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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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1,6002114,541 (4.03)83
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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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English (208)  German (2)  Piratical (1)  All languages (211)
Showing 1-5 of 208 (next | show all)
This sounded like a perfect book for me. Assassin nuns who were worshipping a god in the guise of a saint (saint Mortmain) and who were trying to keep Brittany (yah Greater Celtic Supernation) Ismae is a novice, sent on her first mission with a man who is at first hostile to her and then warms up, She was married but the marriage was never consummated, Her father treated her badly and she bears the mark of the god/saint of death she is brought to the convent to be trained and then I was annoyed. You see nothing of her learning, nothing about her learning how she's immune to most poisons, nothing about the difference between learning to fight in skirts and trousers, none of that that would have made the story compelling to me, instead in the space of a few pages she's done with the training and then on with protecting Anne of Brittany ( a real historical figure) and reading the wikipedia entry there are a few more historical figures who feature in the story.

There's a review on the back from the New York Times where it says that it "leaves you craving more" and that was the case with me, but not just that I wanted to read more in the series, partially to see how the world develops but also I wanted more in this story, I felt like I was missing too much of the story.

Not a bad read, could do better. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Jul 20, 2016 |
Really nice to read a book with no love triangle! ( )
  mtlkch | Jun 21, 2016 |
Castles, assassins, intrigue and a little romance. What more could you ask for? ( )
  euroclewis | Jun 8, 2016 |
Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

I'm so glad I read this book. Before I wasn't completely sure I was going to like it, but once I started reading it was very hard to put Grave Mercy down again.

Ismae is no stranger to death. Her mother tried to kill her still in the womb, leaving her scarred for life. After she's been saved from a disastrous marriage and taken to the Convent of Saint Mortain (one of the old Breton Gods now served as Saints), where she learns she's one of His daughters and trained to be a Handmaiden to Death. Or, in other words: an Assassin! Ismae has to take her place at the Breton court trying to make sense of the webs of lies and political intrigues that surround her everywhere. Can she keep the young Duchess safe and keep Brittany independent from France?

I really liked it. The setting of Medieval Brittany worked great and was very original as opposed to yet one more England-like country. At first I was a little bit disappointed at the fact the books skips over Ismae's training at the convent, but in the end it didn't really matter as we get to see enough of her tricks during the book. In a way, with all the political intrigues and many hidden agendas it reminded me of Game of Thrones (especially since Death's Handmaidens seem really similar to the Arya's training), but at the same time it's completely different as well. Except for Ismae's paternity, ability to withstand poison and be able to see the marque of Death, this novel is far more historical than paranormal.

Ismae was a nice character, I quite liked her. Her uneasiness at court and her transition during the book were done well. As a trained assassin she knows how to defend herself and luckily isn't waiting to be saved from one danger or another. Her relationship with Duval and the revelations at the end of the story however, were unnecessary for me, and I think the ending might have been stronger otherwise. But still it was a very enjoyable read. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

One small thing I was wondering about. Ismae is supposed to be able to carry a crossbow underneath her dress. I don't see how the one on the cover is supposed to fit underneath that dress. Just saying.

Grave Mercy is the first book in the His Fair Assassin Trilogy. Dark Triumph (Review to come soon) and Mortal Heart are the other books and they feature Sybella and Annith, respectively.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
I liked the plot and loved the depth of the characters. ( )
  LaPhenix | May 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 208 (next | show all)
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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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