Grave Mercy… Pun Intended?


So I finished Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers today. The title is clearly a pun on the work, which normally I would like, but I didn’t like the book all that much.

Sorry LaFevers, I realize that a lot of research must have poured into this book to get dates and historical accuracy all balanced out, but I had no real feel for the main character Ismae Rienne. She just seemed so feeble to me. She was a novice assassin and all, but she still feared men after all of it.

And her kills! Seriously, could you make death less scary and justified and just plain bland? I felt like being an assassin and killing people would be more exciting less… well there’s no better word than bland.

I didn’t care for the writing style either, but that is just a personal preference. If I’m reading first person and I don’t feel for the main character then something is definitely wrong. But the archaic style in which it was written is relevant to the plot’s setting but I had so much trouble getting into it. Not to mention the plot only picked up in the last 30 or so pages.

Also, the subterfuge amongst the nobles and counts and what have you was just boring to me. I never felt a sense of urgency or danger reading this book. The whole thing was just too polite for backstabbing nobility. I guess I’m used to Game of Thrones where everyone is ruthless when it comes to achieving their plans, I feel like that is true human nature. It’s not so black and white as this novel puts it. (Something I’m trying desperately to incorporate in my own works, it’s all a grey area people!)

The book was well researched and well executed for sure, but it really isn’t my thing. It’s far too harlequin romance for my taste. I feel like it needs a shirtless man baring his nipples on the cover with a woman draped over him touching his taut muscles.

I can see how some may like it and if you do, then good on yah. Either way, I’m not going to continue with the series, just not for me.

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