temp.cmnv.org/templars-today.php But the good points just weren't enough for me to love this book. Unfortunately, the negatives outweigh the positives. First of all, I probably would never have picked up this book on my own if Kennedy hadn't suggested a read-a-long. I choose to avoid historic fiction for a myriad of reasons, the most important being: It's just not my cup of tea. When I have to sit down and think about the setting, time period, a huge cast of characters I have to keep up with, political talk, yada, yada, yada It's too much.
And I don't like having to concentrate while reading for enjoyment. In this case, I liked it, but then, I didn't like it. Personally, I cannot sit back and enjoy a novel if it feels like I'm missing a crucial part of the story. And the time period was important for me. European history is just not my forte, so I took to Wikipedia looking for answers.
Unfortunately for me, I now knew how the story would eventually end unless Levers decided to deviate from history. But at least I knew the time period is the late s. Yay for me. Boo that I had to work so hard to find the answer. Anyway, that was the first strike. The second? Ismae is a trained killer, but there wasn't much killing going on. In fact, there was mostly too much talking about the political plans being made to ward of the French from invasion.
Honestly, I couldn't care less about any of that. Then it got boring. Ismae spent more time talking about all her cool weapons, than using them. She'd go on and on about her poisons and how she could kill someone with this weapon or that poison. I wanted her to take a page from Nike.
No excuses, Ismae! Do something! Do the Macarena. But, I was still interested enough to continue on and I'm glad I did, because it started getting interesting. However, that leads me to my forth point This book was entirely too predictable. Could the bad guy be anymore obvious? LaFevers pretty much dangled him in front of us the entire novel like a carrot, so by the time the main characters goes, "It was you! It's just too easy. There has to be one last plot twist. Speaking of the ending, it felt incredibly rushed to me.
All conflicts came to a more or less, hurried happy ending. As soon as the baddie is caught the book has nothing more to do then fall back on its underdeveloped romance between Ismae and Duval. That's not to say I disliked Duval and Ismae. I actually liked both characters a great deal, but together? Not so much. Grave Mercy spent entirely too much time revolving around the mystery and not much time developing the relationship.
I think the book needed to make its mind up: Romance or plot. It couldn't have both believably, in this case. I was relatively enjoying the book up until that point. When I read that scene I rolled my eyes so hard. I mean, really?! She is a nun assassin and the biggest gift Mortain gives her involves her sexuality? She becomes a human bezoar! Would ya look at that? A woman's body really can be objectified in almost any profession! The mystery surrounding the girl was thrown at the reader several times and we are given no information about her assignment. Same goes for Annith's story. I found that incredibly frustrating.
I realize this is supposed to be a series and perhaps their stories will be told in the sequels, but leaving those gaps made Grave Mercy seem incomplete. I can't help to think the book would have been stronger as a stand alone novel instead of stretching their stories out over three books.
So, will I continue on with this series? At this time, probably not. But I would still recommend it to others looking for a change-up in their usual YA readings, especially those who enjoy historic fiction with romance and a pleasant splash of paranormal. More reviews and other fantastically awesome things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog An instrument of mercy, not vengeance. View all 37 comments. Aug 30, Jo rated it really liked it Shelves: ya , for-review , own , when-can-i-move-in , soul-sister-heroine , e.
Well, I thought I was going to hate that High Points. Breton courts. The coolest convent EVER. Secret passage ways.
A kiss can be deadlier if you mean it. Chess games that could give Ingmar Bergman a run for his money. Court dandies. Soul searching. Low Point. More on this later. And in regards to this… situation … there was a lot of unnecessary boy-induced angst.
But again… more on this later. Soooo much elbow grabbing. Is this a new thing? Do men really have a thing about elbows? OK, I loved Ismae. She was such a fantastic and original character and a fabulous narrator. She is definitely the kind of girl you would ring up if you were in the depths of boy despair and needed someone to shake you out of it because she has these dry observations that were absolutely hilarious. And a headband full of poisonous pearls? AND a knife that fits into her corset?! The only thing that annoyed me about Ismae was the way she suddenly forgot that she was amazing whenever Gavriel loped onto the page.
