Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I don't normally read historical novels, so I wasn't so sure at first about the setting/language of the book. But, once I got into it and got used to it, I really enjoyed all of it. I really don't have anything to compare, but I thought the author did a really great job with the setup and world building, and describing the dress, language, and actions of the people to make it accurate to the time setting. I also really enjoyed the author's writing style overall. She was very good at teasing and making you guess. The world of the court was pretty complex and everyone was a traitor. Some of what happened you saw coming, but much of it was a surprise.
I really liked Ismae. I liked that her character was able to grow and develop as the story went on and how she didn't just go in and know everything and do everything perfect. She was made with flaws, which was part of her charm. I loved the dynamics of her and Duval's relationship, how it was allowed to build up slowly and take her by surprise. I loved how he was able to make her question all she had been taught by the sisters. It showed that she was still uncertain of herself even though she thinks she's ready for whatever comes.
There were just a couple of things I didn't really like. First, I really thought Ismae was a little too naive. She had trained for three years with the convent and should have been trained better at faking conversations, fitting in, etc. Also, the ending was, in my opinion, wrapped up a little too perfectly. Everything was just a little too HEA for my taste. All in all, my annoyances weren't enough to detract from my enjoyment of the book. I think any book that can keep me up reading until 6:00 am is worth a 5 star rating.
That being said, although I am looking forward to book two and reading about Sybella, I really wish it was going to be about Ismae instead. Now that she's grown and learned more about herself and what she wants to do in life, I'd really like to hear more about her and Duval to see where her newfound self discovery takes her. But, I am also interested in finding out more about Sybella and Annith, too.
View all my reviews