Author: Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 549 Pages (April 3rd, 2012)
From: the Publisher via NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: 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: 5 Stars - Grave Mercy by author Robin LaFevers is the beginning of her His Fair Assassin series. It’s about more than just nuns. It’s about ASSASSIN nuns. It’s stunning from the first word and even more so at the last. Oh and it’s about assassin nuns! Need I say anymore?
When Ismae’s father arranges a marriage for his daughter, he does so because he wants nothing more to do with her. He wants rid and in doing so hands her over to a cruel man. A man who will use brutality to get anything he wants. She’s saved… just, and taken to the convent of St. Mortain to learn more of what those who serve the God of Death actual do and what it entails to be a servant herself. What she doesn’t understand is that the God of Death himself has given her talents and if she chooses to stay she will live out a life that’ll be filled with violence. And so becomes her life as an assassin.
Ismae is sent to the high court of Brittany where she finds a life nothing like she could have imagined. She has no idea how to work around the people and their ways of the nobles she’s now surrounded by. Watching her walk a tight rope while trying to navigate around the power of the nobles and a court filled with treason, it’s up to Ismae to figure out how she’ll complete the task she was sent forth to do.
I was fascinated and captivated by this beautifully written story. The characters are stunning and the plot moves swiftly. Ismae and Duval might have had a rocky start to their relationship, but their belief in protecting the throne & Duval’s sister, Anne at all costs was bound to bring them together to work in protecting her and her people. Their relationship might have started out more of the hate and I don’t trust you, but while working for the greater good and to protect Anne things started to shift. I liked how natural their relationship changed throughout the story. It was without any pressure from an outside source and I loved following along as Ismae thought about her life and what it would be like without anyone other than the Order in it.
Grave Mercy is full of murder, political intrigue, loyalty and power hungry countries on the brink of war. It’s about one girl figuring out what’s right and how the path you sometimes choose might not be what you once originally thought and how love, passion and courage can sometimes be just what you need to push you down the correct path.
All in all, I absolutely LOVED Grave Mercy. More than I could have ever imagined. I was hooked at assassin nuns and then after reading I was hooked on all the words written by LaFevers. Being a reader who’s never usually excited about historical fiction in the slightest, Grave Mercy just might have made a fan out of me yet. One of the best books I’ve read in 2012, yep, I highly recommend this title to everyone. As for me, book two asap please – Dark Triumph, April 2013.
FTC Disclaimer: I did NOT pay for this book, nor have I been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this HONEST review.