Thursday, April 5, 2012

Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Title: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)
Author: Robin LaFevers
Source: Netgalley


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?


Grave Mercy is the first book in the series His Fair Assassin by Robin LaFevers. Ismae is a 17 year old girl who has had an awful life. She is taken to the convent of St. Mortain where she learns that she is the daughter of Death, and trains to be an assassin.

I believe this is considered a young adult historical fantasy. It almost doesn't seem like a YA book to me though, I think anyone of any age would enjoy it – if they like historical books anyway. I haven't read many historical novels so the reading was slow going for me. I'm not used the the words and phrases of this time period, so the text was sometimes distracting to me. The plot was good, but a little complex. There was so much political stuff, as well as a lot of characters.

I would liked to have seen more romance between Ismae and Duvall. They dislike each other from the start, so it took a long time for them to warm up to one another. The chemistry builds very slowly and there are a lot of slow parts of the book. Even so, I had trouble putting it down from the anticipation of what would happen next. There is a lot of mystery involved to keep you guessing. I thought it was very well written, and the author must have put a lot of research into this book. I didn't love it, but I did like it. I would be interested in trying more books by this author.

Find the author here:

Find this book at the following places:
Amazon (hardcover)
Amazon (kindle)


  1. I'm actually glad there wasn't more romance as I didn't really swoon for Duval. I would have liked more of Ismae doing her assassin thing as that was the most interesting part for me. Hope your next read is better!

  2. Upon finishing this book, the critical reviewer in me had a bad moment. It raised its hackles and started stalking back through the book for something to comment on, something that annoyed me, something that stuck out. It took me a really long moment to realize that I had just simply enjoyed this book.