Issy can I call you Issy? She has a dagger in her booties that can kill a man with a single touch but she turns into a quivering lamb when he grabs her elbow or looks at her in a smouldering way? No, honey. Just no. Love Interest. BUT it did get better…and there were a few scenes that made my Northern heart thaw a little.
There has to be moments where the reader is chomping on their nails to find out whether they will get together or not. It was so very obvious that these two would get together and it seemed everyone in Brittany and probably France could see this, except the two of them. And they are both supposed to intelligent and fiery… but they sometimes came across as quite dim. But like I said, it got there eventually. Whatever shall we do now?
I mean no. Yes I am. Because if you do. Gavriel laughs too…as he wets himself.
Theme Tune. You come up with a song that is relevant to a story set in the courts of Brittany in the 13th century. Think about it. Boy Angst Scale. There is a lot of simpering moments that seem completely out of character for both of them. Just a little bit disappointed.
But I guess that just shows how much I love Ismae when she was brilliant. Sadness Scale.
The author writes about themes that affect women, especially women in the past. Those used to the wine ignore its effects, but others take some con damage. Are you seriously saying that motive is irrelevant in determining who committed a crime? If you wish to visit their workshop in Impruneta, just give Luca a call to setup a time as he's the one that speaks English and alternates between the shop in Florence and the workshop ;-. Article Zo otaxa 5 : — 18 Nov.
Recommended For. People who like historical and fantasy fiction. People who are proud of their scars. People who wish they could have had a thin wire hidden in their bracelet. People who think more men should wear armour and joust. People who would like a sassypants crow to deliver their messages for them.
People who think religion needs more gadgets. People who would like to learn how to gavotte. I received an advance copy of this book from the publishers. You can read this review and lots of other exciting things on my blog here. View all 35 comments. Shelves: is-it-just-me-goddammit , reviewed , masters-of-snoozeville , buddy-or-group-read , like-a-sir , nope , kill-it-with-fire , lots-of-kisses-and-mushy-stuff , the-hate-it-burns , i-am-disappoint.
I tried and tried so far but eventually the inevitable happened. And it felt so damn good! I was fair though. Imagine how much left until it was done. Why did I hate it? I have two big-assed reasons. And a really bad and boring did I mention boring? Now let me expand my hatred a bit. My relationship with historical books is amazing. So amazing that I tend to spill acid on them each time I play mad scientist dress-up.
Then why choose a historical book in the first place? I fell straight into the trap. It was the fucking cover. Does that look like a Historical Romance to you? Thank you guys, you rock. But back to my covers. Just look at it. Does this resemble any of the following? I thought so. I read the Grave Mercy ebook and I see bullshit. The silence feels thick and awkward to me, but any attempt to make small talk seems equally so.
Wondering if he feels it too, I sneak a glance in his direction and am appalled to find him watching me. We both wrench our eyes away, and even though I am no longer looking at him, every part of me is aware of his proximity, of the faint heat coming off his body in the damp autumn air, of the scent- This woman is killing me. How can she be so lifeless??
Does it have action? Throw it to the pigs. Is it boring? Put it in the damn book. Make it more difficult for Anzu to finish the damn thing. But of course Anzu is an idiot and will try her best to read it. A huge surprise there, is it not? So as I was saying, before I rudely interrupted myself, assassins. An assassin is a wicked cool person with amazing murder, stealth and weapon skills who uses them in order to remove certain obstacles that get in the way of their happiness. At least in my opinion. It was logical that I would expect this from title. Why it was filled with boring details and lacked action?
I have no clue. Which reminds me. Read the books? Am I the only one who smells the theft of many elements from the game? The Tears of Mortain have done their job well, for I am certain there is no spark of life burning behind that door. Eagle vision much? What the hell?? Ugh I so much wish the cover had a shirtless dude on it!! View all 56 comments. It is surely one of the most memorable Historical Fiction YA books with fantasy elements there is. I cannot recommend this series highly enough! Ismae is not your typical young adult heroine. She lived her whole live under care of her brutal father, and if not for the convent of St.
