Kendra's Reviews > Grave Mercy

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
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's review
May 12, 2012

it was amazing
Read from May 12 to June 12, 2012

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Karen Isn't this a great book to reads

Kendra This book was great but is a little difficult to classify for review purposes. I think first of calling it historical fiction since it is set in a real time and place (Brittany, France in the 15th century), but the murderous nuns seem to bring in an element of fantasy as well, and then there's that romance. I think fans of all three genres would like this...I know I did! I found it to be original and well written, and I could not stop reading it!

The story centers around 17-year old Ismae. Escaped from a loveless (and violent) arranged marriage, she finds the perfect place living among nuns who are devoted to protecting the royal family of Brittany. And just how do a bunch of teenage girls protect royalty? They train as assassins skilled in weapons, poisons, etc. AND they rely on the Saint of Death who "marks" those who should die. Ismae, believed to have been fathered by Death himself (as evidenced by the scars on her body), is especially adept in killing and is thus given an important secret mission to protect Anne, the Duchess of Brittany.

And this is where the romance comes in...Ismae is charged with keeping handsome Gavriel Duval, half brother to the duchess, in her sights as he has been identified as a potential threat to Anne. But who is a friend and who is an enemy? It's hard to tell, and as Ismae develops feelings for Duval she begins to question her training and her mission.

I loved that the plot kept me guessing. There are clearly good and bad guys here. I just didn't always know who was who! It's hard to find fault with the plot which leaves a clear opening for a sequel while also providing a satisfactory ending to this story.

I also really enjoyed the characters. Ismae is conflicted and real, and there are some engaging secondary characters...some of the nuns, Duval's friends, the duchess. I can't think of any real complaints - I enjoyed reading it, I still liked it when I finished it, and I can recommend it easily to many of the students I work with.

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