"Why be a sheep when you can be the wolf?
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?"
4 stars ☆☆☆☆
I went into this book not really expecting to like it. The book was set in the 1480s France about Royal family and war. I personality never read a book like Grave Mercy and never really thought I would enjoy it much but I absolutely loved it! It took me some time to get comfortable with the norms of society back then and took me some time to keep up with the way they talked and thought and who was who but I had the hang of it once I kept reading. This book is really strong with finding oneself in the world,feminist main character, and romance to just swoon over.
I first want to start talking about the little things that I didn't enjoy as much and that was the norms of society. Obviously it is historical writing so most content in the book is true in what men thought of women and what the women roles were in a men's life and in society. While reading I could not get over how young the essential characters were. Ismae is only 17, Gabriel Duval is about a year or two older than her and Anne the awaiting duchess is only 13! And they all carried themselves in this book as if they were in there 20's. It made me uncomfortable to know all the situation that occurs while knowing their ages but it's understandable in that day of age. I could not get over my disturbance in some of the cruel men that had a part in this book but it only made me root stronger for Ismae and everyone else to resolve the problems that occured.
Beside the norms and disturbing characters I really adore Ismae she is a strong independent character that simple will not be the damsel in distress. In my eyes she knew she had the strength and the fighting techniques to challenge any man that tried to get in her way and she was so bad ass for that. She did have her weakness from her past but I felt like she use that weakness to keep her mind clear of any troubles that can block her judgement. She wasn't perfect though, I disliked how she kept going back and forth between her thoughts a lot and how she always use the convent as a excuse instead of following her heart and gut but I felt like towards the end of the book she grew and develop into what she was meant to be and you can see at the end how she has her own mind and judgement and beliefs and it was amazing to see.
Gabriel Duval.... What a dreamboat! I love everything Duval represented and stand for I could not see one flaw in that man. He was chivalrous, caring, determined, and had a heart so big for the ones he loved I couldn't stand to see him in bad situations. As you can tell I have a huge crush on Duval lol I really enjoyed his witty, sensitive, and sassy attitude and I simple could not get enough of him.
I could go on and on about each character but I feel like it would take ages. So overall I really enjoyed this book, it was not what I was expecting. I love Ismae character and her rebel attitude. Pick up Grave Mercy ASAP!
Thanks for reading♡