Mortain, she would live the rest of her life with abusive husband. Based on her experiences, Ismae think that every men is the same and for that gladly joins the convent to be Death's handmaiden and serve His will. It is surely a batter future than the one she was supposed to have.
Ismae is simply amazing. She has strong opinions and is more than capable of taking care of herself. She is an assassin. I will not be caged. I can dodge a blow or block a knife. I am impervious to poison and know a dozen ways to escape a chokehold or garrote wire. But kindness? I do not know how to defend against that. Ismae's life with the nuns was shortly described and I was hoping to see more of the actual poison and combat training.
Nevertheless, the beginning was very imersive and gripping. After training, Ismae gets her first assignment, which she manages with ease and no questions. But her third task is much harder then even the abbess anticipated. Ismae gets herself in the mids of intrigues and political machinations right at the court of Brittany. She starts to question everyone around her and soon finds out that maybe, the only person whom she can truly trust, is the one she wasn't supposed to.
The one convent sent her to spy on, Duval. I'm not going to lie, it is not always fast paced, but rather slowly revealing, intriguing and mystrious story with lots of spying at court. You can't be sure whom to trust. The prose is also worth mentioning, as it was absolutely beautiful and well suited the story. Grave Mercy has the right amount of romance - Ismae's relationship with Duval is swoon worthy and amusing from the beginning - blended with political intrigue, court life, poisons and killing.
If you enjoy stories set in the past, gorgeous prose and interestingly balanced romance, politics and kickass-ness, as well as if you're interested in reading about Assassin Nuns I'm sure everyone is a bit interested in that! I sure was and am not in the least disappointed , then Grave Mercy is meant right for you. Yes, I think. This is what I want to be. View all 16 comments. Feb 02, Kat Kennedy rated it liked it Shelves: kat-s-book-reviews , the-great-shelf-of-meh , romance-romance-romance , to-ya-or-not-to-ya.
Grave Mercy is the improbable tale of an assassin-y murder-nun, Ismae, on a mission to rescue the Duchess of Brittany from a fate worse than death — a really disgusting old, pervert man. And given those facts, you would be forgiven for Grave Mercy is the improbable tale of an assassin-y murder-nun, Ismae, on a mission to rescue the Duchess of Brittany from a fate worse than death — a really disgusting old, pervert man.
They tried to do that with that Pirates porn movie. The director loved it so much he cut out the sex and rereleased it as a feature movie. The premise was very interesting and I think the idea was most noteworthy. Certainly, both characters are likable and work well together as a team. But the actual romance is never particularly breathtaking or impassioned. Which would be fine if the movie had more throat-cutting and less awkward moments where the two main characters almost kiss. The mystery is laughably easy to deduce which, for me, just added to a rather average reading fare.
I recommend this book to those that like the idea of assassin-nuns without dealing with the mess and teenagers who want a gateway book to the historical romance genre. Check out our joint review of this book on Cuddlebuggery Mar 26, Maja The Nocturnal Library rated it really liked it Shelves: surprise-surprise , reviewed-in , favorites , totally-saw-that-coming , historical-fiction , netgalley , own-a-dtb , cover-lust , just-another-book-crush , all-the-right-choices.
What a pleasant surprise this was! Grave Mercy won me over in chapter one and I was unable to put down Ferguson, my Kindle, until I finished it. I always have troubles getting through the middle part of a book, but that was not the case here at all. After being abused for her entire life by her vicious father and then married off at fourteen to an equally vicious husband, Ismae is saved by a hedge priest on her wedding night What a pleasant surprise this was!
