Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 564
Received: Received from publisher through Netgalley

Release Date: April 3, 2012
Buy from Amazon / Buy from Chapters

Goodreads Synopsis:

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

My Review:

I have to start out by saying this book is absolutely AMAZING!!! I was finishing it on my way to work and almost missed my stop because I didn't want to stop reading it. This book is huge (since I had an eBook version I didn't realize how big it was), but I found I flew through it. Do not let the page count scare you away, every page is absolutely engrossing. This is already one of my favourite books of this year. I wanted to turn back to the first page and restart the book, that's how awesome it was in my eyes.

I was hooked from the opening of the story where the first line is:
"I bear a deep red stain that runs from my left shoulder down to my right hip, a trail left by the herbwitch's poison that my mother used to try to expel me from her womb." 
I love that it opens with the reader able to see such a personal side of Ismae. Where throughout the book she tries to hide this scar from everyone because of what it resembles.

Right from the beginning you see that Ismae has been dealt a crappy hand but that she does not just let everything happen to her, she fights for herself. And I love how strong she is, she is definitely a female character who knows what she is doing. From the beginning you can see that there will be quite a lot of action happening throughout the book, and Robin does not disappoint. There was a lot going on but it does not take away from the fact that Ismae is a "handmaiden to Death", she works her gifts in many ways throughout the book.

There is so much about this book that I fell in love with! I really felt relationship between Duval and Ismae grow as the spent more time together. There were a lot of cute and funny moments that made me laugh out loud. The great thing was having a female lead character who does not know how to act womanly, she is so used to fighting and sneaking around that she doesn't know how people normally act.

I found that there were a lot of interesting twists throughout the book that definitely took me by surprise. It kept me interested in what was going on, I kept wondering what would happen next. I also found that I could not figure out who to trust throughout the book. I definitely felt like I was Ismae, being in a place where I can't trust anyone, and don't know what is the truth.

I liked that the novel took place at the royal court. Robin has a great flare for writing, and I definitely felt like I was there in the court experiencing everything that Ismae was. I also really enjoy my historical fiction novels, and add in some paranormal magic to it, and you have me at a loss for words. This is exactly what this book has done.

I also really liked the ending, Robin leaves you with a lot of questions still to be answered, but it's not a jaw dropping cliffhanger. I'm excited to see what is next for Ismae and the rest of the characters.

I recommend that you all run out and buy this book when it hits shelves on April 3rd. I know I will be!


  1. Wow awesome review Andrea! Love that you posted the book trailer with your review. I wondered if the book had a book trailer and now I know! Loved it! I have heard nothing but amazing things about this book and your review totally makes me wish I had a copy to read!

  2. Yes! I loved Ismae and her slow-burn romance with Duval too! I'm a bit disappointed that the next book will feature Sybella because I would love to return to Ismae and Duval's story, but Sybella's story should be interesting too.



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