Book Review Club ~ June 2012
book review blogs
For this month’s Book Review Club, I couldn’t pick just one book, so I’m offering up recommendations for two really stellar novels. It’s June–the start of summer–I’m sure you’ll have plenty of time at the beach…or the pool…or the lake to kick back with a page-turner and escape to another time…
I read the following two books back-to-back, with very little time on my hands. I squeezed in every opportunity to escape to another century, a rougher, more dangerous time, and I loved every single minute! The books? GRAVE MERCY by R.L. LaFevers (whose Theodosia Throckmorton series I also love) and SCARLET by A.C. Gaughen.
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?
Why did I love it? I loved the blurb and cover. A teenage assassin? A handmaiden to Death! Um…yeah! And I was pulled in from the very first page by the tension surrounding Ismae’s arranged marriage, her scars, presumed to be given to her by Death himself, and then, her training in the arts of killing, and finally her pivotal assignment in the political intrigues of fifteenth-century Brittany. I was as glued to the pages as I could afford to be. As it was, I finished this 560 page book in record time (for me). The story had me absolutely enthralled, but the writing was beautiful as well–the metaphors particularly, were beautifully crafted. And there was romance…which I love.
If this brief, but gushing, review is not enough for you. Booklist, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and School Library Journal all gave it a starred review! And it’s the first in a trilogy…so there are two more novels to come in the His Fair Assassin series–I cannot wait!
Both of these novels are classified as Young Adult, but they have undeniable crossover appeal–adults would be completely drawn in. I recommend them both very, very highly. R. L. LaFevers is already one of my favorite authors, and I will definitely be on the lookout for A.C. Gaughen’s next book!