After being abused for her entire life by her vicious father and then married off at fourteen to an equally vicious husband, Ismae is saved by a hedge priest on her wedding night and taken to a convent where she is told that she is a daughter of Mortain, the god of death. Ismae is reborn in the convent, determined to make the absolute best of the second chance life has given her. She is a good and dedicated student. Duval seems to be loyal to the duchess, he is her half-brother after all, but Ismae is under orders to investigate him. What can be more fun than nuns who turned You shall not murder into You shall murder only those we order you to and You shall not commit adultery into You shall seduce for information, but not for love?
Everyone, including myself, was thrilled by the idea of killer nuns, but that part proved to be just a little bit disappointing because these nuns had very little in common with actual nuns. I expected more conflict between their religion and their actions, but LaFevers chose another direction altogether. I really admired Ismae. Getting to know her was my favorite part of this book. I liked her spirit and her intelligence, and I felt that her actions were pretty consistent, a sure sign of a well-built character.
While I had a lot of fun reading it, Grave Mercy was by no means perfect. People with little patience for political intrigue will probably find themselves bored from time to time, especially around the middle. There is also the small issue of predictability: I knew who the traitor was about ten seconds after he showed up and it left me disappointed because I loved everything else so much. Grave Mercy was much more fun than I expected it to be. View all 28 comments. Jul 28, Kelly and the Book Boar rated it it was ok Shelves: liburrrrrry-book , pretty-on-the-outside , read-in , everyone-loved-it-but-me.
And so it is with us; we serve as handmaids to Death. When we are guided by His will, killing is a sacrament. But then the MC was given the assignment that I thought would be the driving force throughout the book, only to find out what was really going to happen was not how I had imagined. Talk about a real bait and switch. It was like going to pick up your brand new blue sports wagon and instead walking away with. Grave Mercy could be used as an exhibit of why YA books get a bad rap. For the love of Tom Cruise, why do authors assume young people are stupid? View all 9 comments. Shelves: read , ya-fantasy , fantasy , historical-fiction , arc , young-adult.
Five Solid Stars! See, I was taught: To walk like a bird, not like an elephant. Keep my ankles and knees together when I sit. My school tie is not to be used as a napkin. God can read my thoughts so keep them pure. My foul and sarcastic mouth will gain me no points in life. Come on! What did you expect? She learned from the Saint Mortmain nuns: Stealth and cunning knife combat to bring down a man with a marque of Death. Feminine artistry to lure her victims into a false sense of security.
The chemistry of poison making that could kill a man a hundred different ways. Defense moves to escape a chokehold or garrote. If those were the lessons being taught by the nuns I grew up with, I'd like to believe I would not have been such a disappointment. I have to say that prior to starting Grave Mercy I was skeptical about whether I would be able to keep my beliefs and deep seeded convictions about religion and faith enough at bay to enjoy this story.
I enjoyed the political backdrop, the killer nuns, the historical time period, the constant intrigue and yes you heard me right For me, it all blended perfectly to make Grave Mercy a fantastical story. There, she learns the skills to keep her safe from ever being hurt by a man again. After several years of combat training, she has been molded into a perfect assassin and is thrust into the political battle between three countries that fight for power and land, where she must carry out the orders of her convent.
However, when the desires of her convent collide with the path of her heart, Ismae is forced to make a choice between executing a command from her convent and doing what she believes in her heart is right. Ismae and Duval were a perfect pair of protags, and their story was filled with enough struggle and romantic tension to keep me glued to the eInk on my reader.
I loved how their relationship developed at a slow and deliberate pace. It made their love for one another believable and perfect. Awesome read! View all 49 comments. Feb 01, Sophia rated it really liked it. View all 3 comments. Mar 03, Sh3lly GrumpyBookGrrrl. Sooo good.
This book takes place in the 15th century. Ismae escapes from a brutal arranged marriage and is taken to the convent of St. There, she is trained to be the god's assassin. Ismae is then sent into a dangerous game of politics and betrayal at the court of young Anne, the Duchess of Brittany. Holy cow. The feels! Sybella, Beast, de Lornay, Anne Well, ahem, so I liked this book just a little and recommend it. There is no love triangle! No annoying heroine. Lots of action. A lot of the characters were based on real people and historical events. I'm excited to read the next one, which is about Sybella.
