Friday, April 6, 2012

Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LeFevers

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  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/3/2012
  • Pages: 560
  • Source: eARC from NetGalley/ Publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Overview

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?


My Thoughts


Once again trying to go a little beyond what I normally would read, I decided to try another Historical Fiction novel. I will start off by saying that history was not a topic I really enjoyed very much when I was in school. As an adult I have found I do enjoy it much more, but it's still not high on my like list. So that being said, when I do read novels that are based on historical times and events it is very hit or miss. This story is very heavy on the events happening at the time, but the writing was very wonderful and it kept me interested. There is a lot more going on the the historical events though. This book is full of secret, betrayal, romance, and murder. I eventually ended up doing a web search for the time period and gave myself a mini history lesson. I was able to really enjoy the book after that. 


Ismae was awesome!! I loved her character. She has had a pretty rough life. I think that her rough life has made her tough. She has such a fierce personality. She also has some good humor too. I was cracking up at a few of the things that she said. I loved watching how she grows and changes through the book. Being a hand maiden of Death, she is all about destroying the people she is set out to get rid of. That is her purpose. She knows that she can not go against Death's orders. She must do his bidding. The longer she is at the heart of the situation in Brittany, the more she questions things. She knows that she must let Death guide her, but thinks that there may be other ways than to just kill out of vengeance. 

Okay now onto Duval. Swoon-tastic!!  He is just so great. As the story progresses I could not help but fall in love with him right along with Ismae. It was fantastic how their relationship progressed and developed. They go from reluctantly working together at a common goal, to slowly realizing that they have feelings for each other. It is a perfectly developed romance. No insta-love here, just a nice gradual build up.


If you love historical novels this is definitely a book for you. If I hadn't been so confused at first, and if historical was my thing I would totally have loved this book. I really enjoyed it, but it was a bit heavy on the history for me. I absolutely loved everything else about it though. Fantastic writing, kick ass female heroine, swoon worthy male love interest, and not to mention action and killing!! There are some really great twists to the story too. Now that I am more familiar with the time period and events, I am really looking forward to the next book Dark Triumph, which will be told from Sybella's POV. 3.5 out of 5 stars
 

18 comments:

  1. Awesome review! I'm also pretty hit-or-miss with historical novels, and I've really mixed things on this one, so I'm curious to see what I'll think of it. I think I'll follow your example and look up the background before diving in; I think it's a lot easier to appreciate the book when you understand the context. :D

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    1. The characters are fabulous and the interactions, and story totally had me hooked. I was confused on the history which made it hard to concentrate, but once I looked it up it didn't bother me anymore. If I had done it before I was half done, I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more.

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  2. I sort of excited to read this. Im a history nerd, so that part's okay. I think I'm more afraid of the hype. I'm glad you were able to enjoy this one. Great review, hon!

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    1. The only thing that really bothered me was how deep the history aspect was. Everything else was really good. I think going into the next book I will be able to enjoy that one better since I am familiar with the history now.

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  3. I just met her, and I'm so excited to finally read this book!! I love historical fiction, so I definitely think this is going to be my thing :D Great review lady!

    Anna @ Literary Exploration

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    1. If historical fiction is your thing than this is a really awesome book. I have been trying to read more of it. I have enjoyed plenty of them, and I really did like this book once I figured out what was going on lol!!

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  4. I just started this book today and I am so far loving it! Fantastic review! I'm so excited to see Sybella's POV in the next one! I'm such a history lover! I also like how slowly Ismae and Duval's relationship is going! Now, I'm going to continue this amazing story!

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    1. I definitely loved the relationship development. It was very believable, not an insta-love or love triangle or whatever.

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  5. I'm not finished with this, so thanks for keeping it spoiler-free. I agree with everything you said. I read some historical fiction, and this is probably not the best choice for the reader who's never tackled the genre before. I found Ismae a little aloof, but I'm only 2/3 through. The intrigue is great! Duval is great! Okay, I'm going to go back to reading again :)

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    1. Hehe! I always keep my reviews spoiler free. ;) Sometimes my reviews are like non-reviews if it's hard to explain without giving anything away lol!!

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  6. I actually did not care much for history when I was in school but I like it now. Still though, historical novels are hit or miss for me too. Reading your review makes me think I should give this one a shot. Thanks!

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    1. I have begun to like it more. I guess as an adult it's interesting to me. In school it was required so I wasn't interested lol!!

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  7. Yay Amy! I should have googled! Haha. I totally agree Ismae is kick ass and the romance was so very sweet and non typical insta-love which I totally love! I loved how they started off super rough and grew to trust each other. we so often have the same rating/opinions it's awesome!!

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    1. I know, I can't believe our comparison on Goodreads. The books we have read is almost exactly the same. We just have the same great taste. #Soulmates

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  8. Great review Amy! I have been hearing so many mixed things about this one so I am a little hesistant to buy it. I haven't read that much historical fiction but the few I did enjoy the few I have read. So I am thinking that I may really like Grave Mercy then. Ismae sounds great though and I like that although she is tough, she still has a sense of humor. I always love that in a character. Duval also sounds great and I am sure I will fall in love with him. I like that the relationship between Ismae and Duval is strongly developed throughout the book.
    Traci @ The Reading Geek

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    1. So many times we are just thrown into a quick romance, so it was refreshing to watch their relationship slowly grow from pretty much hating each other to falling in love. It was so wonderful.

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  9. I've been seeing lots of reviews on this book lately and it really made me interested to get the book! I love the historical part, it sounds awesome!

    Awesome review, Amy! ♥ So glad you enjoyed it!

    PS: I'm a new follower too! :) Absolutely adore your blog!

    Celine @ Forget-Me-Not

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    1. Thank you so much!! If you like historical novels you will probably really enjoy this. I am not much into historical and I still really liked it.

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