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?
I'm going to have a really hard time doing this book justice in just a few short paragraphs. To start with, the cover is gorgeous, and perfect for the story. I want to be Esmae if it means I can star in that cover! I started writing a book similar to GRAVE MERCY when I got the review copy. I was scared to read it because I thought they would be too much the same....luckily, they are quite different, and GRAVE MERCY was so good, I couldn't put it down! This one might be one of my favorite books I've read in a while, just because it is so unique compared to what else is out there right now!
- The writing in this book was absolutely breathtaking. I loved the lush descriptions, the gorgeous setting, and the way the author used words to paint creepy, painful, wonderful images in my mind. I felt like I was definetely immersed into the olden days, and I learned a lot of new things about the culture, clothing, etc. Very, very cool and darkly romantic.
- The characters. Wow. They were fantastic, and deep, and worth reading every single page for. Ismae is tough. She is ruthless. But she also has a heart, and despite what has happened to her in the past, despite what she does for a living, she still knows how to use it. I loved the way she was fascinated with all of the things around death and assassination. That's a type of character that really makes you stop and say "Wow. This is some seriously messed up stuff, and I LOVE IT." The Abbess was also a wonderfully done character. She was given just enough time in the book for the reader to really believe in her words-- and boy, is that woman creepy. She made every scene count, and she totally has it all wrong...which makes the book so RIGHT.
- I was a big fan of the love interest, Duval--- they connected at a natural pace, and there were some scenes that just had me so excited, and I wanted them to get together---WHEN was it going to happen? No more on that, you have to buy the book and see what happens in the end for your lovely selves!
- The overall plot was super, super awesome. I loved the different places Ismae traveled to, the whole concept of it all, and the darkness mixed in with such beautiful things.
Have you read GRAVE MERCY? What did you think?