I’d like to introduce to you my very first guest reviewer on Books, etc.! I met Monica this year at Queen’s, and she loves to talk books as much as I do. We always chat over coffee after our Wednesday morning class about our latest reads, and give each other book recommendations! So, one day I offered her the opportunity to write some guest reviews for the blog, and she took the opportunity. Here’s Monica, to introduce herself to you a little bit :)
Hey I’m Monica and I’m a student here at Queen’s in Con-Ed. I’ve always loved reading books, especially YA ones and it was great to meet Natalie and talk about all the different ones we’ve read! I loved the opportunity to write a review for the blog! Aside from reading I love history and watching Netflix. Hope you guys like the review!!
Title/Author: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Publisher/Year: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on April 3, 2012
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Series: Yes! (His Fair Assassin Book 1)
Other Books by Author: Dark Triumph (sequel!!!)
How I got this Book: Purchased
Summary From Goodreads: 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?
I absolutely loved this book. At times I got confused with all the characters that were involved, but thankfully there was a cast list at the beginning of the book that cleared everything up for me! I had no problem figuring out who the important characters were, and keeping track of the nobility was tough but totally worth it. I could easily figure out who I intensely disliked and who became my favourite minor character. As soon as I finished this book I waited incredibly impatiently for the sequel to come out, even though you don’t technically need to read it. I just grew so attached to the minor characters as well as the major ones that I had to see where they all ended up after Grave Mercy.
One of my favourite aspects of this book was the setting. I’m a huge history fan so the fact that it was set in Medieval Europe and introduced the intricacies and backstabbing plots was one of the best parts of the book for me! I found myself really rooting for the Duchess and playing detective myself trying to figure out what exactly was going on.
And Ismae is one of my favourite female heroines; I mean the fact that she was such a badass during a time where women were basically nothing was fantastic. Plus there was the whole, she can kill you if you cross her, which was pretty hardcore. Despite all this, she has such strong loyalties and is an interesting combination of someone who can handle herself fine in some situations, but can be completely unsure and insecure about herself in other situations. It made me really root for her, especially when she throws herself into her new life at the convent and loves it simply because she was accepted as is.
And then of course there’s Gavriel Duval who is part of Ismae’s cover when she goes to the high courts of Brittany. Both of them were so suspicious of each other and it was so easy to see their dislike of each other from the beginning. So it was even better when they begin to trust and befriend each other instead of being at each other’s throats.
It was really nice to read a book that made me really root for the main characters and want to sneak a peek of the ending before I got there (I stayed strong though!). Grave Mercy kept me up reading all night as I tried to figure out what exactly was going on – all the twists and turns kept me guessing right up to the end. I’ve already read the second book in the series, Dark Triumph, and am now eagerly awaiting the third!!
“When one consorts with assassins, one must expect to dance along the edge of a knife once or twice.”
Giselle said “Sign me up!”
Christa said “Amazing book” and “Really well crafted story.”
Brittany says “Buy it. NOW.”