I’m not a big book review person. I always feel like everyone is going to have a different opinion then everyone else, so why not just read it yourself. But I’m going to give it a shot because last night I stayed up waaaaayy too late to finish this book, so it warrants a shout out.
Grave Mercy: By Robin LaFevers
There is a lot of darkness in this book. Our main character, Ismae, is the daughter of the saint of death. While we know nothing of why her mother took Death to her bed, we do know that she tried to have an abortion, which failed, leaving Ismae scarred. After a horribly abusive upbringing by a horrible father who tries to sell her for profit, she ends up in the convent of Death. This convent trains their young woman to deal death in the swiftest way, all at the request of the saint himself. She’s talented and gifted, but a novice when she’s sent out into the world.
Enter dashing, headstrong, dark, gentle, loving, caring, strong, (did I mention handsome), Duval who takes her to court, where she becomes wrapped up in the world of politics and treason. While fighting for the duchess, who is to be crowned ruler, and Duval, the duchess’s bastard brother, she finds love, adventure and heartache.
There is nothing horribly origional about this book. I found that it was not hard to predict what was going to happen. But I did find that even though it was predictable, I was always eager to get to the next part. It is a teen novel, and reads like one, which is not a bad thing. The characters are clear and strong, and the storyline never falters.
There are some issues I had with the convent she was part of. It always irks me that no one else has ever seen the seemingly obvious things our main character sees. We do not get enough of a back story about them to trust, or distrust them, and it’s never clear where they actually stand. The ‘twist’ at the end of who the actual traitor is is hardly a twist at all, and is a little poorly set up.
All in all, if we’re going to give books ratings out of five, I’d give it a solid three and a half. It was fun, it was intriguing and I was attracted to the male lead. As a female, that’s a really strong thing. There was also no jarring mistakes with character names, which can sometimes happen. (My favorite author in the world picks the most horrid names.)
It’s a quick read. I got through it in three evenings (one very late.) It’s not worth the $20 hardcover, but the $12 softcover or even cheaper ebook is totally worth it. I’d probably read it again at some point.