Title: Grave Mercy
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publication: April 3rd 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Received: Received from Netgalley
Rating: 3 out of 5
Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?
Do you want the good news or the bad news? The good news is, I got an e-mail about this book yesterday and for the first time ever was able to successful download it onto my Kindle from netgalley! (This has largely been the problem with my netgalley reviews. I have to read them using adobe and yuck, the pages don’t move nicely.)
I finished it in a day. That’s right I basically just sat down and read this book. At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to stomach it, for one it’s really historical. It’s historical in a sense that it’s about men that beat women and women that run away to convents.
And then it becomes nothing like a historical novel because the convent Ismae ends up in, is probably the coolest convent out there. She’s a daughter of Death, meaning before she was born an herb witch tried to poison her, leaving her with a big scar along her side. She lived anyway and now she’s meant to kill men, not for sport, but as to serve Death itself.
Things I didn’t agree with:
a) Calling Death Mortain. I might get a bit more of reasoning out of this later like if Mortain means Death in another language or something, but if it’s literally just a name, then I could have done without it.
b) Calling Death a God. Death is Death, it’s not like Hades. Death isn’t going to show up with fiery blue hair and convince a girl named Meg to try and overthrow Hercules (wrong story sorry.) My point is that Death is Death.
c) Kick butt heroines. I understand it in Ismae’s position why she’d hate all men and have only a tiny problem in becoming an assassin, but I guess I’m just sick of girls trying to be action heroes in books.
Otherwise the book is good. Ismae finds out who she is and what she can do (heal quickly, is impervious to plagues, can see death marks on a person) and then learns how to kill a man in a variety of different ways. (again, I’m calling that part stereotypical because there’s a lot of that out there.)
And then there is a love story with a man all tied into it, which is what made me like the book more. I like the fact that the author made Ismae a man hating feminist and then tried to show her that not all men are bad. That was refreshing.
In the end, Ismae’s story ends and the next book is planning to focus on Sybella, one of the other daughters. I have some high hopes for this series as I’ve seen it compared to Tamora Pierce, but I hope it delivers. This book was okay for me, and I look forward to seeing the next.