Author: Robin LaFevers
Title: "Grave mercy"
Book 1 in series His fair assassin
Main character: Ismae
I kept hearing about this book for the longest time so I finally decided to give it a try :) it's the first in... I wanna say series of companion novels, because each installment focuses on a different heroine, but since I haven't read the rest of them yet, I can't really say how really connected they are to each other... we do meet the heroines of book #2 and #3 in this one, sooo... take it as you will ;) first, let me say a little bit more about the world and our main character, Ismae :)
She runs away after her father marries her off to a truly awful man... she then goes to the convent of St. Mortain, where the nuns are trained to be deadly assassins in service of the God of Death himself... sounds pretty cool, right? :) she spends there a few years training, and then is sent off for her first official mission... and a big one at that :) I won't go into more details about it, because that would include some spoilers... moving on ;) this whole story is a historical one, taking place... I wanna say sometime in the 1500s... but I'm not entirely sure :) with a bit of a fantasy-ish twist to it... but not a lot :) there are a lot of true historical figures and events within the pages of this novel... but there are also mystical marks and certain paranormal abilities to keep things surprising and interesting ;) now that we have a few basic informations out of the way, let me tell you about my thoughts and feelings... cause I have a few of them to share ;)
I have some mixed feelings about this book... on the one hand, I think the whole basis for this story was very interesting, and once I heard about deadly nuns, I was curious... as it turns out, this book revolves about politics and intrigues much more than action, so it definitely did not turned out how I expected it to... that's also the reason why it took me quite some time to finish the book... it's fairly slow, at least at the beginning... we have world building, introducing the characters... the second half of the book reads definitely faster :) Ismae as the heroine of the story is... again, I have some mixed feelings here... on the one hand, I was intrigued by the things she could do and certain decisions she made along the way... and on the other hand, there were times when she acted like a naive teenager... which, technically she still was, so I'm not sure how much I can actually blame her for that :) there is a little bit of romance in this novel, but definitely not at the centre of everything... more in the background and it's not a... how to best describe it so I won't spoil anything big... I think it's definitely not the end of that particular story :) besides Ismae, we are introduced to two other Deathmaidens, Sybella and Annith, and both of them have their own books already... honestly, I am much more interested in those stories, cause I have a feeling I might enjoy them more... :) all in all it was an interesting novel that did a really good job at introducing us to all the main players, explaining a lot of the rules and just generally getting us interested in what's gonna hapen next :) I'm looking forward to continue on with the series :)