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?
Yes, this book has a lot of history in it but the author makes it read like fantasy. I think that's what I enjoyed the most about it. I also enjoyed all the politics. Once I concentrated, I could understand who was who and where they came from. I was kind of proud of myself at the end because I couldn't believe I got what was happening in the book.
Another thing that was freaking unbelievable about Grave Mercy were the characters. OH MY GOD! The relationship between Ismae and Duval reminded me a lot of Fire and Brigan from Fire by Kristin Cashore. The sexual tension and dislike between the characters made their reunion sweeter at the end. I can't forget about the secondary characters like, "Beast" which I loved! And Annith and Sybella were also very interesting characters. There were some characters that gave me the heevy jeevies but I'm not going to mention them because that would be a spoiler.
I loved the "figuring out who the bad guy is" part of the book. I could not for the life of me know who it was. I kind of questioned that person's motivations and character but never thought of them as the bad guy. I still think there's someone close to Ismae that has questionable intentions towards her and the duchess, Do not highlight if you haven't read Grave Mercy ---> [The reverend mother].
This book was full of action, romance and awesomeness. I recommend Grave Mercy to fans of Kristin Cashore, Melina Marchetta, Fantasy lovers and whoever thinks that assassin nuns are cool .