Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review - Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Title and Author: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin 01) by Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: April 3rd, 2012
Paperback/Hardcover: 549
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

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?…

Judging by the cover and the blurb I was sure I would enjoy Grave Mercy I just didn’t except to like it so much. This book was definitely a great, entertaining read. It’s action and intrigue packed and beautifully written.
The story of Grave Mercy is set in the 15th Century Brittany, when the Duchy was trying to remain independent from France.
Ismae is a girl that, after escaping her abusive father and an equally abusive husband, joins the convent of St. Mortain, the patron of death where the nuns train the girls in the art of assassination. When Mortain tells them they are supposed to take a life, they do it.
At 17 Ismae is sent out on a mission that turns out to be much bigger and important than she could ever have imagined. She is supposed to accompany Gavriel Duval to the high court of Brittany and keep the Dutchess safe. Romance, betrayal, intrigues and a lot of action will follow her around.
Ismae is a great main character and a wonderful heroine. She went through a lot and had a very difficult life. She managed to stay strong, though. I couldn’t help but to want things to work out for her because she definitely deserved it. Ismae is definitely a strong, determined and believable character.
Gavriel Duval is the male lead character and he is wonderful as well. He’s very different from all the other men who crossed paths with Ismae and that alone makes him extremely likeable. He’s loyal, strong and determined. It’s obvious he cared about Ismae and wanted to be with her despite all the difficulties.
The building romance between Ismae and Duval is very interesting and I love the way their relationship developed.
Robin LaFevers created a unique and extremely interesting world where not everyone is who they seem to be and political intrigue prevails.
I really loved this book and all the twists and turns in the story. It is very well-written and I was immediately drawn into this world of intrigues, tension and mysteries.
There’s a little bit of everything I like in this book: action, adventure, romance, a historical background, mystery and a paranormal element.
The plot is obviously well thought out and developed. It keeps you guessing until the end and it delivers several important messages.
All in all I think Grave Mercy is a wonderful and unique book. I love the way it is written, the plot, the mythology, the strong heroine and all the secondary characters like Beast who brought a lot to the story.
Grave Mercy kept me very entertained and interested. I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next and I was never disappointed with the story and how it developed. I can’t wait to read the next book now.
If you enjoy a well-written YA Paranormal book with strong characters, a well thought out plot line and an interesting historical background I think this book might definitely be for you.

Rating: Must Read (5 Stars)


  1. Awesome review..i too loved this book and cannot wait for book two. I am a wolf!

  2. My favorite part of this was how it combined a little bit of a lot of genres into one extremely readable whole along with good plotting and kick-butt characters. Can't wait for the sequel!

  3. I enjoyed this book a lot, but it wouldn't get a 10/10 from me. More like, 9/10. Personally, I thought the entire concept was quite interesting, but found that it pushed too hard at times. But overall, I find it a quite interesting fantasy in a historical time period.

  4. This book was near-flawless in my opinion. I know so many people loved this book because it was refreshing and different from most YA books coming out or that came out. Historical fiction novels are few and far apart, especially the really good ones. Grave Mercy is definintely one of the really good ones. I can't wait for Dark Triumph!!! Thanks for the review!!!!