Apr 13, 2012

Book Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
(His Fair Assassin, #1)
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 549 pages

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?

I'm going to be honest. This book would've been a five star rating if it didn't start off so slow. It took me until about the 20% marker to finally get really interested in this book. From there on out, I was hooked. Like insanely hooked. I just wish it would've started out stronger - I feel like it could turn some readers away. Thankfully, I have this weird desire to finish any book I read, even if I can't like it (not the case here).

I love period books. Not sure what it is about books based in the 1800's or earlier but they're so addicting. I do believe I was born in the wrong time period because I would enjoy being alive back then. (Minus the no technology bit...) I don't read enough historical fiction, though unless it has the paranormal twist to it. Not sure why, it just doesn't interest me as much? Regardless, this was certainly right up my alley.

Ismae Rienne was born and raised in a hateful, unloving household because of who her biological father is. Saint Mortain, the god of Death. With as rotten as her childhood was, including her parents trying to kill her while still inside her mothers womb, her 'father' marrying her off at the age of fourteen to some disgusting man and finally, being rescued at taken to a convent of St. Mortain.

Three years later she gets her first assignment. Piece of cake. Second assignment, nearly as easy. Third assignment, not so much. But you know what they say, third time is a charm, right? ;) She is put on an assignment as Gavriel Duval's, a figure in the high court of Anne of Brittany, mistress. She can kill without hesitation but put her out there to pretend to be someone's mistress? She has absolutely no idea what she's doing. Maybe she should've paid more attention in her seduction classes.

Duval and Ismae loath each other in the beginning. But like they say, there is a fine line between love and hate, right? The romance in this book was slow building, hot as hell and somehow kept you on the edge of your seat. Just waiting...waiting for something to happen between them besides these insanely smoldering looks at random times. (OK, so maybe not really random. . .) Such a believable romance in this novel.

So, moving on from the romance, the characters are brilliant. Ismae is so strong, smart and fearless. What the high court of Brittany would do without her, I do not even know how they managed before. Then you add Duval to the mix, he's the equivalent of Ismae, but the male version. The Princess, Anne of Brittany, is smart, brave and mature beyond her years (for only being twelve years old). Duval's two right hand men, Beast and de Lornay, are so loyal and so amazing, on different levels.

This book is filled with much suspense, action, romance, betrayal...it's got everything. I highly recommend getting your hands on this book but I must say, if you find yourself struggling with the beginning, please don't give up on it. It's completely worth it, sticking through it. It gets better, I assure you. You'll regret putting down . . .

*highlight to view spoiler* I was actually tearing up when de Lornay died. I didn't care for him all that much until it was his time to pass on. Gosh, I wish things would've been different between he and Ismae. As for the next installment, I really hope this 'mysterious knight' in question is Beast. We don't know if he's dead or not and I really hope he's not. I loved him too much for him to be truly gone . . . *spoiler*

1 comment:

  1. This author weaves a rich tapestry of facts,legends and mystical possibilities that envelop the reader. I enjoyed reading Grave Mercy and hope the following books meet this high tide mark.

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