Guys, guys, guys. I read Grave Mercy last week and I have not been left salivating for sequel like this in a very long time.

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?

Grave Mercy is a unique book. The premise is exciting, intriguing and the world is really solid. I enjoyed reading every second of the book.  Now things you should know going in: it is not a quick read. The story takes place in the 1400's and it's written for the period. There's a lot of world building happening--not only for the mytho and the nuns, but also for the history of the time. It slows it down some, but once all that is developed, the story is unputdownable.

Why should you read it? 

Well, aside from there being NUN ASSASSINS?!!?!? There's a kick-butt female heroine, who knows her way around a poison, a knife, a bow, and how to kill with her pinky. She's like Nikita--only in fancy clothes and timely speech. She's Nikita in disguise as Elizabeth Bennett! Ah! That's totally it. But she's more than just as assassin--she's a girl, devout and yet uncertain. She's willing to bend, to grow, to change and to take a stand at the same time. I like that about her.

Plus, there's a boy. (Of course there's a boy!) Duval is his name...and he's very Mr. Darcy meets Miles from The Pink Carnation books meets Robin from AC Gaughen's Scarlet. He reads like all these boys I already know, only he's very much the best parts of them and that makes him his own. He's smart, loyal and unwaivering, which I like. He's a little aloof, but that's totally because he has to be. I mean, nun assassin girl. I'd be aloof too. But then he's a great gentleman, worthy of all the swooning that takes place on the pages and off, and he too is kick-butt. And unlike a lot of romance, they develop slowly and it was very believable.

Now, this wasn't just a romance story, even though that definitely sticks out as a major component. It's also more. 

The plot was refreshing and even though I already said that, I think it's worth noting again. I'm a huge fan of historical books (when they're done well) and Grave Mercy totally was. In addition to the characters, all of whom seemed to jump off the page for me, and the amazing writing, the whole world was well-researched and utilized. The politics of the time, the war against France, the over-taking of the church, the fight for power and nobility and truth was all encompassed here. It's very much a world in the middle of changing and  trying to hang on to something.  Plus, toss in a little bit of paranormal and I think it's the perfect backdrop for this story. 

The second book is supposed to follow another character from the nunnery--and I'm pretty sure I know the boy involved, which makes me very happy! I can't wait for it. If you're looking for something a little different, with some mystery and romance then you should look no further.

Have any of you read it yet? What did you think??

Check it out on Goodreads ||| Order it on Amazon 

**Also, as an update, right after this review went live, I read THIS from the author.
Check it out. **


  1. I agree with you--this book was rollicking good fun. And who wouldn't love this series' tagline?

    1. Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf????


  2. I'm actually reading it right now (about 16% left) and really like it, too. Your descriptions of your feelings toward this novel are very similar to my own and I can't wait to find out how this story ends. :)

    Fictional Distraction


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