Review: GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers

grave mercyTitle: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)
Author: Robin LaFevers
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Source: bought physical copy
Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | BAM | Powell’s | IndieBound

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.


My review 3

Why did I want to read this book?

I’ve read several reviews from book bloggers who loved this series and I was intrigued by the book blurb. A female assassin in a historical setting? Count me in.


What worked for me?

I love the setting of the story where you have warring kingdoms, political intrigue, Death’s daughters, divination, and assassins and still everything makes sense and everything works its magic to create that amazing whole. Ismae escaped an arranged marriage to a brutal man and found herself being trained in all kinds of arts to become an assassin in, get this, a convent. She discovers her special ability through those who revere one of the oldest of old, St. Mortain, the god of Death himself. Her latest mission has brought her into the high courts of Brittany and into a world of intrigue, political maneuverings, and deadly chess games.

The world that author Robin LaFevers had built has created these really interesting characters that you really want to learn more about. You know how one person can hardly be known only by one angle? You have to find and learn all his or her angles in order to truly know him or her. And all of them are characters that I really felt were worth knowing more about. The political intrigue was also really well-done. I love following the clues, trying to solve the mysteries along with the characters, watching some characters fall apart (is that cruel of me?), and watching some characters fall into each other. There’s fantastic chemistry going around and not just of the romantic type. And I love that we have all these different aspects within this story.


What did not work for me?

I didn’t have any particular thing that I didn’t like about this book.


My over-all take on it?

When I finished this book, I immediately wondered how I could have gone a long time with this book on my bookshelf without reading it. It’s a great book in itself as well as a great series starter. Ismae was an intriguing character and the development of her relationship with Duval was a treat for me as a romance reader. There was subtlety there that really works well with the whole story. I can’t wait to read the next two books in the series. They’re on their way to me from the Book Depository, so give me, give me, give me.


My rating:

 4-5 stars


DisclaimerI received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher in exchange  for an honest review. Yes, these are my honest and personal thoughts on this book.



About the author

robin lafeversRobin LaFevers was raised on a steady diet of fairy tales, Bulfinch’s mythology, and 19th century poetry. It is not surprising she grew up to be a hopeless romantic.

Though she has never trained as an assassin or joined a convent, she did attend Catholic school for three years, which instilled in her a deep fascination with sacred rituals and the concept of the Divine. She has been on a search for answers to life’s mysteries ever since.

While many of those answers still elude her, she was lucky enough to find her one true love, and is living happily ever after with him in the foothills of southern California.

In addition to writing about teen assassin nuns in medieval Brittany, she writes books for middle grade readers, including the Theodosia books and the Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist series.

Connect with Robin LaFevers:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter | Goodreads



Have you read any of Robin LaFevers’s books?

5 thoughts on “Review: GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers”

    1. Definitely recommending this one to you, Cynthia. 🙂 It had been sitting on my shelf for months before I actually was able to pick it up to read and gosh, after reading it, I kept wondering to myself how I have waited so long to start this book and this series. 🙂


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