Title: Grave Mercy
Author: Robin LaFevers
Other books in series or Standalone: First in a series. The second book, Dark Triumph, was just released last week!
First Impressions: ”Escaping a brutal arranged marriage into the sanctuary of a convent of assassin nuns who serve ancient gods, 17-year-old Ismae learns that the god of Death has blessed her with dangerous gifts and a violent destiny that requires her to destroy the lives of others at the high court of Brittany.” Did you stop reading at assassin nuns and run out to pick up a copy? Because I sure did.
Last Impressions: LOVED IT! This was one of those books that was so compelling that I had to abandon the audio version I was listening to in my car and pick up a print copy that I could tear through faster. It’s fun and exciting but also smart and complex; Ismae is sent to protect Brittany’s duchess and find out what sort of treachery is going on in the high court, so there’s lots of court politics and intrigue. But the best thing about the book is Ismae. She starts off stuck in a bad situation and has to be rescued, but by the end she’s a strong, capable woman who you can really root for.
Thoughts on the cover: Have there been way too many book covers with girls in pretty dresses lately? Yes. BUT not only is Ismae set apart by the crossbow in her hands, she also has a determined and capable look on her face instead of seeming forlorn or overly lovesick.
People who should read this: Anyone who is longing for another kick-butt heroine a la Katniss Everdeen. Plus, there’s also lots of great action and drama, and a bit of romance, so just about anyone could find something they like in it!
People who should not read this: If political intrigue bores you, this might be one to skip (but if you like political intrigue in your novels, definitely pick this one up).
If you like this book, you may also like: Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas,Changeling by Philippa Gregory, The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan, A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray