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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?
Set in Europe in the late 1400's, spanning a period of more than 3 years Grave Mercy takes you back in time when being a woman could be very dangerous. The story starts in a small village and we follow our main character, Ismae, as she's spirited away to a convent devoted to the god of death to save her life.
Our story is told from Ismae's point of view, and we follow her progress at the convent and on to a royal court as she takes on her first assignments. She is a strong, honest person trying to fulfill her destiny as handmaiden to Death, Himself. Ismae is determined to do her best and follow the orders of the Reverend Mother at her convent & also to her God, Death as he shows her signs to follow. She is loyal and kind at heart even though she's being trained as an assassin.
The story is fast-paced and filled with lots of action, intrigue, suspense and even some romance, too. The plot is riveting and the story moves along smoothly; you really MUST keep reading to learn who is betraying their country and plotting behind the scenes. The story is really well written and there are even a few twists thrown in to really keep you guessing. This book has a little something for everyone and I really loved it.
This was a very satisfying read and I can't wait to read the rest in the series!