Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers Read-a-long Part 3

3 April, 2012 Read-a-longs 3 comments

The Book

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?


The Discussion

Stephanie Sinclair: So, we meet again in a battle of wills!

Kat Kennedy: I’m quaking in my boots.

Stephanie Sinclair: Oh, you should be!

Kat Kennedy: This is my only chance to get a message out.  She has me chained in her basement. Someone call the police.  I’m at 5 Burchwood cres-ack! Urgh…

Stephanie Sinclair: *cracks whip*

Kat Kennedy: Okay, enough of that!  75% in, how are you going, Steph?

Stephanie Sinclair: I’m liking it again. I really like Duval and Ismae.

Kat Kennedy: I know why you’re liking it…but feel free to say it before I out you.

Stephanie Sinclair: More blood!

Kat Kennedy: Yes!

Stephanie Sinclair: My soul rejoices! I just need a few more people to die…


*Whispers to Steph* Did I come on too strong there?

Stephanie Sinclair: That was pretty good. Keep up the good work and I’ll let you out of the basement.

Kat Kennedy: Ha!

Stephanie Sinclair: So. How are you liking it?

Kat Kennedy: Look, it’s tolerable.

Stephanie Sinclair: The book, not the basement.

Kat Kennedy: Oh, you saucy, saucy minx! You’re on fire today!  I think it’s moved up to a three star for me.

Stephanie Sinclair: Ha! I’ve got a million of them!

Kat Kennedy: See all it takes is a little violence, a little sexyness and I’m appeased.  It’s a horrible, horrible indictment on my psyche.

Stephanie Sinclair: Lol, well it’s a 3 star for me too.

Kat Kennedy: So no Review War necessary for this one?

Stephanie Sinclair: I guess we’ll have to see at the end! I’ve been known to be heavily swayed with an ending.

Kat Kennedy: Okay, okay.

Stephanie Sinclair: I like where everything is going. There is a nice bit of back stabbing.

Kat Kennedy: So far I’m like 99% sure I know who the bad guy is.

Stephanie Sinclair Tell meh!!! <— I actually did know. I was just testing Kat. Lol.

Kat Kennedy: Spoilers It’s so obviously *Cunard or however you spell his name*

Stephanie Sinclair: I was thinking it.  I’m hoping it’s not, though. But it does seem obvious.

Kat Kennedy: This is a let down for me.

Stephanie Sinclair: I hate predictability.

Kat Kennedy: If it is this person then I think that’s a major fail on the part of the author, because she’s made it way too obvious.  I suspected this person since almost the beginning.

Stephanie Sinclair: This book has a lot of potential, even though I know historically what the outcome is.

Kat Kennedy: See I didn’t bother to check up on the history part.  I think we can safely say you have the brains in this relationship.

Stephanie Sinclair: I Wikipedia quite a bit. The person was kind of flaunted before you.

Kat Kennedy: There weren’t really any red herrings.

Stephanie Sinclair: There could be a carefully planted plot twist somewhere.

Kat Kennedy: Do you think there will be though?

Stephanie Sinclair: I’m trying to remain optimistic!

Kat Kennedy: Okay, you do that.  I think, from what I’ve seen of the author so far, I don’t expect there to be.

Easy Optimism. Let's turn that frown upside down!


Stephanie Sinclair: Well, we will see, Negative Nelly!

Kat Kennedy: Hahah!  How is Ismae shaping up for you?

Stephanie Sinclair: I like her a lot. Usually I want to shake most YA heroines.

Kat Kennedy: She does seem to have a reasonable head on her shoulders.

Stephanie Sinclair: She doesn’t depend on Duval either.

Kat Kennedy: Yeah, but I don’t really get the attraction between the two.  I’m not feeling it.

Stephanie Sinclair: That part isn’t really developed well. I think that’s because so much time is spent on the politics.

Kat Kennedy: I see a common respect and appreciation of each other, but I don’t get why there’s this raging romance, to be honest.

Stephanie Sinclair: I think a part of it is Ismae’s seeing an honorable man after having so many bad experiences.

Kat Kennedy: True, good point.  The point of tension with the Duchess needing to marry – that kind of isn’t a very effective device for me.

Stephanie Sinclair: What do you mean?

Kat Kennedy: I guess I’m just not feeling it.  It’s like, “Oh noes! We need to ensure the Duchess doesn’t marry some disgusting, horrible perverted old guy!”

Stephanie Sinclair: Well, that is what really happened historically.

Kat Kennedy: “Just like every other woman…” and it takes away from it!

“You mean that horrible fate that practically every other woman has had to face?! Yes! This is truly dire! We must ensure it doesn’t happen… to you and you specifically!”

Stephanie Sinclair: That’s the whole point of the story!

Kat Kennedy: Don’t get me wrong – it’s a horrible thing – but it’s not edge of your seat ZOMGoodness territory for me.  What makes the Duchess so important?

Stephanie Sinclair: Okay, I see. “You’re going to catch a cold with the ice inside your soul!” She’s their ruler. Duh.

Kat Kennedy: Well, it’s a horrible, horrible fate – but also extremely common and almost expected of her position.

Okay, okay, I see I’m losing humanity points here.

Stephanie Sinclair: Yeah, but they want to avoid that. He is pedo-bear!

Kat Kennedy: he is a disgusting, disgusting pedobear.

Stephanie Sinclair: She is 12 and he’s, what? 50ish?  <–She’s 13, get it right, Steph! <– No, she really is 12! She turns 13 at the end of the book!

Kat Kennedy: Yup!

Stephanie Sinclair: I want Ismae to kill him SLOWLY!

Kat Kennedy: That would be nice!

Stephanie Sinclair: It better happen.

Kat Kennedy: The writing in this book is a little average, but you know what I do like?

Stephanie Sinclair: Whoa, she likes something?!

Kat Kennedy: I know, hard to believe.  But I like Ismae’s active spirituality.  It’s a nice change.

Stephanie Sinclair: True. I like how she stays true to what she believes in.

Kat Kennedy: And that it’s such a strong part of her – a part that she seems to believe in and cherish.

Stephanie Sinclair: And I hope Duval does not change that about her. That would be a serious down grade. Because of that, their relationship worries me.  I like them together, but not if it compromises her beliefs.

Kat Kennedy: Yeah, the series title of His Fair Assassin kind of makes that a concern.  I don’t want her to just marry him and give up assassining.  <– Should be a word!

Stephanie Sinclair: I thought the “His” was her god and not Duval.

Kat Kennedy: I damn well hope so.  But it’s still a bloody patriarchal term either way!

Stephanie Sinclair: It makes no sense if it’s about Duval.

Kat Kennedy: And you know what my catchphrase is.

Stephanie Sinclair: What’s that?

Kat Kennedy: DOWN WITH THE PATRIARCHAL ESTABLISHMENT!  It’s my battle cry before every violent encounter I have.

Stephanie Sinclair: And with that, we shall meet once more once we finish the book. Or after your battle cry. Whichever comes first.

Kat Kennedy: Okay – Kat out.  But if you need me, I’ll be in your basement.  Putting on the lotion so I don’t get the hose.

Stephanie Sinclair: Bahahahaha! *closes basement door*


Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

3 Responses to “Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers Read-a-long Part 3”

  1. Lexie B.

    I don’t think you guys ever get tired of arguing with one another. And I don’t think it ever stops being amusing.

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