by Robin LaFevers
Ismae Rienne is born with a horrible scar running down her body, that marks her as the daughter of Death. She is feared and ridiculed by the local villagers and abused by her father. When her cruel father sells her to an even crueler husband, Ismae must escape or be killed. She finds refuge at the convent of St. Mortain, where she is trained to be an assassin. The sisters of St. Mortain have long trained to assist the god of death in his pursuits. During her convent training, Ismae finds that she has many special gifts that help her excel as a handmaiden of death. The abbess assigns Ismae to the court of the Duchess of Brittany to protect the young Duchess and discover the traitors within the court. Of course, this means killing anyone with the the mark of Mortain. Trapped within the social confines of court life, Ismae must determine who she can trust and who she cannot. The smallest mistake, will lead to death. To make matters worse, Ismae has fallen for Duval, a man who may be marked by Mortain.
Grave Mercy is set in 15th Century France where danger, mystery, and death lurk around every corner. There is plenty of court intrigue, along with several memorable characters. The relationship between Ismae and Duval is intense and filled with many difficult choices for both characters. This is a great read for anyone who likes either historical fiction, fantasy, or mystery mixed with a good romance.
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