“Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?”
Ismae has spent years being abused by her father, and then sold onto to be abused by a husband. She is then saved by a priest and taken to a convent to serve St Mortain, where she is to kill those who have had the mark placed upon them. Ismae has been given a second chance and she is determined to make the most of it. She is an obedient student. Mortain will always come first.
To be honest, I didn’t really have that high expectations of Grave Mercy when I went into, but it had my attention grabbed from the first chapter and was a pleasant suprise. I loved the concept of the saints and the convent and these women serving St. Mortain, (I mean who wouldn’t love assassin nuns?) I found the concept very original and intriguing. Grave Mercy’s plot was very politicised, however, I really enjoyed the political aspect of this book. Don’t get me wrong, I could see how this may bore a lot of people. However, being someone who enjoys politics I did enjoy it. Especially since many young adult books don’t have a plot involving so much politics and it was actually very refreshing.
The characters were also very likeable and I felt like their was a large amount of character development. Ismae was a character which I felt experienced the most character development as she went from feeling vulnerable as she was sold from her father to a new husband, and then she found strength in the convent and became independent and brave. In the beginning, when Ismae first went on her assignments I felt like she was a bit naive and blindly followed orders given my the Convent and St. Mortain, which shows a lot of loyalty. Then throughout the book I enjoyed the development of her character in her questioning Mortain and, most importantly the Convent, and she eventually decided which path she wanted to take herself. I also enjoyed Duval, and again I loved the development and depth of his character. I would have liked to see more of other characters and I would have liked to have seen more depth to these characters. However, I did enjoy the book despite this. The main this I loved about the characters was the amount of loyalty shown towards each other.
The romance in this book was lovely. It wasn’t too rushed and I really enjoyed seeing the relationship development between Duval and Ismae, as it went from distrust to love.
The writing was beautiful in this book and it flowed nicely, with a lovely pace. Its a must read and I would definitely recommend to those who enjoy Historical Fiction, with some politics, Romance and Fantasy.