Growing up Ismae was abused by her false father and then by the husband she was forced to marry, but no more. Isamae, daughter of Death, has escaped to the convent of St. Mortain where she is trained in her true father’s art. Now she must put her skills to the test while the fate of the country hangs in the balance.
Normally when I hear the words “historical fiction” I back away slowly with my fantasy novel serving as a shield, but when I heard about this book on the blogosphere and the words “assassin nuns” came up, I knew I would be reading this book and I knew that I would love it. I was correct on both accounts.
Awesome setting? Check. Fantastic female characters? A thousand checks. Swoon-worthy romance that doesn’t overshadow the protagonists personal growth, but actually compliments it? Check! I was totally impressed with the plot, setting, and characters of this book. It has a great feminist paranormal twist on the historical romance genre that I absolutely LOVED. I mean look at that cover. She is holding a cross bow. A FREAKING CROSS BOW. That should tell you right there how awesome this book is going to be. CROSS BOW.
But as much as I ADORE this book, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention some of the down sides. Maybe I’m reading too much (HA!), but I could see the “twists” coming from a mile away. Also, I had a teensy issue with the fact that Issae is shown as a kind of virgin seductress. I think the author tried hard to make this as realistic and complex as possible, but I still couldn’t help but thinking how much that is totally how the ideal woman is portrayed in the media. She has to be sexy, but totally pure, right? (Dude, you can’t have your cake and eat it too, okay?) I guess all the female characters I read about can’t be in total control of their sexuality though, so I’ll try to let that one go.
Don’t just take my word for it!
“An amazing book that can be enjoyed by fantasy fans, historical fiction fans or anyone looking for a really well crafted story.” – Christa @ Hooked on Books
“Grave Mercy can be read as a standalone and it contained characters that I love, heat, passion, and yes, the kickass nuns that I totally daydream about.” – April @ Good Books and Good Wine
“Basically, I fell in love with Grave Mercy in every way possible.” – Jen @ Almost Grown-Up
“A cover that perfectly matches the contents of the book, characters whose heartbeats you can hear while reading and themes that will stun even fickle readers–Grave Mercy impresses on all counts.” – Angel @ Mermaid Visions
“If you’re looking for a really well-written historical fiction novel with a touch of fantasy and a smoldering romance, pick up Grave Mercy!” – Reut @ Reut Reads