My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Assassins, political intrigue and a romance to make you blush and swoon – usually on the same page.
Grave Mercy was one hell of a ride. From a small town country girl, to the Duchess’s palace, Ismae follows her own path to freedom, away from her oppressors. I love fantasy, particularly historical fiction, preferably with badass ladies. This book has it in spades! Ismael is a strong character, coming out of a terrible childhood, to a forceful (and very brief) marriage, to her calling in life as Saint Mortain’s Daughter, deliverer or both wrath and mercy. The concept for this book blew me away, giving me HIGH hopes! It did NOT disappoint.
The main character, Ismae, has a great supporting cast, one that never feels one-dimensional, or flat. Her assassin sisters were some of my favourite, and I cannot wait to read about their own stories in the two sequels. The nuns and the abbess were all so different – some very cheeky, which brought me endless amusement.
Then there was the cast at the palace. Duval, oh sweet Duval, what a man. The sass, arguments and general chemistry between him and Ismae is electric. Though they both hate each other in the beginning (one of my favourite tropes!), they fall dizzyingly in love, in the most perfect way, through their mutual love of Brittany and the Duchess. Duval has two friends that I also adore, Beast in particular. There were many great scenes with them involved, and again, I loved how none of them seemed flat to me. If I could, I’d leap inside the Grave Mercy world just to have drinks with these awesome characters!
The only criticism I have for Grave Mercy, is that Ismae didn’t figure out some key twists sooner. It didn’t seem completely illogical that she didn’t think of them, but I found myself nearly yelling at the books at time to smarten up!
The story is fabulous, the world is intriguing and well described. The characters are amazing, and all of it comes together in a fabulous book, that wraps up nicely, while leaving a few strings open for the sequels. I know I’ll be picking up Dark Triumph as soon as possible, and I highly recommend this book to lovers of fantasy or historical fiction in general, young or old, this book is for you! 5 stars!