Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Grave Mercy, Robin LaFevers

I bear a deep red stain that runs from my left shoulder down to my right hp, a trail left by the herbwitch's poison that my mother used to try to expel me from her womb. That I survive, according to the herbwitch, is no miracle but a sign I have been sired by the god of death himself. 

Seventeen year old Ismae escapes from an arranged marriage, and joins the convent of St. Mortain, the old god of death. She learns that Mortain has blessed her with dangerous gifts. She chooses to stay at the convent and is trained as an assassin to serve as a handmaiden to Death. After three years of training, Ismae's most important assignment takes her to the high court of Brittany, where she poses as a mistress to Gavriel Duval. She finds herself much underprepared for the deadly intrigue that takes place in the court. And, inevitably, she falls in love with Duval.

Set in in the 1480s, Grave Mercy grapples with some interesting concepts, such as whether you should follow your heart or obey what you have always been taught to obey with blind faith. Ismae must make these choices. She reminded me a lot of Katsa from Graceling. Katsa is also endowed with a gift to kill (or so she thinks) and must make difficult decisions. Grave Mercy started out a bit abruptly, but it quickly settled into a good mix of action and intrigue. It is historical fiction, but definitely has some supernatural elements in it, such as the misericorde, which kills at a single scratch. Grave Mercy was quite a suspenseful book.

Read Grave Mercy:
  • if you like historical fiction (especially with a splash of magic)
  • if you like stories about the old gods
  • if you like books set in medieval times
549 pages.

Very Good! I would recommend this book!

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