08 May 2012

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
His Fair Assassin #1
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Rating: Enjoyable

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? - Goodreads

Before picking this book up, I had heard a lot of talk about a kickass female assassin who was raised in a nunery. This is something that was totally different to anything I've ever read before, and while I am usually hesistant to pick up historical novels (which is kind of ironic, as I'm currently writing a historical fantasy), I couldn't wait to read this one. I love badass females, and Ismae is definitely one of those!

Ismae was my favourite element of the book. I loved reading about her background story, her time at the convent and her time elsewhere. At one point, she took down three men at once, which matched the guy who was fighting with her. She was AWESOME!

I also liked a couple of the other characters, the Beast and Anna, but to be honest I became very confused over the amount of characters in this book. I had a hard time learning all their different names and statuses, and it got on my nerves because I wasn't able to get as sucked into the story as I had hoped, due to having to concentrate on which Lord was which.

The plot was action packed, and had several different elements thrown in there. I was hooked as I read about Ismae and her fighting, and as she spent time in the high court. I was hoping for more conflict at the end, because the book spent a lot of time building up to the climax and it fell a little flat. Perhaps I was just expecting too much from the ending.

As for the love interest - I won't give any names, though I do think it is glaringly obvious from the get-go - I feel pretty neutral about him. I liked him in the beginning when we didn't know much about him, but then his character development came to a halt and I grew bored.

Overall, this is a great book with a top notch female lead. A few elements were disappointing or average, but as so many others have adored this book, I think the impact these elements have must vary from person to person!

His Fair Assassin Series:
1) Grave Mercy
2) Dark Triumph
3) Dark Hope


  1. Ismae is the best heroine in historical literature of 2012 so far.....great review...

    do check my review of the book too here

  2. I've heard so much good things about this book :). It's a great review Ismae looks like an awewome character ! I really need to buy a copy of Grave Mercy.

    1. Thank you! Ismae is magnificent (I'm going to run out of words to describe her soon!) and I loved her so much. Definitely grab a copy if you can!


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