The God of death and his assassins from a convent? Badass-men-killing nuns and a girl who’s going to change the way they work? Yes please.
Hello wonderful people reading this, today I’ll be reviewing Grave Mercy by Robin Lafevers.
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?
What I thought of the book:
The summary for this book on Goodreads is rather misleading for it made me believe that our heroine would be spending more than half of the book in a convent, learning the arts on how to kill a man or marqued in an alarming number of ways.
I was largely mistaken.
She walks out of the convent in like the fourth chapter.
I was disappointed honestly speaking, when the book fast forwarded without talking about any of her training or skills because that’s why I’d originally started the book. My next review, although, will focus on a convent that trains nuns. In detail. Like a glorified Malory Towers if you will so if that’s the kind of book you’re looking for, stay tuned.
Ismae(lovely name), our protagonist, was a simple character. Towards the start of the book, she is afraid. Very scared of what the future hold for her but blatantly accepting the fate that has been set out for her because she knows there’s nothing she can do. Then she is rescued and after a short three years in the convent, she is a little more confident of her role in the world but she is yet as naïve and innocent as a child. Being no more than seventeen and subjected to violently harsh treatment all her life it is a surprise at how fast she forgives and forgets, preferring love over violence, which honestly was not what I’d signed up for. There was a fair amount of character development but I would have like it to be a little more defined and not so sudden.
Something I did enjoy in the book though, was the descriptions of where and what poisons she used. I really enjoy characters who specialise in a single weapon or skill and this book has that element sorted out very well.
The other characters made such small appearances in this book that I’m crying for more. Never have we been told of anything about their pasts and I find that mildly annoying because I Want. More. Side. Character. Action. There were a few side characters who had their own character development and parts in the story but they played very small parts.
The semantics of the war and political alliances was written well. The character of the young queen was my personal favourite.
There is a love interest if you were wondering but I didn’t think the book needed one and since the book focuses on men killing nuns, I had hopes that there wouldn’t be a romantic aspect to this story. His character was alright but the romance in the book was so sudden that I did not have time to cherish what was between them. The usual problem of being ‘we’ before ‘I’.
The writing was alright. The plot was better.
After you get over your initial disappointment you’ll actually enjoy the story quite a bit. The concept is new and different which is very rare.
In conclusion, it was a pretty average book and my expectations were not satisfied so I recommend it to you if you have a small tbr but if not then you can skip it. A little over hyped but certainly an easy read.
Tell me how you found it.