Monday, May 28, 2012

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

genre: ya historical fantasy

Growing up as the daughter of a turnip farmer, life was never particularly easy for Ismae, but add to that the fact that she was born scarred and at seventeen sold off to an arranged marriage - life is bleak.  Well, bleak until she is taught her true purpose: to be a handmaiden of Death, to bring about his wishes and lead out of this life those he has marked.

Trained to be an assassin, Ismae is soon on a mission with colossal consequences.  The fate of a duchy is in the balance as Ismae uses all her newly learned skills to root out traitors, and more importantly, find out what Death truly desires for his children.

Another winner.  Ismae is strong yet vulnerable.  The plot is extremely political, in a medieval way, but also really accessible if you are willing to make a little effort.  The romantic pacing was good and even though one resolution at the end felt a bit off to me, I was overall really pleased with the arc and depth of the story.  I like that there is a place for forgiveness in this book, and for making their choices that feel truly right to us, despite pressure from others to differently - both qualities I'd like to encourage in my own daughter.  Very entertaining historical fantasy.  4.5 stars.

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