To start off with, the saying 'deus lo volt' is translated into 'God wills it' in Latin. But, not the kind of god you're thinking about. Just before the Crusades, the term was bandied about to help more people join the Christian cause. And for Ismae, the main heroine in Grave Mercy, her god wills her to kill.
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 heard a lot of rave about this book online and I couldn't wait to get my grabby hands on this book. I mean, just look at the cover! She's got a crossbow in her hand, for crying out loud! The beautiful cover just about had me sold before I even read the synopsis. But when I did, I knew I had to have this. And it is one book that everybody should read.
It is the first in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. Robin LaFevers brings to life the old and poor fifteenth century. Most of the history in the book was, to my surprise, spot on. I loved that fact that I could actually compare it to the history of the time and call this book historical fiction rather than fantasy. But since this is a book review rather than an overview of the fifteenth century, I won't tell you all the particulars.
Ismae was a great character, possibly one of my favorites. She's very tough and strong. She doesn't ask a bazillion questions and instead looks for them instead of moping around, blindfolded. And, she doesn't instantly fall in love with the first guy she meets outside of the convent. So, let's just say she was an overall awesome character that kicked some bad guy butt. Also, I loved her name.
I give Grave Mercy five stars because it was amazing. There was a lot of action and travel. Everything had me clinging to the very edge of my seat, the pages flying by as I read. It was beautifully written and definitely an author to watch for in the future. I look forward to what happens next in the His Fair Assassin Trilogy.
Happy reading, everyone!