Wednesday, April 3, 2013

When Death Comes Calling: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Just the facts:

Overall: 4 Stars

Addiction Level: I read it every waking moment.

Believe-ability: I daydream about the created world and wonder how I fit in.


            How to begin a post about assassin nuns? I’m not really sure, so I’ll start at the beginning. I happened to stumble across this book while perusing Goodreads, one of my favorite spots to peruse. At first I wasn’t really sure if I was going to delve into this book, after all it is set in old-school France and I’m not a big fan of Frenchie stuff. But, I decided to look it up and see if either of my libraries carried a copy. Alas, they did and it has officially topped my list of the best books of the year so far.

            As a novitiate of the Convent of St. Mortain, Ismae Rienne’s duty is to dole out death to whomever the convent, or Mortain himself, has identified. Grave Mercy follows the young Ismae Rienne on her third mission to fulfill the will of Death and this mission leads her straight into the tangled web of the court of Brittany. She soon learns that not everything is as it seems and few people, if any, are truly trustworthy.

            Fans of Kristin Cashore’s work will surely love Grave Mercy. Although vastly different stories, there is a wonderful feeling in Grave Mercy that mirrors that of the Graceling Realm. There are no super human gifts and the overall awesomeness of Ismae does not compare with that of Katsa, or Fire for that matter, but Ismae is easier to relate to because of this. The world of nobles and underground treachery is also complete in Grave Mercy.

            I loved that fact that Ismae was so relatable and that as a reader, I could watch her grow and build her sense of self. It was interesting to read as she began to question her role as an assassin, the convents role, and the roles of those around her. It was clear that LaFevers put a lot of thought and depth into Ismae’s process of discovery and the story was more complete because of it.

            I am officially hooked on the series and am eagerly awaiting the two companion novels, Dark Triumph and Mortal Heart. I am somewhat nervous to hear Sybella’s story as she has a dark side to her that makes me uneasy. I also want to learn more about Annith because I think her growth has the possibility to be even more dramatic than Ismae’s. Plus, I of course want to know if we will learn more about Ismae and all the other characters that I will not name here. (No need to spoil who dies and who doesn’t, yeah?)

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