Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
[Dislcaimer: I received a free copy of the ebook edition from NetGalley.]
I'm very surprised that I enjoyed this book so much. It's a typical angsty teen romance, but there's so much more going on that I managed to overlook that for the most part. According to the author's note, the book is based on actual events from the Middle Ages, but since I'm far from an historian I won't comment on the authenticity. Overall this was well-written, intriguing, and flowed pretty well. I didn't really like how melodramatic Ismae could be when thinking about whether she loved Duval or not, but again, teen angst. I guess I can forgive it because of her horrible life up until she was 14, and for the rest of the book she's only 17 and spent years in a "convent," so it's to be expected.
The plots were so thick I didn't really see who was behind everything until Sybella manages to speak with Ismae for 5 seconds, well into the second half of the book. I thought the ending was a bit rushed, considering all the build-up, but knowing that it's a series makes up for it.
The fantasy aspects of the story were interesting, since it appears that there is much more to the "saint" Mortain than the abbess is willing to share with the girls in the convent. As Ismae figures it out, it gets more and more complicated. It will be interesting to see in book 2 how involved the abbess is in the deception. I also look forward to seeing the role Mortain will play in Ismae's new direction.
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