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Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book I (His…
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Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book I (His Fair Assassin Trilogy) (edition 2012)

by Robin LaFevers

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1,5252084,824 (4.06)80
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Title:Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book I (His Fair Assassin Trilogy)
Authors:Robin LaFevers
Info:Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (2012), Hardcover, 560 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

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» See also 80 mentions

English (204)  German (2)  Piratical (1)  All languages (207)
Showing 1-5 of 204 (next | show all)
I loved this book! It really wasn't YA in my opinion. I won't give away too much. Ismae is young at the start of the story when she is mercifully brought to the convent after being beaten and almost raped. We learn about the convent, who Ismae really is, and see some of her training to become a handmaiden of Death but the story quickly skips ahead three years to the main plot. Because Ismae had such a hard young life, she walks into her assignment believing that she will follow the will of Death no matter what and that this is her only goal in life. That serving Him is the only thing that will make her happy. As the story progresses however, and she becomes more embroiled in the deception around her, she has several revelations and her feelings about these beliefs begin to change.

The action scenes in this book kept me turning the pages and the relationship that slowly develops between Ismae and Duval as she learns to trust him was beautiful. The supporting characters were all well developed and I especially loved Beast, who I believe has a larger role in the next book.

The historical setting was detailed and I felt as if I were right there in the time period with the characters. There were just enough twists and turns thrown in to keep me guessing until almost the very end. The story wrapped up nicely but could also easily continue and while I know the next book focuses on Sybella, another of Death's daughters, I hope to hear more about Ismae and Duval as well. I completely recommend this book and can't wait to read the next one! ( )
  Lagnella | Mar 4, 2016 |
After surviving her mother's attempted abortion and her father's abuse, Ismae is married off to an abusive lout. But to her great surprise, at last she has a protector, and rather than dying at her husband's hand she is instead spirited off to the convent of St.Mortain. There she pledges her fealty to the saint/god of death, Mortain, and the sisters teach her all she might ever want to know about infiltration and assassination. Her training is only summarized, which is too bad because I love that sort of thing. Still, we get to watch her growing friendships with her fellow initiates, and I loved these relationships (so much so that I'm sorry that one of them didn't turn out to be her love interest). Her training nearly complete, Ismae is sent into court household to protect and guide the young would-be duchess of Brittany. There she tries to defend against assassinations, spies, and shifting political loyalties--but can't protect her own heart from falling in love with a potential traitor.

I liked Ismae and loved the political maneuverings, not least because this is set in a time and place that little historical fiction bothers with. It's a refreshing change, and the grounding in history gives the narrative limits and built-in twists. It's too bad that I already knew that Anne's hoped for marriages would fail, that she would be forced into marriage to not one but two French kings, removed from Brittany, and eventually fail to keep Brittany independent of France. So too is her sickly sister Isabeau doomed to die young. History is merciless to Ismae and Duval's hopes and dreams. But despite this, there are enough unknowns of that period that LaFevers has room to work, creating personalities for little-known figures and embroidering the thoughts of others. The only aspect of this that I did not like in the least was the romance, which felt forced and unnatural. When the Designated Love Interest was in peril, I secretly hoped for his death, thus freeing Ismae to pursue more interesting romances and plots. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Like may of the books I've been reading as of late, this has been on my TBR list for quite some time, before I finally decide to smack myself and read it already! I seem to remember hearing great things about this book, but it could have been another book that looked similar...no! I believe it was the third book that caught my attention, so I decided to read the first one so that I could read the third one...hmmm...no matter, I have finally read this, and now I will review it....

This book was chunky, and this could either be a good thing or a bad thing, in this case, it was a bad thing. When I think back to what I've read, I don't remember much of what happened in the first 350 or so pages. It was only at the 400 mark that things started to happen and I started to get excited.

Ismae's relationship with her saint/god was commendable. I really enjoyed reading a book where the main character was as devoted as Ismae was with her God. Granted, it did become a bit of a nuisance at times, but it was quite enjoyable as a whole.

I feel as if the side characters didn't get much of an appearance. Yes, I realise that this is normal since they are side characters, but I really would have liked to have seen and learned more about Beast and de Lornay. They were immensely interesting and I'm quite disappointed with how they met with their fate.

When I finally flipped to the final page of the book, I expected there to be a sequel, but apparently, there is not. There is a companion novel of sort, I suppose, but it is mainly about Sybella, a girl from Ismae's convent. I'm not too sure if I will pursue this series since I'm not looking forward to yet another (probably) chunky book, but I'd hate to leave any series unfinished, and according to the reviews I've read for the next two books, it seems to get better. That's good news... ( )
  elizabeth1929 | Feb 1, 2016 |
It was a bit slow at the beginning, which is it's only flaw. I appreciate the strong female character and the fact that the love interest didn't diminish her in anyways. He was her equal in everything and made her stronger. Involved plot, but well written and enjoyable. Romance isn't lovey dovey; it's real and only added to the story. Very good :) ( )
  uhohxkate | Jan 31, 2016 |
I loved the effects on my soul when I read this book. I was whisked away into the swirling rapids of this world. It was an adventure, a mystical world filled with danger, mistrust and gods.(I love multi gods)Oh the gods, they are a fascinating group although we really only get a glance at one, Death he is unique. A dark figure misunderstood even by those who serve him.
The Story is of Ismae, a mistreated, misunderstood and misjudged woman who finds solace and a new life at a convent. Our heroine, has some unique traits of her own. She is a daughter of Death, and in training to be a full time Assassin Nun. Yes, really. She has some serious skills with weapons, poisons, and feeling the souls of those she deals her skills on. She has been told to do as she was told, no questions, no wavering. Ah, but she is bright and she has something else in her heart.
Duval, the thorn in her side will take her into a place where everything she has been taught will be questioned. She will learn much of her order, her world and who she really is. Not without great loss, or great pain.
Loved it- Thank for the heads up G. ( )
  TheYodamom | Jan 29, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
LaFevers, Robinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moon, ErinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Mark, who first showed me what true love looked like.
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I bear a deep red stain that runs from my left shoulder down to my right hip, a trail left by the herbwitch's poison that my mother used to try to expell me from her womb. That I survived, according to the herbwitch, is no miracle but a sign that I have been sired by the god of death himself.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 054762834X, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2012: Seventeen-year-old Ismae was fathered by Saint Mortain, the God of Death, and one dark and stormy night, she is brought to a mysterious convent where his many daughters are trained as assassins. When she is given an important assignment to protect the Duchess of Brittany and kill the traitor in her court, Ismae begins to learn that being a handmaiden of Death may not mean what the nuns taught her. But her burgeoning independence comes with consequences, and the fate of an entire country--and the only man she could ever love--hangs in the balance. Set in medieval France with historically accurate details, Grave Mercy is the first book in a gritty, fast-paced trilogy, and gives thrilling new meaning to the term "girl power." --Juliet Disparte

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:59 -0400)

In the fifteenth-century kingdom of Brittany, seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where she learns that the god of Death has blessed her with dangerous gifts--and a violent destiny.… (more)

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