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Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin Trilogy Series #1)

Grave Mercy - Robin LaFevers MILD SPOILERS AHEAD.One of the biggest issues I have with this novel is the portrayal of the convent and the whole daughter of the God of Death thing (which is admittedly, a huge part). Personally, I felt that this premise was used as a tool to set up a novel without thinking about repercussions and discussions that should follow. Could you imagine a person just going on a killing spree because God told him/her to do it? And to blindly follow "his" instructions without a second thought, and justifying every action with this very excuse? And then oh wait, it turns out someone this person kind of likes is in danger. Time to bend the "will of God" to suit his/her own preferences. In the real world, imagine what a shitstorm that would be. I feel like LaFevers just thought that this whole gist would sound "cool" and "hip" went with it. And I don't like how so many people think it's all okay.In addition, there is this part on page 301 where Ismae is listening in on a conversation only to have some completely random guy spring up from a trapdoor, then runs away. Then this random guy is NEVER mentioned again, dammit, that just pissed me off so much. Yes, it's irrational, but I was seriously raging. WHY do you have useless things like that happen in a book that is already over 500 pages long? Lastly, and this is a BIG SPOILER, I am so sick of these heroines purposely putting themselves in a horrible position only to get rescued by the "knight in shining armour" love interest. Ismae tries to seduce D'Albret, who is a KNOWN abusive person who has gone through (yes, GONE THROUGH) SIX wives. It is constantly mentioned how awful of a suitor he is. It could not be any clearer, yet Ismae goes and tries to SEDUCE this dickhead thinking "it's for the greater good, I must follow my God's will and whatnot" and oh, lo and behold, she is in trouble. WHO WOULDA THUNK IT. OBVIOUSLY not her, like holy shit how stupid do you have to be to do that? Is that the best way, is it? I mean, I can sit here in my non-assassin mind and think of at least 2 better ways to reach your goal that does not involve putting yourself in such a dangerous position. And then I hate it when authors think "oh, here's the time to make the love interest look good! Save the damsel in distress, you!" GAHHHHH STOP NOT COOL. STOP BEING STUPID. Sorry, that wasn't the last point. The last point is that I don't really like how LaFevers did a lot of "telling" in this special author-to-reader relationship. Sometimes for a full page, Ismae will go through every single possibility of who the bad guy must be/etc, yet it felt very much like the author was shoving the things that I as the reader should be thinking. It just felt like that because it was like "here's a bullet list of every single possibility/suspect that you should be keeping a close eye on in case you weren't paying attention" and I was slightly insulted. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, who knows. UGH.Okay, after that ranting is done, we can ignore all of my qualms and focus on everything else that is this novel-- and it was good. Very good. If I didn't spend so much time annoyed at various details, I can say that it is quite a special novel with interesting heroine and plot. It was very reminiscent of Kristin Cashore with the political intrigue, as well as Poison Study with the characters. These are both very good compliments :) I thought Ismae's voice was distinct and unique, and I like how the novel got rolling right away. It had an extremely good start full of action which was refreshing. I really thought Ismae's growth as a character was done very well, but I can't say the same for the others. Duval was interesting but one dimensional ( we get it. He's super honourable and cares a lot about the duchess. Did I miss anything? as were most of the side characters. I wish that some of the characters got a bit more screen time Duval's mother just kind of appears for this critical moment, and then kind of disappears for the rest of the book but in general, it was interesting. I don't really know what else to say, I've been really picky in this review but I'll say that for a big book, it kept me reading and flipping the pages, and I was really, really happy about that. Despite my protests, I'd highly recommend this.