Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
I really liked the idea for this YA novel. A young girl is saved from a sham of a disgusting marriage and sent to the safety of a convent, where she learns that she is actually the daughter of Death. Ismae learns she has special talents passed down to her from her father and so she starts learning the art of being an assassin. She is sent out for an assignment in Brittany where soon she must decide between her loyalty to the convent of St. Mortain and her newfound love.
Like I said, I thought the concept for this novel was great. I was relieved for Isame when she was saved from her "marriage" and thrust into a welcoming community where she felt she could belong and thrive. I also felt for her when she discovered that community might not be as objective as they claimed and she had to decided between them and her new love, it's obviously a hard decision to make!
Overall, however, this book was up and down for me. I thought I was going to be hooked after the first couple chapters, but then my interest waned and it wasn't until about halfway through the novel that my interest really picked up again. I'm not sure why this was the case, except that I can say that I felt like the writing was dry at times. The plot throughout was wholly interesting, though. A strange combination.
On a positive note, Grave Mercy is the first in the His Fair Assassin series, but can be read as a standalone. It seems as though the second novel, due out Spring 2013, will focus on Sybella - a secondary character in Grave Mercy.
If I did half stars, Grave Mercy would be a three and half star book for me. I liked it, but it didn't fall into that category of "really liked" for me. The concept was awesome, but the book was a little dry at times for me. Check it out if you like YA paranormal historical fiction; Grave Mercy will be released April 3rd.