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A middle school librarian who reviews Mg and YA books.
1. Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

4 Seven-Layer Bars.

Cover Love:  Not really.  It's okay, but for some reason I just don't really love it.

Why I Wanted to Read This:  I saw some good reviews for this book when it came out in early April.  I was able to get a copy on NetGalley, but it expired so I had to wait to check it out from my public library.  I had also just finished (and totally LOVED) The False Prince so I was ready for another book set in medieval type times.  Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?
I Kept Reading Because:  The plot captured my attention right away!

Romance?:  Yes!!

What I Liked (& Didn't):
I must admit I didn't love Ismae at first.  I don't like those kind of main characters that blindly follow an authority figure in their life.  However, the author did a great job setting up why Ismae would blindly follow the nuns who taught her to be an assassin.  They totally rescued her from an awful, awful life and/or early death.  It's understandable that she would be so devoted to them.  And the author does give her room to grow--and learn to trust her own instincts and heart.

I did love Duval.  He was so perfect for Ismae!  And he was so good and devoted to his cousin that you just couldn't help but adore him.

Speaking of his cousin, I loved Anne.  For one so very young she truly was able to grasp what needed to happen in her life for her country.  And, she trusted her heart and Duval (and eventually Ismae) to help her with her decisions.

I had figured out who the traitor probably was early on, so it didn't come as a surprise to me.  But, that didn't detract from the story at all.  It was paced well and there was a lot of action.

This is a series, but from how this copy ended it looks like the next book will have a different main character.  This is welcome news because Ismae's and Duval's story ended just right.  I wouldn't mind seeing them again but I don't need to have them go through more trauma!

To Sum Up:  This is a book I will be adding to my library!  It;s a great action packed story that I am sure middle school readers will enjoy!

Book checked out from my public library.