Book Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

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Title: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) 
Author: Robin LaFevers
Release Date: April 3rd 2012
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★
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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? 

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My Review: 




I'm a big fan of historical fiction and when I saw this book about a bride escaping her arranged marriage to become an assassin for the god of death, I couldn't resist picking it up.

What most impressed me about this novel is how the premise could have quickly become gimmicky and cliche in the hands of someone less talented.  Robin LaFevers is a wonderful author and her prose is gorgeous and amazing. LaFevers draws a complex setting, with a country on the brink of losing its sovereignty, and the many cast and characters fighting to keep or to attain power.

What's good about it:

Setting: The setting of Brittany in the middle ages is rich and the author does a great job at describing the various settings, from Ismae's childhood village, to the decadence of the palace of the duchess. 



Ismae and Duval: Ismae and Duval's romantic relationship grows throughout the story and I liked that it grew gradually and their attraction to one another is evident from the start but they didn't immediately fall in love with each other, which is refreshing.



What's bad about it:

Politics: Okay, so this part didn't bother me since if you know me, or follow me on twitter, I like politics but a friend read this book and found this aspect dull but tolerable. I didn't find the politics at all a problem or tedious to read about but it does play a substantial part in the plot and I thought it would be fair to mention it.

Final Thoughts:


I love Grave Mercy! I really liked the main character, Ismae, and how pragmatic she is and how all the characters in this story are fleshed out and none of them feel one dimensional. It's such a well done historical novel and the concept is amazing and badass.


Grave Mercy is available now and you can grab a copy here.

Check out my review for the other installments in the series: 
Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2) 

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3)






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