May 22, 2012
Latest Read: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)
Book: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)
Author: Robin LaFevers
Category: Young Adult - Fantasy
(Note: I've noticed that when I have issues with the book, it's easier to just rant.)
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain. 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. (Adapted from Goodreads.com)
I was really disappointed with this book and by the end, I had a lot of issues with it. It's sad because the premise itself is so interesting (along with all the characters). A pretty dark tone is set early on and deals with the poor treatment of women. Especially women like Ismae who are marked by Mortain, the god of Death. But more importantly, it seemed like the book was going to be about how they rise above it. How they become skilled fighters, educated and strong through the help of the St. Mortain convent. I mean, Ismae essentially becomes an assassin nun! In my eyes, this was sure to be an interesting read.
Unfortunately, it was not.
As a character, I really liked Ismae and all the other characters the author introduces. Like Duval (the love interest), Ismae's sister-in-arms Annith and Sybella and the future Duchess Anne. Even the villains were interesting. No character was black and white and they all had their own agendas. The problem was with the execution. Ismae spends most of the book waiting. She sits around waiting for someone (usually the convent) to tell her what to do and who her next target should be. That's not interesting! Same for the political intrigue of the book. I was only interested in it because it involved the protection of the duchess, which then involved Ismae to be her bad-ass self. But these moments are pretty rare. And now... for my biggest problem with the book! Which had me rolling my eyes and going OMG you've got to be kidding me.
(Skip now if you don't want spoilers...)
Ismae's specialty is poisons. Not only is she skilled at creating them, she's also immune to the effects of any poison as well. Soon after she and Duval admit their feelings to one another (in one of the most under-developed, instant-love romances ever), he gets poisoned. The antidote? Sex. (No joke.) By having sex with him, she is able to literally take the poison into her body and neutralize it. Seriously?! As you can imagine, I was happy that the book ended shortly after that scene.
Do I recommend?: No I don't. Like I said, I had high hopes when I started this book and in the end, it was extremely disappointing.