A definite favorite! Actually if Grave Mercy is by no means a bad book, I wasn't impressed either. What surprises me the most is how an original concept as Assassin nuns can lead me to feel slightly underwhelmed. I guess that expectations are everything. To be bored to death. And yet, strangely, the biggest - only one? Weird right? Undeniably, what could be more fascinating than the discovery of the daughters of Death, more known as St Mortain's nouns, whose purpose is to learn an incredible amount of ways to be a deadly assassin?
Tell me? Therefore I wasn't bored, but interested, hooked, even - political calculations always draw me in, and I must confess that the settings immensely pleased me. Indeed there're so many periods which have not yet been explored by the literature! However, I'm sorry, but what was this obvious twist? For real, I was waiting and waiting and waiting for the characters to get to the same conclusion as me and Oh. They took their time for sure.
As a result, I can't say that the mystery was compelling. Indeed while the writing, the details of the political complots enthralled me, I didn't care much about the big revelation of the villains' identity, for it was pretty obvious since the beginning. Moreover, I couldn't help but notice the lack of accuracy in the historical facts - I don't know if that's supposed to be accurate, but in case you're wondering, that's not.
Oh, yes, the big events are "true", but except from them, every character is pictured in a wrong way. Take Alain d'Albret, for example. Yes he was betrothed to Anne de Bretagne, but he never had 6 wifes only one, actually. As for Fedrik de Nemours And so on. To be fair, even Dumas was known for romanticizing grandly his characters, so I'm not sure that it can be considered as a flaw.
I thought I'd point it, anyway, because I'm an History nerd sorry about that. Seriously, lost enough, aren't you? Okay, I'm annoying. I stop here. But then, I must point that I have not the sufficient knowledge to judge if the way the characters speak can be considered as accurate for s I have to admit that I have many doubts, because it appeared rather modern to me. Now, what I can judge are the mistakes when French language is used. Of course it was rare - Thanks Mortain! At all. One might argue that I make grammar mistakes in English as well, and it's true sorry about that.
But the fact is, I'm not publishing a book, but writing a review. But let's talk about the characters , shall we? Her mission? To protect the Duchess, Anne de Bretagne, while unraveling the layers of treason the young ruler faces. In a word : Ismae must use her talent to figure out who is plotting against the duchess, including her closest support, Gavriel Duval. Well, I haven't much to reproach her, to be fair.
Indeed I could understand her decisions, and contrary to some many? On the contrary, she thinks before acting, and if she IS long to realize some facts DUH , I can't say that she's blinded by love, as she wonders why and who and how is right all the freaking time. She didn't trust Gavriel on sight for Mortain's sake! I didn't care so much about her either. In my opinion her monologues lacked of sincerity and believability, as I often found myself wondering Who thinks like that?
Every thought is too neat, and I never really felt her struggle , question - I was told so, but never get the feeling, you know? He is nice, kind, but has the bad habit to order Ismae around. Yet he is nice.
And, you know, he is Well, okay, mostly dull. As the rest of the story, everything felt too mild to me, and no, my heart never missed a beat. Lack of strong feelings indeed. Yes, so-called , because we are told that they are the villains in this story, but never really shown, or not enough, in my opinion.
Take d'Albret, for example. Oh, yes, he seems really disgusting, but what does he really do? To me, the only real villains are Ismae's father and her previous husband. Indeed even if they exist , except for the beginning, the other characters fall into the background pretty fast, unfortunately.
Personally, I'm eager to learn more about Beast how awesome is that name, by the way? It's pretty obvious that the cons overtake the pros by far. Now, as I did enjoy my reading still, I decided for a three that I can't help but find quite generous. For more of my reviews, please visit View all 21 comments. Feb 09, Robin Bridge Four rated it really liked it Shelves: stars , kick-ass-heroines. This one is more Political while the next in the series has a lot more action. Still Assassin Nuns are always interesting. Original Review: This is an interesting YA novel as it is set in the s so it is somewhat historical but at the same time fantasy.
