Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Title: Grave Mercy
Author: Robin LaFevers
Release Date: April 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Pages: 549
Format: Electronic Copy
Acquired: ARC; Netgalley
Interest: Series
Age Group: Young Adult
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?

I was pumped that I got the chance to read this book and I was even more pumped at the fact that it was amazing! This is the first book this year that I've read that is original and and fascinates me. Killer nuns? Extraordinary protagonist? Political unrest? Developed characters? Soon-to-be awesome sequel? If the answer is yes to all of these than this book has officially passed my code of awesomeness. Now we just imagine that I've pounded a gravel, just to make it official.

Okay, so first thing I want to mention is that I wanted to kill Ismae since the first page. For a long time she's been the victim of circumstances not in her control and when she's given a chance to turn her world around she takes it with arms wide open. I just found completely suspect the way she would just throw herself into the situation that she's been handed. Given her background I would have expected her to be more guarded and a little hesitant to accept the new life that she was presented.

And then the way she acts throughout the whole book, or at least the majority of it, is like a naive girl. I will give her the benefit of the doubt because the nuns in more words than one did save her life, so I can understand her want to make them happy and do everything for them without question. I still found it a little unrealistic on how quickly she fell for everything.

Another thing that had me doubting this novel is the character Ismae is supposed to put on as someone who is a seductress. In the covenant they teach the girl's matters in "womanly arts" and yet they can't teach them how to act in court? Just a little thing that got me.

What I did like though is the originality. I have not heard of a story this awesome before and I was really happy when I got the chance to read it early. And to add to the mix of awesomeness is the tangled world that Ismae lives where political unrest is high. It's a little confusing what's going on politics wise, which is why this book demands a lot of concentration and to keep track of who is who. But I think that the author does well near the end in explaining many things.

It was predictable in many occasions, but I like how this book still makes every little things pop a little more. And not to mention the romantic tension between Ismae and Duval just kept me coming back for more to find out what was going to happen between these two.

Sadly this book is not a quick read. Unless someone has the ability to devour about a hundred pages within an hour this book will take a few days, but at least it gives people something to look forward to the next day.

Adventure, romance, twists at each turn, and amazing character/story development I loved this book.

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