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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 565 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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This book follows a young girl named Ismae, who is an outcast, and unwanted in her town. You will follow her through her worst moments, to the place that changed her life. The characters are so well written and you cannot help but fall in love with them. I can not express how much I enjoyed this book, these characters, the story, and the world building. I want to be in Ismae’s world again and see and feel what she does! This is going on my list of favorite YA books of all times!!! Love love love!! Take a chance and give this read a try, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!!
Actually, most of the characters just turn out to be hopelessly one dimensional, either all good or horribly evil. So why did I rate it 4 stars? It has good even pacing, without dragging or spending too much time in the dressing room. The initial misunderstandings and gradual building of trust between Ismae and Duval was interesting. Also, it long enough to be a real novel and take more than one day to read. That is a plus.
Why didn't I rate it 5 stars? Aside from one dimensionality of characters, one principle character was introduced just to be immediately killed off, without point or motive. I don't think we ever really understood what role that played in the book, except to deny the other heroine, Anne, any chance at happiness. Perhaps the author tries too hard to be historical. I am interested in a good adventure-fantasy with some character insight, and a better ending than history, in which, well, everyone dies in the end.
Why, you ask? Well that's what I'm here to tell you.
This book started in the exact right place. You get an insight into what makes Ismae who she is-a poignant one-that doesn't last for more than a few pages before you get to what you know you really want to read about, the killing nuns. However, those few pages are important, done well, and really allow the rest of the book to be accessible. The book is in the first person, and at first glance Ismae isn't exactly a narrator like Sophie from the Hex Hall books. However, because you know where she's coming from, her matter-of-fact way of speaking makes sense and connects the reader rather than repels them. And makes her dry sense of humor that much more awesome.
Speaking of characters, few books have such a solid cast of background characters such as this book. Even the characters that you didn't see that often were well written and not stereotypes. From the younger duchess to Duval's second-in-commands, I was in love with every single one of them-even the villains! (In fact, in places, especially the villains.)
I'll admit, after reading Illuminate by Aimee Agresti Grave Mercy scared me because of its length. It's 549 pages long. However, every single one of those pages was well used. Plenty of assassin stuff goes on, as well as plenty of intrigue and plotting. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized I actually couldn't guess what was coming-and I certainly didn't guess the ending! (Well, in part. It's a romance; some things are a given.)
And the romance. Color me SO HAPPY. Sure, it's the typical line where they start off disliking each other and then realize they love each other, but it worked. The reasons they were so untrusting of each other were REAL. The worries they had were REAL. The progression of their relationship was REAL. They came to trust each other before they came to love each other, which is how it should be. Hallelujah.
Lastly, Grave Mercy made me realize just how much modern day/modernish day plus a few years into the future where everything is a wreck books I'd be reading. I love historical fiction, and Grave Mercy made me miss it ridiculously. I didn't realize it until Ismae legitimately used the word "poleaxed" in a sentence and I started giggling, because how many modern teens use that? All around, this book was a refreshing change from the other books I'd been reading that was filled with great characters, a fantastical historical world, great mythology and a real romance. If you like historical romance headlines by killer females (yes, pun intended, deal with it) then I certainly recommend Grave Mercy. Even if you don't do much historical fiction, I still recommend it. The history and it's figures were done so well I absolutely forgot it WAS historical fiction. It's one of my favorites so far this year!
It all starts in Brittany, 1485. After a life of mistreatment at the hands of her father and an arranged marriage to the worst possible man at her village, Ismae finds solace among the nun's of the convent of St. Mortain. She is, after all, said to have been sired by the god of death himself. In that place she trains as a handmaiden of Death, an assassin to carry out her god's wishes. Soon enough Ismae finds herself right in the middle of court, where treason and deceit are making it hard for Anne to be crowned Duchess. Ismae is about to face the hardest decisions she'll ever make, and they all balance on the question of who can she really trust?
Ismae is one tough lady. She's thrown into this situation where she is clearly out of her depth, yet she deals and slowly learns to tread carefully the ways of the court. Of course, she has help in this, even if unwanted. The only man who could be any kind of match to Ismae had to be someone who could match her in strength, wit, and deadly intent. He is Gavriel Duval, intense, angry or annoyed half the time, and with impeccable manners that only serve to unbalance Ismae. Oh, and he suspect number one on her list! The chemistry between these two flowers beautifully into love amid deceit, and Ismae's own personal demons.
R.L. Lafevers weaves mythology, history, and fantasy into the incredible world of Grave Mercy in a way that left me completely enthralled. I mean, assassin nuns, the old Britton gods, and courtly intrigue! What more can I ask for? Definitely book two, because reading that last snipped had me jumping up and down and cheering!
Most recent customer reviews
(Thank you HMH Teen for sending me this book!)
Well this was a fun read!Read more