Grave Mercy is a simply stunning and elegant book that will grab you from page one. I was so excited for this book to come out and so when I receivedGrave Mercy is a simply stunning and elegant book that will grab you from page one. I was so excited for this book to come out and so when I received an early copy, I couldn't wait to get started. LaFevers has created a novel full of political intrigue, poison, treachery, and of course, a convent full of highly skilled assassins… In 15th century Brittany, Ismae is a seventeen year old girl who happns to be a trained assassin of St. Mortain, the patron saint of death. As a child, she narrowly escapes her father’s marriage arrangements and finds herself living at the convent of St. Mortain; training in the arts of poison, weapontry, politics and even womanly charms. Her life's purpose is only to serve her patron saint and when she is sent to live at court and play the role of mistress to Gavriel Duval, a man close to the Duchess whom her convent suspect of treason, she is hell bent on proving herself to her convent and to her saint. As she is immersed into the world of the well born, she finds that she can trust no one and that everyone, even those she trusts above all others can be far more dangerous than she could have ever imagined...
The absolute best part of this novel is Ismae, our heroine.LaFevers has created a powerful and independant young woman that gets herself through some very dangerous situations. Most importantly in the story, we see Ismae grow up before our eyes. As a young child, she agrees with everything that her beloved convent tells her is true. And who wouldn't do they same for a convent of women who saved her from a cruel life filled with evil men. Once she enters court and begins to become a little bit more independant, she begins to have her own opinions and think independnatly. She eventually begins to question the convent and the beliefs that are drilled into her. As a reader, you find yourself encouraging her to keep questioning her loyalties and to make her own decisions. Her growth through out the story made it a great story to read.
The tone LaFevers set for this story was just awesome. Her incorporation of French history to the rich descriptions of the characters dress, the political intrigue, the poisons and even assassinations have you breathless for more and have you wishing you could furthur imurse yourself in LaFevers's world. The only thing I would have liked to see more of was some more assassin action from Ismae! During the few times that we see her in her element, carrying out the wishes of her saint, it makes you wish you lived in 15th century Brittany and were a killing machine. This being said, the plot was extremely well layered and LaFevers left no detail left undone when it came to her plot as well as her character development. I don't think I can wait until next year for the second story in this series!
After you're done reading Grave Mercy, defintely check out LaFeverss' website. She gives insight to the history behind the story (but this does contain some spoilers if you haven't read the book yet!) It will be released April 3, 2012!