The books I read on the cruise:
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. Great news! The sequel to this book, due out in April, has been announced, Dark Triumph.
This series revolves around a convent dedicated to the god - or saint - Mourtain, Death! As Brittany struggles to maintain independence against onslaughts from France, the nuns and novices of this abbey learn arts of subterfuge and murder. Our heroine, Ismae, is Death's daughter. This may be a metaphor for the circumstances of her birth, or it may be truth. She is trained to be an assassin and her specialty is poisons. Poisons have no affect on her.
At the age of 17, Ismae is sent to the Duchess' court to kill the man Duval, supposedly a traitor to the Duchess. Oh, if only Duval was not so honorable, so righteous, so immune to her charms and so awesomely handsome!
The themes of women as objects, pawns in political negotiations, and victims of physical and sexual abuse underline the strategy and subterfuge of this novel. LaFevers' writing moves the reader right into the plot. There is plenty of treachery, here, plenty of doubt, plenty of action, and enough romance to quicken the pulse from time to time.
It looks like Dark Triumph will follow the adventures of another novice, the dark unpredictable Sybella. Good. She has an important role in Grave Mercy. I hope her story ends well.
Check out LaFevers website to find out just how much of this novel is set in history and how much is fiction. Fascinating!
I also read;
Return to the Willows by Jacqueline Kelly
In Search of Goliathus Hercules by Jennifer Angus
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta
And a get-healthy book and some magazines and ...that's about it.
Tomorrow, I will review Goliathus Hercules.