There is royal intrigue, plots, strange customs and dangerous women. Ismae has been marked since birth. She is a daughter of death better known as Saint Mortain. Daughters of death it seems are beautiful and have some other worldly qualities to them. She is saved from an arranged marriage and sent to a convent for daughters of Mortain. After years in the convent the time had finally come be sent on her first assignment. She killed a man that might have repented his past transgressions and was trying to clear his name for Brittany the country not the girl.
To figure out who is plotting against Brittany she must set off to court with Gavriel Duval where she can use her gifts to assess who is plotting against Brittany and the Duchess Anne. I liked that there were complex characters in this novel. No one was all good or all bad. Even our heroine is sorely misunderstood. She can tell when someone is about to die or sense them after they have died. But she is feared as death is feared. Gavriel too is complex dutiful to the core but sometimes he goes against the norm for what he thinks is right even if it brands him a traitor to his sworn saint.
The romance that eventually grows between them is sweet and takes its time to blossom. He sees Ismae for who and what she truly is and never tries to change her. I felt so bad for Anne, she has to marry to make an alliance to keep her kingdom that is on the brink of war but some of her suitors are treacherous and if wed she will surely die soon after so they can control her kingdom.
The story was so interesting and watching Ismae grow into a bold woman was fascinating. I loved how she came to better understand Mortain and the two sides of him better throughout the book to realize possibly that being an assassin was not all he wanted for his daughters. Incredibly unique heroine. View all 5 comments. Shelves: starred , fantasy , why-the-hype , , romancelandia , ya , mythopoeic , 4. When I saw Kirkus give a starred review to the 4th book in this world and make it sounds so enticing, with all the court intrigue and assassinating, I got super excited and thought maybe this would be the case when I try an old DNF and love it and have a whole new set of fantasy books to gush over and look forward to.
But NO, "Grave Mercy" is still too shallow and pedestrian for my taste. Absolutely love the premise, which reminds me a bit of "The Cruel Prince. Original review I don't know, for a book that received so many starred reviews it is oddly superficial and immature. Maybe too much of a romance?
Not interested in finishing. View all 34 comments. Sep 30, Rachel Reads Ravenously rated it really liked it Shelves: paperback , fantasy , ya-fantasy , young-adult. There, she is schooled in the art of being an assassin and dedicated to carry out his work. For years she is trained in many different ways to kill a man, and when she becomes 17 she is sent on her first assignment.
Fairly soon Ismae is wrapped up in a mission to help the Duchess of Brittany, and forced to work with a man named Duval, who also does not want Ismae's help. I really liked this book, but it fell short of that something special that would make me love it. Ismae is a very compelling character, if a bit ill-prepared for the assignment she was given. Duval was interesting as well, but I never really felt as if the reader really got to know him.
The relationship between him and Ismae could technically be filed under slow-build, but it felt forced to me. I wish more time had been spent building their relationship because it very much felt like it went from "I can't trust you" to "We will do our best to be together in the future" in a matter of 50 pages or so. The aboutface was too quick for my tastes. It was done very well, but I grew a bit tiresome of it by the end of the book. The book also promoted important aspects such as to think for yourself, second chances, and first impressions are not always correct.
All very important themes for a ya novel. I am very excited to read Sybella's book next, I feel like she would be an incredibly interesting character. PS: view spoiler [ I think the fact that Ismae literally saved Duval with her magic vagina is fucking hilarious.
If only we all had that ability hide spoiler ] View all 47 comments. This is a long drawn out book and I wasn't bored not one time Ismae's mom tried to rid her in the womb with poison from a herbwitch and all of this did was give her a scar and make her a daughter of St. When she is older her dad sells her to a horrible man who was trying to make her do her wifely duties, but once he saw her scar, he was terrified.
Everyone that knew who she was, was terrified of her. The abess of St. Mortain Convent brings Ismae into the fold and trains her as an assassin for death. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.
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