Monday, January 16, 2012
Grave Mercy (review)
This book was pure guilty pleasure read for me. It's got a abbey full of assassins, many who happen to be daughters of death himself, a prickly heroine who thinks she hates men *cough doesn't last cough* court politics, treason and arranged marriages. Seriously, how can I not read a book where a woman carries a crossbow under her dress?
If I complained about this book being a guilty pleasure read it would be like buying blue shoes and disliking them for not being green. I could say all the things this book isn't. It isn't high fantasy, in fact the magic elements are fairly minor. It isn't Melina Marchetta that makes me think and feel about the world. But it's a guilty pleasure, the type of book you're not sure you want to tell people you're reading but that you want to read anyways. It's the type of book that makes you both groan and giggle at the romance, but you're okay with that because that's what the book is going for.
Ismae took awhile to grow on me. She's a bit cold and bloodthirsty. She's also got a naiveté that frustrated me at first. She buys into the covent way too quickly without any skepticism. But she's also a young uneducated farm girl and the covent is her last hope. So it is understandable. Fortunately she grows out of the blind devotion, because let's be honest, blind devotion isn't very fun to read.
I actually liked Duval pretty quickly. He was analytical, intelligent and the most devoted brother a sister could ask for. Maybe it's my natural big sister tendency gravitating towards his big brotherness, but his family devotion warmed my heart.
This book is mainly a romance. But it happens slowly enough over the course of a book, with a plot going on around it, that I actually enjoyed it. It's not one of those immediately "Then she saw a boy and forgot that she hated men," things. Or "OOOO Pretty Girl with Pointy Knives," things. It was built over the course of the book as they worked together towards a common goal.
Maybe it just found me at the right mood. I enjoyed the historical setting, the drama and intrigue of court. It was pretty predictable, but the predictions were giggly-worthy. This book may be flawed, but it was also fun.
Many thanks to Mindy over at Magical Urban Fantasy Reads for hosting the best ARC tours around. If you haven't checked out her blog you should, also follow her on twitter.