Thursday, 3 May 2012

Book Review: Grave Mercy

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?

To say that I devoured Grave Mercy would be putting it midly. Unable to put this book down for the life of me, I managed to read all 549 pages in a single day! While I found Robin LaFevers writing a little bit stilted at first, as the plot line progressed I became too hooked by the actual story to stop reading. Despite how much I tried to pace myself throughout the day, the pages flew by in a blur and before I knew it I had sadly reached the end of the book.

So what was it that I loved so much about Grave Mercy? Let's start with how fast paced it was! Between  all of the assassinations, betrayals, and murders, there was definitely a lot of action to keep me interested! I also became quickly attached to the characters, especially Ismae and Duval. I absolutely adored how their relationship started off on completely the wrong foot, only to grow to a heated chemistry that neither of them could ignore. You could have cut the tension between those two with a knife! 

Unfortunately, despite the intense rising action of the romance between Ismae and Duval, their relationship never really reached the huge climax that I was hoping for, which is part of the reason I could only give this book 4 stars rather than 5. It seems like the author wanted to keep their relationship as PG-13 as possible, so a simple kiss and declaration of love is about all that we get from these two. 

I was also really disappointed to discover that the next book in this series would not be written from Ismae's perspective, but rather a different character. While I can appreciate the author's decision to make Grave Mercy almost like its own standalone book, I've become too attached to Ismae and Duval to just let them go. While I'm sure their story will be continued in the rest of the series, it won't be the same seeing it through a different character's perspective. Hopefully the second book, Dark Triumph, will win me over in the end! 

Despite my disappointment at how this novel ended, I would still DEFINITELY recommend it to lovers of YA fiction! It is exciting, gripping, and imaginative, what more could you ask for in an amazing book? While I'm upset about the fact that Ismae's narration won't continue in the rest of the series, I'm nevertheless looking forward to the second book, and will definitely pick up a copy when it comes out. I'm sure the action and adventure present in Grave Mercy will continue in Dark Triumph, and I'll be hooked in once again! 

Rating: 4 Stars


Jenny said...

I'm hearing good things about this one. I really hate when a series changes perspectives for each book. :(

Ikhlas said...

Great review, Natalie! I heard some negative reviews about this one, but am glad you enjoyed it so much! Will have to pick it up soon :)

TG said...

So many people seem to love this one. My copy should be arriving any day now, but I'm actually nervous to read it, because my expectations are so high now!

Christa @ Hooked on Books said...

I read this in one day too! There was just too much going on for me to walk away from it for long periods of time.
I also agree the relationship felt pretty tame but I'm hoping shell pick up the pace in book 2

Chelsey said...

I bought this book because of your WOW post MONTHS ago! You got me totally excited for it lol. And this review only helps that excitement! I bought it but have been bogged down lately with other things that need to be read and haven't picked it up =(. ONE DAY!? You are a reading machine! Go you =)!!

Shoshanah said...

I've read some really interesting reviews of this one. It wasn't one I was expecting to read, but the more I hear about it the more I think I'd enjoy it.

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