GRAVE MERCY by R.L. LaFevers
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
About (from Goodreads): 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: GRAVE MERCY is one of those books that took me by complete surprise. I try not to read too much about a book before I read it. I'm always afraid I'm going to spoil something. With GRAVE MERCY, all I knew was the tagline:
Why be a sheep, when you can be the wolf?
That's a hefty tagline to live up to. It says and promises so much in that one little sentence, that I was nervous about it. I was worried that the book couldn't possibly match the level of expectation that it built inside of me. I was also a little worried about the book's length. Since I spend most of my free time writing nowadays, I tend to find myself choosing shorter books to read because I hate spending weeks reading just one book.
Luckily, GRAVE MERCY not only met my expectations, but exceeded them in all the best ways. Not only was the storyline gripping and unforgettable, making it nearly impossible for me to flip the pages fast enough, but the characters were so incredibly likeable and well developed, I could hardly believe how soon I'd finished the book. And at the end, I was left wanting more.
Ismae is a character I immediately connected with and wanted to root for no matter what challenges she faced. I wanted whatever she wanted, and I loved that she didn't accept everything at face value. She made promises, but wasn't scared to break them if she felt it was the right thing to do. And she learned so much about herself along the way that each page felt like a new layer of her was unraveled. I loved it. Every single word, letter, sentence, and page.
LaFevers is a genius and has solidified me as a forever fan. After reading GRAVE MERCY, I know without a doubt, I'll pick up anything she's written. Thankfully, there is a second book in this series coming next year. I. cannot. wait. Seriously, if you haven't yet read this book, what are you waiting for? I highly recommend it!