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Book Review: Grave Mercy

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)
by Robin LaFevers

5 stars: Recommended
Publication: April 3, 2012 (Paperback)
Pages: 549
Robin LaFevers: Website | FacebookTwitter
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Buy it: Amazon (Hardcopy) | KindleB&N | Book Depository

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?

A historical premise, assassination sanctioned by Death, and a forbidden love? I was hooked by the plot, and the story kept me reading to the end. LaFevers has a wonderful writing style with an easy flow and vivid imagery. I didn't notice myself immerse into Ismae's world until my eyes left my Kindle.

The characters enchanted me with their personalities and witty dialogue. It's hard not to love Ismae, yet I fear her at the same time. If you don't know her, it's easy to underestimate her strength. She is ruthless enough to kill a man on the spot, she's intelligent, and she'll do as she pleases. At the same time, I love her sense of humor and her independent thinking. Her romance with Gavriel is well-paced.

Grave Mercy gives us a portrayal of the time period: the geography, politics, and how women were treated at the time, as told through Ismae's story. The book has its fair share of drama with all the going-ons of court, the nuns serving the God of Death as assassins, and Ismae's internal conflicts.

This is a weighty book with the descriptive imagery and intense plot line. I recommend this book to all historical fiction lovers and to those of you as intrigued by the idea of nun assassins as I was--and don't forget the conspiracies, betrayal, and... scandal! Just be sure to get a hardcopy, as I was frustrated at times by my Kindle's inability to allow me to flip through the pages. Print copies are irreplaceable.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
3 comments on "Book Review: Grave Mercy"
  1. Thanks for the great review. I read the blurb and it sounds good. I'll have to check it out.

  2. Awesome review! I've wanted this book for a while now but the reviews haven't been as positive as yours is. :D I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. I'll probably pick up a copy. I adore historical fiction and THERE ARE ASSASSIN NUNS!

  3. I'm on a bit of a historical fiction binge now and I've seen consistently excellent reviews for Grave Mercy - now that you like it as well I know that I'll love it too:)

    The concept is so unique and that cover is gorgeous!


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