Thursday, April 4, 2013

Book Review: Grave Mercy

Release Date: April 3, 2012
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Length: 549 pages

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?


Protagonist: Ismae was a character that I was completely shocked by because even though she starts out timid and scared that the life she was forced to lead would be her ruin, she is soon after seen as a harder and more fierce version of herself. Well, it doesn't happen too fast, there is a three year gap in-between. After that her development is more, one of breaking down that wall and changing her thought about right and wrong and her feelings towards men.

Romance: When I first began reading this book I wondered if there would be a romance since this story is about nuns, but since it's a YA book of course it had a romance. However, even though the romantic interest is almost immediately discernible once he appears, the romance is a slow burning one and builds realistically. I loved how the author did this as there is a lot of insta-love or fast growing romances happening in too many YA books.

World-Building: This story takes place in the small country of Brittany who's government is under the thumb of the French and will do anything to claim their independence and see their duchess crowned. Well, at least most of them do, there is a traitor among the royal court of Brittany and everyone is suspect. Ismae needs to find out who could be betraying her country and keep the duchess safe before it is too late.

Predictability: I was surprised at how this book managed to balance the predictability very well. While for a long while there were twists that I kept trying to piece together without much luck, there were smaller and easier ones to keep me occupied. I have to say that while the largest twist wasn't too hard to figure out after one specific moment there was always a bit of doubt in my brain, and there were also many smaller twists or revelations that I didn't see coming.

Ending: The ending was amazing for a variety of reasons. One, if you wanted to treat this as a stand alone book, you could. It ends leaving a few more minor details open while closing all of the incredibly important ones. That being said, if you did want to continue this series, the next book Dark Triumph, is told from another perspective and is also it's own story, but expands on this one. The ending is a resolution and has no agonizing cliffhanger to torture the reader into needing more.


This book was amazing! Full of political intrigue, mystery, and treason this book won't leave your hands until you have finished it.

P.S. If you haven't entered my Blog ReDesign Giveaway be sure to enter here as there is only around a week and a half left. Also. if you haven't seen my most recent exciting announcement video you can do that here. Finally, be sure to cast your vote for which ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) I'm giving away next in the poll on the side bar.



  1. I so want to read this series. I have heard such great things. I saw Dark Triumph at the store the other day and it reminded me that I need to get into this. I bought a used copy of this at the same store a few weeks back. Now to just crack it open!

  2. I loved this book! Was a bit wary about this series at first, but once I started reading this book I was hooked! Still need to get Dark Triumph.

  3. I liked grave mercy also and i have dark triumph on my tbr list thanks for the review

  4. Nice review! I've heard amazing things about this book; I thought about buying it on BookOutlet but didn't... I wish I did!