Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal Publication.Date April 3rd 2012 Pages: 549 Published By: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Website Robin LaFevers |
Grave Mercy - Goodreads My review copy: Finished copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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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?
"The master of more plots than a whore has lovers has been neatly caught in someone else's."
"When we are guided by His will, killing is a sacrament."
Powerful, dangerously compelling, action packed and beautifully written, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers is a mind-blowing and eye-popping read that is sure to entertain even the pickiest readers. As far as YA fantasy/paranormal novels go, this is one of my top favourites. With her eloquent prose and excellent world building, LaFevers delivers a deliciously unique, dark and magical page turner. A book so sparkly, fresh and mesmerizing, it's impossible not to fell under its charm - especially if you like intelligent, well-thought out and truly original plot lines. Are you still reading this review??? You should be ordering your own copy by now!
"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. That I survived, according to the herbwitch, is no miracle but a signed I have been sired by the god of death himself."
Ismae's mother tried to kill her even before she was born. Unwanted and unloved, she was raised by her abusive father, who did not for a moment believe her to be his own daughter. He thought her to be a daughter of Death Himself, and treated her accordingly - with raw temper and meaty fists. Ismae never knew love, kindness, warmth of family home, nor the feeling of belonging. After being sold into marriage, desperate to escape a lifetime of abuse and humiliation, Ismae manages to run away with the help of a priest. She finds refuge at the convent of St. Mortain, where those sired by Death are trained and prepared to serve as executors of His will. For the first time in her life, Ismae allows herself to believe that she has found her place in the world. Little did she know that what she thought to be a beginning of a new life filled with purpose and meaning, is in truth a dangerous, sticky web of lies and political intrigues.
This novel was outrageously good. Action packed, atmospheric, dark, addictive - it's nothing like I've ever read before. In short: it was simply spectacular. LaFevers accomplished something magnificent here - she wrote a fantasy novel set against a vague yet fascinating historical background, with elements of paranormal, adventure and romance. A novel that is just unbelievably unique, sparkly and tantalizing. Both thematically exquisite and emotionally absorbing, Grave Mercy is a treasure. It has killer nuns, a strong and independent heroine that is skilled in dark arts and extremely hard to kill, a vibrant palette of diverse characters, rich and thrilling mythology, and - on top of everything else - an intelligent and obviously well thought-out plot line.
LaFevers' prose is lush and flavourful. The narrative is swift, seemingly effortless, and crackling with tension. I found myself immediately drawn into the world that the author so magnificently crafted, mesmerized by the eerie and mysterious atmosphere, and ultimately fascinated by the many secrets and intrigues. While it's not exactly a book that you'll breeze through in one sitting (mainly due to its volume and level of sophistication), it's definitely one that you'll savour and appreciate, especially if you're a fan of high fantasy and epic adventures.
Ismae is a wonderful heroine and I had an amazing time following her adventures. I enjoyed getting to know her better. She had one incredibly tough life. Her story moved me in ways I didn't at all expect, made me feel for her, cry for her, and cheer for her. Despite the physical abuse she endured as a child, and the internal struggle that followed her joining the convent, she stayed strong, managed to keep it together, and never lost hope. To me, Ismae is an inspiration and a role model. She's the living proof that if you believe in yourself, you can survive just about anything. Kudos to Robin for creating such a fabulous, believable and powerful character.
In the end, all my raves and compliments are not enough to fully convey how wonderful a novel Grave Mercy really is. It's not your typical YA fantasy book, it's something deeper, more meaningful and complex than what YA industry got us accustomed to. Yes, this book provides you with phenomenal entertainment, makes you swoon over its character and keeps you guessing till the very end, but it also carries many profound messages and teaches you something valuable about life. Grave Mercy does not disappoint, so don't hesitate to pick it up.
Thomas Allen & Son has generously offered to give away a GORGEOUS finished copy of Grave Mercy to one lucky Canadian winner!
(Thank you so much, Anita!)
Enter through Rafflecopter below!
Open to: CANADA
Ends: April 30th
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About the AuthorEvie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and chatting with fellow book-worms.