Author: Robin LaFevers
Series: Book Two in His Fair Assassin Trilogy
Published By: Houghton Mifflin Books For Children (April 2, 2013)
Genre: YA Historical Paranormal
My Rating: 4.5 Stars!
When Sybella arrived at the doorstep of St Mortain half mad with grief and despair the convent were only too happy to offer her refuge - but at a price. The sisters of this convent serve Death, and with Sybella naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, she could become one of their most dangerous weapons.
But her assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to the life that nearly drove her mad. Her father's rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother's love is equally monstrous. But when Sybella discovers an unexpected ally she discovers that a daughter of Death may find something other than vengeance to live for...
It is hard not to fall in love with the rich beautiful flow of LaFevers prose. To not become mesmerized by the historical detail of the 15th century and the paranormal elements that truly make this series one unlike any other out there.
Lafever had me completely in her clutches with Grave Mercy and I knew there was no way I wouldn't be continuing the series. It is impossible to ignore, impossible to forget and impossible to put down.
Once again we are thrust back into a world full of deceit, conspiracies, betrayal and revenge. One full of harshness and greed. A world that isn't like anything you have ever seen. Where a convent of sweet innocent looking nuns are nothing more than assassins who answer to the god of Death (Mortain) himself. A world where the blade is a girl's best friend, killing is an artwork and a world where sadly everyone is your enemy and everyone's loyalties must be questioned.
I wasn't ready to let go of Ismae's story and move on to another but it didn't take Sybella long to win me over. How can one not love a daughter of Death? A heroine who fears she is so damaged and tarnished she does not deserve love.
Like Ismae, Sybella's story isn't an easy one to hear. She has been through a lot, seen a lot and dealt with a lot. More so than any woman of her time, any woman anywhere, should ever have to. Her story is one that is dark, desolate and filled with hopelessness.
But she is strong and fierce and ruthless and most importantly she is a fighter, a survivor.
This was deliciously dark with some very disturbing images and events but it didn't distract from the story or take away from it (no matter how disgusting some of it was), in fact, it added to it. Made it a richer, deeper, more heartfelt read. I felt her pain, her anguish, her disgust (with them and herself) and her self loathing. Poor Sybella. She was so very damaged. So very lost and alone. I loved her so much for her willingness to not become the monsters she was raised by even though at times she felt like them and you could tell it would have been so easy for her to fall into their clutches, for her to become just like them. For her to give in and just let go of the goodness that was in her and her will to survive.
This was a fabulous story with characters that stole my heart (loved Beast and Telphanie!). I am dying to read book three now and will be holding my breath in anticipation until it gets here.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by an outside source. I was not compensated for this review.*