FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
As I sit here trying to think of what to write after finishing reading Robin LaFevers’s Grave Mercy, I’m at a loss. And it’s not because the book sucked — rather, it was such an incredibly good read that I find I’m at a loss for words as to what to say about it!
Grave Mercy is about Ismae, a young girl who was forced into an arranged marriage by her father. She manages to escape and join the convent of St. Mortain, the god of Death. After learning she bears great gifts towards her god, Ismae is put to task at the high court of Brittany.
Honestly, I had no clue what to expect from this book. I had gotten an email from NetGalley about a special 2-day promotion for this book and I was so utterly in love with the cover that I had to say yes. Of course, when I opened it up to read it, I was a little intimidated because the book is not a small tome. In face, it’s close to 600 pages! My attention span is too short for such a book, but I decided to trudge on and read it anyway. Little did I know that the book would fly by!
Robin LaFevers is such an amazing writer. I was instantly sucked into the story, reminded a bit of Maria V. Snyder’s Poison Study and Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games, both books I absolutely loved. It was hard not to fall in love with Ismae, not to feel such sorrow towards her in the beginning when she is forced into her arranged marriage to such an unbearable oaf of a husband. I enjoyed reading about her as she found herself in the novel, and discovered what she truly wanted to do in life. And yet, she’s not the softest character in the beginning. I have no comparison, but she had lived such a hard life that she was hard on the outside. It wasn’t something that detracts from her character, though. In fact, you feel empathy towards her and only want to wish her hope on her journey.
Though, I wouldn’t classify this as a coming-of-age book — oh no! In fact, I would deem this more as a historical fiction / romance / action / religious young adult book. There was just so much going on in the book that I had a hard time putting it down, though indeed I did, since I wanted to read it slowly and savour the whole thing. I was pulled into the atmosphere and I could see everything playing out in my head like a movie — I could smell the horses, I could feel the warmth of the fires, I could instantly picture all of the characters in my head. It was truly an amazing read.
The only bad thing I have to say about the book is that the sequel won’t be released until 2013. How on earth will I wait that long? Read this book — read it now. Full of suspense, murder, intrigue, humour, and romance, it truly is an adventure worth falling in love with.