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?
My thoughts~ Assassin nuns? What? Well let me tell you, these are not your grandma's nuns. These are knife wielding, warrior nuns that serve Death himself.
Hands down my favorite book of the year. Seriously, if you have not read Grave Mercy stop whatever you are doing and get your grubby little mitts on this book. See someone reading it? Grab it and run like the wind. Then lock yourself away and do not emerge till you have finished. (Okay, do not really steal it from an unsuspecting reader. They would probably hunt you down and chew off one of your limbs.)
But seriously, I fear I cannot bring justice to this book. Robin LaFevers is extremely talented.. Her writing is superb and every character makes and impact. Ismae is smart, strong, independent and extremely likable. It was very refreshing reading a character that empowers woman like Ismae does. She puts her work above herself and does not compromise things by running off after some guy and putting the whole mission in jeopardy. There are times when issues are set before Ismae that cause her to question things, but she stays the course and does not act with out reason.
And oh how I love Duval, let me count the ways. There is romance and Duval is one of the yummiest I've read this year. (I have to admit something though. I may be partial to Duval because he is one of the few male leads I've read that is not a teenager. So I didn't feel all cougarish for liking him as much as I did. Okay, TMI...moving on.) I'd say the romance is perfectly balanced with the plot. It is never shoved down our throat, but is present enough to keep things interesting.
Whether you are a fan of historical fiction or not, this story is a must read. It is based on an actual historical event with a flare of fantasy weaved throughout. From the plot to the setting this intriguing story makes an impact.I received Grave Mercy from Net Galley last spring and did not read it till now. I loved it so much I bought the hard back, put it on my favorites shelf and bought a copy for friend.
Robin stated on her blog that she spent seven years working on this story. Her dedication and perseverance shows on every page. Grave Mercy is book one in His Fair Assassin trilogy, but stands alone as a complete story. Book two follows along the same time line but we will get to follow Sybella, Ismae's sister nun and friend.
One of my favorite lines~
The thinly veiled venom of her false concern still bubbles through me, as vicious as any poison.