Sunday, April 1, 2012

Grave Mercy by Robin Lefevers

Book:  Grave Mercy
Author:  Robin Lafevers
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Date:  April 3, 2012
My grade:  Can't I give anything higher than an A?  No?  A++++++ then. 
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 Review
This novel was breathtaking.  I am still reeling from the brilliance that is Grave Mercy. 

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this novel, but it was medieval and French, which made it automatically good in my book!  But it is so much more than that!  This book has it all:  mystery, magic, Death and deception, intrigue, true love.  This book was spellbinding.  I am left speechless at the end of it.

First, let me say that I started this book yesterday.  On my Nook, it is 564 pages.  I read the whole thing in just a little over 24 hours.  I did sleep and eat and go shopping for my kids’ stuff for Easter.  But otherwise, I could not put this book down.  I have ignored my children, the dishes, the laundry and my husband to read this book.  I haven’t been this engaged in a book in a really long time.

The story was astounding.  I found myself completely pulled into Ismae’s world.  It helps that the story is told in first person from her point of view.  But I swear, I could feel everything she felt and it was like I experienced the whole book with her.  It left me breathless.

The characters are incredible.  They are so multi-faceted and layered.  Plus, there is whole deception thing thrown in, so that I was constantly trying to figure out, just like Ismae, who can I trust and who is lying.  And the intrigue just kept me turning pages.

I also loved the whole old gods part of the book.  The magic and the pagan twist kept everything very interesting on a different level.  Of course, I’m a sucker for that type of thing.  One of my favorite books ever is The Mists of Avalon.  Just like that book, this book breathed a new life into a historical fiction by adding another layer to the story.  If you liked The Mists of Avalon, you will not be disappointed with Grave Mercy.

But this is still an excellent storyline without all the pagan magic.  The mystery is amazing.  I kept thinking about who was doing what and who was betraying the duchess and where did the loyalties of everyone lie, from the advisors, to Duval and even the abbess and the convent.

Another really nice thing about this book?  The cover features a beautiful girl in a dress, but IT ACTUALLY GOES WITH THE STORY!!!  Now, I am still a sucker for those covers and I think they are beautiful, but it’s even better when it matches the plot of the book!

My grade for this book is an A+++.  I would bet that this novel is ranked first or second in the class!  This book releases on Tuesday, April 2nd.  Do yourself a favor and go get it as soon as the bookstore opens.

Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this fabulous book.  I have received no compensation for this review, unless you count being able to read a book this good as compensation! : )

1 comment:

  1. I cannot wait to read this book! It sounds so good from your review :) Thanks for sharing!