Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Author:Robin LaFevers
Title: Grave Mercy
Series: His Fair Assassin #1
Publication: April 3,2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Historical Fiction
Audience:14 and up
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: 5 out 5
Website | Goodreads

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? 

Review: Dangerously beautiful! This is a thrilling and fantastic read! It is one of those books you can't put down till you know what happens but as you get closer to the last few pages, you don't want it to end. This is what Grave Mercy was like for me, it has everything intrigue, murder, and romance. The length of the book may seem daunting for some but the even flow of the story will make it go by quickly. This was the perfect book for me as I grew up reading historical fiction romance, which takes place in Brittany during the 1400s.

The main character Ismae is introduced during her wedding to a man that paid for her. The night of her wedding she is rescued from an abusive situation and taken to the convent of the Saint Mortain, where she learns to be an instrument of vengeance. What is intriguing about Ismae is her innocence and eagerness to exact death for her Saint. She can kill someone within a matter of seconds and it's like it doesn't even phase her; she is quite deadly,well so it seems. She knows pain, and suffering from the hands of a father that mistreated her and a mother, who not only abandoned her but tried to kill her, leaving her with a scar of that shame. Then events take place that allow her to cross paths with the mysterious Duval. He is loyal and tempting. I love him! The interaction between Ismae and Duval is magnetic, and are my favorite moments in the book. He makes her question whether the motives behind the convent that has sent her to carry out these death sentences are truly for the good of the Duchess they claim to serve. Ismae and Duval finds themselves involved in a conspiracy that they may not survive. Overall, I think this is well written and it was good to see how the characters developed throughout the story.
Though dark in tone, there is a bit of light in the darkness of Grave Mercy and I recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction with mystery, romance and a touch of fantasy.


  1. my favorite of the year. super like your review

  2. I have been wanting to read this for quite a while now but I wanted to own a copy. And that doesnt seem to e happening any time soon.
    Everybody seems to like this. Maybe I should finally get it from my local library.

  3. i've heard good things about this book and been thinking about reading it and reading your review makes me definitely want to get it, will be on lookout for it.

  4. I absolutely adore this whole series. I wasn't sure I would like Grave Mercy, and while it did drag at times for me (there are a few info-dumps in there), I ended up really enjoying it! The second one, Dark Triumph, is even better!


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