Title: Grave Mercy
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Length: 549 pages
Narrowly saved from an awful arranged marriage and shuffled off to a mysterious convent in the night, seventeen year old Ismae finds her destiny lies with the god of death. At the convent, she is taught to be an assassin for Death and is trained in all matters of weaponry, poisons, and even the wily womanly arts. She will need all of her training and more to survive her most important mission: posing as the mistress to the handsome Gavrial Duval, she infiltrates the high court of Brittany to ferret out a traitor and save the duchess and the country from harm.
This book has everything that I love. It’s historical fiction, but written like the fantasy books I inhaled as a kid. It’s also got romance, intrigue, and great well-rounded characters. Plus a strong main female character who kills…literally. I became quite fond of Ismae, who is just the right amount of confidence (when it comes to killing) and bumbling (when it comes to womanly charm).
Because it’s historically based on fifteen century Brittany, there are a lot of characters with remarkably similar names to keep track of, but the mystery and romance will keep you reading through the longest historical lessons. Plus, you can always count on Ismae to shoot someone with a crossbow to liven things up.
Overall, enjoyable read, and I’m very much looking forward to the other books in the series, which I’m excited to report, look like they’ll be about Ismae’s equally awesome killing friends.