Holly's Reviews > Grave Mercy

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
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Aug 09, 14

bookshelves: death-ghosts, historical-fiction, favorites, series, paranormal-romance, international-setting
Read from June 05 to 07, 2012, read count: 1

I will be the first person to tell you that I my expectations of a book were wrong, whether that's good or bad. If it's a good thing, I'm usually surprised because of how good it is. If it's bad, well, I'm not one to hide that. And given the rating I gave this, I think you can guess which way I fall on this.

I knew from the 4.04 rating it currently has on Goodreads that it was probably going to be quite good. However, a good portion of the first quarter or so (it is over 500 pages long) I found to be bizarre. It just dumps you into the story and leaves you to pick up the pieces where you can. I suppose it makes sense to do that, given that it is a historical fiction from the late 1400s. We can't exactly be eased into it. But it felt weird and a little rushed. Also, I felt there was something off with the story when it was as the convent. Too bad I can't go into that.

Once I finally got into the rhythm of the story, I was swept off my feet. Ismae leads a dangerous, if adventurous, life. If that weren't enough, she gets thrown into royal court politics, which is as dangerous as the poisons and weapons she wields. I was really drawn in more by that than the assassin part of her story. Politics requires strategy and cunning, as does her assassin work, but politics is more delicate and has many more players.

What was probably most interesting about the whole thing is how the reader changes right along with Ismae. It's easy to get swept into the same web she does and it's just as hard to find your way out. Much like boiling the proverbial frog, you don't realize how deep into it you are until it's far too late. Opinions of characters are changed through the story is sly, subtle ways. I really like that the writing was complex enough to allow for that.

Oh, the characters! So intriguing. So diabolical. I liked Ismae, since we see everything from her perspective. But outside of that, the duchess is quite a strong young girl and it's easy to see why people respect her. And Duval...well, let's just say I'm over here having a fangirl moment.

Lots of great action and suspense. Lots of great characters. Bits of romance between a certain assassin and someone she finds she truly doesn't want to harm that will just tear you up inside.
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Quotes Holly Liked

R.L. LaFevers
“When one consorts with assassins, one must expect to dance along the edge of a knife once or twice.”
R.L. LaFevers, Grave Mercy

R.L. LaFevers
“Whenever you are ready, or if you never are, my heart is yours, until Death do us part. Whatever that may mean when consorting with one of Death’s handmaidens.”
R.L. LaFevers, Grave Mercy
tags: love

R.L. LaFevers
“It is this kindness of his that unsettles me most. I can dodge a blow or block a knife. I am impervious to poison and know a dozen ways to escape a chokehold or garrote wire. But kindness? I do not know how to defend against that.”
R.L. LaFevers, Grave Mercy


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