GRAVE MERCY by R.L. LaFevers

Why be the 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?”

I need to start this review with an caveat.  I love historical fiction. I love chick assassins.  I love unlikely love stories. 

I loved GRAVE MERCY and devoured the 500-plus pages in one afternoon.

If you liked Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING, you’ll probably enjoy GRAVE MERCY.  The difference, however, is that the paranormal elements in GRAVE MERCY are understated.   The story doesn’t revolve on magic or super powers as much as it does on science and the kick-butt ability to use poison. 

It has great characters and good plot twists.  My only complaint is that it introduced characters that we don’t get to see in action all that much, but will likely get to know in the companion novels. Which I will most definitely look forward to!

GRAVE MERCY will be available on April 3.


“Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.”

Chloe is a dancing taco with a shoe fetish. 

Just kidding.  She’s only my favorite Mexican food for some onesmall scene in WELCOME CALLER, THIS IS CHLOE.  But that’s the introduction you get this fun, outgoing, and occasionally spastic protagonist. 

Besides the excellent characterization, Shelley Coriell, does an excellent job layering meaningful subplots into this story that help you understand and relate with the Chloe.  

It’s funny and entertaining with just enough sweet romance to make you sigh.  I really enjoyed it and I think fans of Stephanie Perkins’ writing will like it too. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *