which only proves she was destined to write fiction. She is the author of over fourteen books for young readers, including THEODOSIA AND THE SERPENTS OF CHAOS, (Houghton Mifflin, 2007) which received starred reviews and was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Booksense Summer Pick, and nominated for the Malice Domestic’s Agatha Award, and the NATHANIEL FLUDD, BEASTOLOGIST series. Her first young adult novel, GRAVE MERCY, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Spring of 2012. She currently lives with her husband and a demonic cat in Southern California and spends her days gazing longingly at ancient artifacts or wallowing in old forgotten texts.

Contact Robin Here 

Knife-wielding...Kiss ass Nun Assassins....UM YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The cover of this book is incredible...A beautiful young girl in a blood red dress wielding a crossbow...Breathtaking...

This book is incredible. Robin Lafevers knows how to write an emotional, gripping, and intense story. The characters are filled so much pain and have suffered so much yet they find this stray bit of hope when they are brought to the nunnery....and then the story begins....

From the very first page, Robin weaves an intense tale of overcoming pain and surviving. The main character, Ismae, is a young girl who has suffered even in the womb. Her mother knew that she was sired by Death and tried to abort her while she was still pregnant. But Ismae survived and lived a hard life until she was old enough to be married off. The story begins with her first night as a wedded woman. She was married to a cruel, ugly man who hurt her both physically and emotionally. She survives the first night and is saved by a priest who takes her to the nunnery. He knows who she is and knows her purpose even before she does. 

Ismae is recognized almost immediately by the nuns as a servant of Death. The realize who she is and what she is to become. She is welcomed immediately and begins to start her new life. Her new life as an assassin for Saint Mortain. 

"I am a handmaiden to Death. I walk in His dark shadow and do His bidding. Serving Him is my only purpose in this life."

She meets several young girls while she is in the nunnery and makes immediate friends. Sybella the hard, no-nonsense girl who fights the nunnery to begin with and only stays when Ismae begs her to. Soon Sybella is sent off on a mission and we have no idea where she goes. 
Annith is Ismae's closest friend and confidant. They train together and learn the secrets of Mortain. 

Ismae is then sent on her most important mission. She is sent to protect the duchess and discover who is trying to harm her. She is to pretend to be mistress to Duval, the duchess's bastard brother. 
From there the story just deepens. 

I loved the historical aspect of the story and how Robin incorporates several things from this time period to make the story more real. I loved the undeniable romance between Duval and Ismae yet my most favorite part of the book is Ismae's ability to fight. She is stealthy and deadly. She fights with a purpose and does not let anything get in her way. Awesome female heroine. The crossbow is probably my favorite weapon that she uses. She hides it in her dress and waits for Mortain's marque to appear before you silently serves Death. 

"For while I am Death's daughter and walk in His dark shadow, surely the darkness can give way to light sometimes...."

Everything about this book makes it one of my most favorite books ever. I cannot give enough praise about it! This is one book that you HAVE to read! You have to experience it for yourself to understand how incredible it is. I cannot wait to read Dark Triumph....

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