Book Review 97: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Posted on June 17, 2015 «
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book review grave mercy robin lafevers

A few years ago I visited The Red Balloon Bookshop, a fantastic independent bookstore in the Twin Cities that specializes in children’s books. As I was wont to do (before the #ShelfLove Challenge), I wandered about the shelves in the young adult section and spied Grave Mercy on the shelves. It had a shelf tag with a brief review that mentioned assassin nuns. I did not buy Grave Mercy during that bookstore trip. However, the thought of assassin nuns never left me and I itched to buy the book each time I saw it. I did buy it, eventually, at Half Price Books and then it languished on my shelves.

I was motivated to choose Grave Mercy from my bookshelf partly because of our #ShelfLove Challenge and partly because I was seeing a resurgence of the book on other review sites with the release of the latest book in the series. I felt It was high time I read the book that caught my attention just a couple of years ago.

Set in France…excuse me…Britanny…in the late 1400s, Grave Mercy is fraught with mystery and political intrigue. I enjoyed Gavriel and Ismae. While they spend quite a bit of time together as they try to suss out who is an enemy of the state, they are also independent and strong characters on their own. There is perhaps a hint of romance that is not the focus of the book which I found refreshing when compared to other young adult novels. Ismae’s search for the political truth and religious truth drives the book forward to its conclusion.

One of My Favorite Quotes
grave mercy quote her words are sharp

The difficult part was understanding the political climate of the time. I referred to Wikipedia several times to learn more about Brittany and Duchess Anne. The list of characters at the front of book was helpful as well, but at times I did feel overwhelmed by lack of knowledge of the time period and the revolving game of Red Rover as true intentions were discovered. Being overwhelmed lead to a disappointing reveal as I tried to piece together who was a part of the deception.

I did enjoy reading Grave Mercy. Ismae’s devotion to her religion and mission and dedication to learning the truth provided an excellent basis for a story. At the end of the book I wanted to follow Ismae’s religious journey further and was disappointed that book two and three in the series are about her fellow nuns, Sybella and Annith, and not Ismae.

One of My Favorite Quotes
Grave Mercy quote-None of us are trained to kill those who...
book review grave mercy robin lafevers

The Quick Review

Grave Mercy

Published on: April 3, 2012
Pages: 549
Genres: historical fiction, military, mystery, young adult
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: Thumbs Up

 

 

book review grave mercy robin lafevers

 


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12 responses to “Book Review 97: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

  1. stormi34

    I have wanted to read this book but just never picked it up, but it’s on my wishlist. 🙂 Might check into it again. 🙂

    • ASSASSIN NUNS! 🙂 It’s a good book. I’m still undecided about reading the other two books in the series as they don’t follow Ismae.

      Terri M., the Director
      Second Run Reviews
      secondrunreviews.com
      Twitter: @2ndRunReviews
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  2. I’m so glad you liked it, this series is one of my favorites! The writing is gorgeous, and the quotes you picked out makes me want to reread this one. As for the politics, I enjoyed them but I just went with the flow, I actually had no idea about the real historical significance. Whoops? 😛

    • Oh, I’m a history nut, Alise! So when I read historical fiction novels, you can often find me searching for stuff on wikipedia to learn more especially when it is an era I’m not familiar with.

      Terri M., the Director
      Second Run Reviews
      secondrunreviews.com
      Twitter: @2ndRunReviews
      Facebook: facebook.com/secondrunreviews

  3. I really enjoyed this as well, though I’m really familiar with the political climate so that didn’t trip me up at all and I don’t think I realized it would someone less familiar (I’m a historian). I think the only reason I have been quick to move on is the same disappointment you had, finding out its not her story but other sisters in future books.

    • I’m a nut for history, Berls! So I’m often looking stuff up on Wikipedia (not the best source, I know!) when I’m reading historical fiction. I keep a few of my college text books around for just this reason. I’ve been known to pull my Norton anthologies off the shelf and read poems that are referenced in other books.

      Terri M., the Director
      Second Run Reviews
      secondrunreviews.com
      Twitter: @2ndRunReviews
      Facebook: facebook.com/secondrunreviews

  4. Grace @ Rebel Mommy BookBlog

    I have a small bookish club in a mom’s group I am part of and they all read this series so of course I bought it. Now it sits on my kindle ugh. I have it on my to read for this summer so I really want to get to it. Assassin nuns stuck with me too! I mean come on assassin nuns!!

    • I know there’s not much I can say beyond Assassin Nuns and political intrigue. It’s pretty good. 🙂

      Terri M., the Director
      Second Run Reviews
      secondrunreviews.com
      Twitter: @2ndRunReviews
      Facebook: facebook.com/secondrunreviews