Grave Mercy by Robin LeFevers

Whenever you are ready, or if you never are, my heart is yours, until Death do us part. Whatever that may mean when consorting with one of Death’s handmaidens.

Redonk Nutshell: Holy assassin is surrounded by intrigue and romance while on  assignment

This is a YA book that has generated a lot of buzz in the blogosphere, as well as from my own personal Book Pimp.  It has all the makings of a book that I would like – Gothic setting, assassins, kick-ass heroine.  I was looking forward to giving it a go.

Ismae is whisked off to the convent of St. Mortain when she is seventeen, and it’s here where she takes up her mantle of being one of Death’s daughters, i.e. and assassin that does the work of the god of Death. She has a few special abilities – she can see death’s mark upon a person who is meant to die, and she can commune with one’s soul when it leaves their body.  Ismae is very good at her craft, and when she’s finally given her first intensive mission, she’s more excited than nervous.  The only thing she doesn’t look forward to is having to work so closely with Duval, who gradually becomes her love interest. As they reluctantly work together to protect their queen, Ismae realizes that life isn’t as black and white as her convent has led her to believe.

Some things that really turned me on:

  • 13th century gothic-ness
  • weapons – daggers, swords, throwing knives, garrotes (oh HELL YES), poisonous pearls, poisonous potions, poisonous candles…POISONS IN GENERAL, big crossbows, little cross bows
  • kick ass heroine
  • snarky hero who turns romantic

Things that turned me off:

  • at times, LaLafevers went a bit overboard in attempting to be…literary. There were a few passages that had me re-reading and wondering what the hell she was trying to describe
  • Ismae tended to forget her baddassery whenever Duval was around. Or at least when she realized she kind of…liked him

I enjoyed this book, but it didn’t rock my face off like I was expecting it would.  It’s a shame, really. I have such a soft spot for assassins.  The next book in the series will be featuring another woman from Ismae’s convent (I think), and that will probably be interesting.  Not sure if I’ll read it, but…meh. You never know.

If you’re looking for a dark and gritty tale featuring a strong heroine who more or less can murder you with her pinky finger, but has serious hang ups about men, check this one out.  It’s a fun book, and I bet you’ll get more out of it than I did.

Grave Mercy by Robin LeFevers

Rating: B-

Romance: 3/5                  Raunch: 1/5

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