Title: Grave Mercy Author: Robin LaFevers Series: His Fair Assassin #1 Publisher: Andersen Press Release Date: April 3, 2012 Buy: Amazon
Goodreads Summary ‘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?
This book waited for a long time to be finally read by me. I found it early last year and bought the book about 5 months ago. It sat on my bookshelf patiently waiting for me to make my mind up and give it a go.
Really the only reason I added this book was because of assassin nuns. That was enough inspiration, however I thought it would be historical fiction and because I am not a huge fan I put it off for a while. Still I bought because I wanted to buy something and this appealed to me.
I got the feeling after a while that this book would indeed be one of the best things ever and with my recent luck in finding books that blew me away, I didn’t want to have to give this one up so easily so I sat in anticipation waiting for the ‘right time’.
The wait was worth it because when I finally picked it up … I fell in love.
This book starts with Ismae’s wedding day. She is 14 and has suffered a life of abuse. She thinks that maybe this wedding will be a turning point for her. Sadly she is mistaken, after being beaten nearly to death by her husband; she is rescued and sent to the Covent of St. Mortain.
Here she learns tons of ways to kill men and is prepared to carry out the work of Mortain, the god of death. The sisters at the Covent believe in vengeance and don’t think people deserve second chances.
Because of this, Ismae ends up killing an important informant and thus angering Duval. They strike an agreement where Ismae is to join Duval at court and won’t kill anyone important unless they are certified traitors.
Thus begins Ismae’s journey into the world of politics.
Every corner you turn you won’t be able to tell friend from foe. You don’t know who is conspiring against you. Although this book is technically not a mystery, it has the feel because there are so many lies being told and secrets being kept. On top of it, it seems realistic. The author doesn’t make the traitor predictable nor unpredictable, there are signs that point to him/her but it doesn’t stick out because there could be so many possible traitors and of course there are more than one.
What I like most about Ismae she doesn’t let her naivety about the court be used against her, she does her best to find out everything she can and adjust to court life. She questions stuff that has been taught to her but she doesn’t completely let go either which makes her more real. You cannot just throw away what has become your life. Plus she is a kick ass chic. She has her own set of insecurities and weaknesses but she is also brave, determined and loyal.
Duval is one of my favorite love interests. There are many things to like about him. For starters there is almost no focus on his looks. Besides this he is a very clever person. He is always a couple of steps ahead and always has a back-up plan. However, he is kind of a serious guy (not that that bothers me). He is also very loyal to his sister and his puts his duty as a brother and as one of the dutchess’ most trusted confidants at the highest priority , which I really appreciate because no, love doesn’t make the Earth go round.
The romance between Ismae and Duval is slow to develop but the cutest thing ever. I cannot count how many times I squealed or said awww. They start with hating each other and then they become comrades because of their common goal, to protect the dutchess. Slowly they began to trust each other and open up and before they know it, they are in love. The romance in this book is one of my favorites and seeing that I haven’t come across good ones lately I am really happy.
This book is an amazing read and will always keep you on the edge. I recommend it to everyone (although a lot of people have read it already). I might or might not read the sequel, I don’t know because if it aien’t about Ismae and Duval then I don’t know if I want to read it but I still want to re-read this one.