Carly Thompson's Reviews > Grave Mercy

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
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's review
Feb 13, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: 2012, ya, famous-women, historical-fiction, historical-fantasy
Read from June 05 to 13, 2012

3.5 Stars. Very good historical fantasy about assassin nuns at the end of the Middle Ages in Brittany. I loved the tag line on the cover "Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?"

17 year old Ismae is saved from a brutal arranged marriage to a farmer by entering the convent of St. Mortain, an order of nuns who serve the old god, Mortain (the god of death). She has the ability to be unaffected by poison and trains to be an assassin. She is forced to pretend to be the mistress of Gavriel Duval, half brother to Duchess Anne of Brittany, as they work together to uncover and stop the plots of the French to rob Anne of her throne (Brittany was still an independent state at the time).

This novel had a little bit of everything--light fantasy, girl power, romance, court intrigue, some mystery and historical detail. I really enjoyed reading about a time period I knew little about and the heroine was sympathetic and appealing and the hero was intelligent and handsome. A great book for teen girls who like strong female characters and historical settings. There were fantasy elements to the story but I would characterized the book as a historical rather than a fantasy since the time period was more important than the supernatural in my opinion.

This is the first book of a projected trilogy (subsequent books will feature different assassins) that might be interesting to read.

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