Sunday, 23 September 2012

[REVIEW] Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers

Published: April 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: His Fair Assassin #1
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? (From Goodreads)

Well this was a pleasent read, although I must admit that halfway through the story it became rather annoying that Ismae and Duval weren't together already. THEY'RE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER!!!

Anyway, the story itself is pleasent and different from my usual reads (ahem, dystopia lit).  Historical fiction for me can either be boring or interesting and this was definitely interesting.  The majority of the characters seem to have a connection to a royal family in England (or France) which was good. That`s the only historical part really in the story.  The rest are somewhat historical but could have taken place elsewhere.

The story was also well written.  LaFevers definitely knows how to keep her readers engaged and wanting to read more.  I was personally pleased when the females in this story were so powerful and LaFevers definitely makes this clear in her descriptions. The emotions are also conveyed well.  When Ismae sees Sybella at Brittany, I could feel the emotions between them.  Ismae is a very powerful character. I believe that many women at the time went through the same crisis that she did but the way she faced it is different from most.  Although perhaps not every girl during that time period had people watching over them it is still amazing how she overcomes it.  Ismae is a character who definitely takes the bad in life and makes it good, although her need for justice sometimes clouds her judgements, her journey for the truth and the morals of her cult (yes it is definitely a cult) is inspirational.

Duval for me was also a very well written character. You could tell instantly that he was devoted to his cause and that nothing could stop him.  His affections for Ismae (although it is blatently obvious that they were to be the main romance in this novel) weren`t as apparent but clearly there.  I did enjoy the awkward exchanges the two had while living at his house.  It was really weird knowing that Ismae was something like grim reaper and that she was living with someone who's so delegated to justice and morality (Duval).  Now that I think about it, they are both fighting for the same cause - their belief of justice. Maybe that's why they're attracted to each other because although they're opposities (opposities attract!)

I must say that the upcoming sequel does not follow the story of Isame and Duval but the story of Sybella.  That makes me angry and sad.  I think I came to love the realtionship between Duval and Ismae that I have to know what's going to happen to them (do I hear wedding bells in the future???)  I'll read the sequel because this was very good but I don't have high hopes for it. (Watch me be wrong.)
MEH (close to BUY)

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