Monday, 5 March 2012
Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers
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?
My rating : 5 of 5 stars
My Thoughts : "I bear a deep red stain that runs from my left shoulder down to my right hip, a trail left by the herbwitch's poison that my mother used to try to expel me from her womb. That I survived, according to the herbwitch, is no miracle but a sign I have been sired by the god of death himself."
Escaping her father’s rage and brutal arrange marriage, Ismae took shelter in a covenant that serve Mortain, the saint of death and the nuns running the place was no ordinary ones. Soon Ismae learns she is one of the specials sired by death himself, chosen to serve his purpose by all means of devotion and without questioning anything. After spending several years in training to be an assassin, Ismae was chosen to protect Anne of Brittany from France and keep an eye on political situations of Brittany. Determine to find out the person who is trying to sell Brittany’s in to Frace, Ismae found herself in a massive political turmoil and her heart drawn more and more to Gavriel Duval, a Breton noble and half brother of Anne, who is the prime suspect of treachery. Will Ismae choose her loyalty over heart, even if it means not to see him again or will she be able to proof Duval Innocence?
The first line and I was engrossed from the start to end. I was drawn to the elegant writing style and alternative history of thirteenth century that pulled the tension between Brittany and France. The twisty plot filled with lies, manipulation, bargain, betrayals and all kinds of violent disturbance in court politics, kept me hooked up with each of the pages.
Handmaiden of Death
The way author had painted Ismae with various color of personality was very artful of her. She conveys aura of grace and courage, beauty and brain in equal measure.
I was immediately thrust into the dangerous and difficult life that Ismae was adapting. Trained to perform every art of killing and bless by death himself, we saw her grown into a deadly assassin and a responsible woman in same time.
Torn between her duty to Covenant and love for Duval, she must choose one and the consequences of her decisions and actions can jeopardize the whole situation.
Duval was a male lead like no other, strong and determine. Part mysterious and part known Duval was multifaceted a character with depth, feeling, and emotion who can charm you with his presence and personality.
Though his loyalty always lies to his sister and his country and vowed to protect them, Duval was accused by act of deliberate betrayal many times, rising questions on his commitment. Trying to prove his innocence and protect his half sister, he teamed up with Ismae and eventually ends up falling for her.
"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.”
I loved the slow burning romance blended with some tense moments between Duval and Ismae, making the story immensely entertaining that was unputdownable. Initially they didn’t get along at all, but after several arguments and eye rolling, Duval and Ismae agreed to work together for protection of Anne and at some point they developed feeling for each other.
I liked how the whole chemistry worked, slowly and passionately with some sizzling moments that brought them very close to each other. They had a depth and genuineness in common and I was warmed by the way they cared for each other.
Gave Mercy was strangely beautiful and compelling, a historical fiction perfectly harmonize with some ancient myth and dark legends. We learn some tantalizing clues behind the political subterfuge and murders.
The novel was refreshing, the actions and battles were epic. The author developed the characters fabulously, made you think about them and what might happen next.
I found myself getting sucked in and then being astonished by how much I loved the book and the lead characters.
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