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Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book I (His…

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

by Robin LaFevers

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1,0661607,857 (4.12)67
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
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Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

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English (157)  German (2)  All languages (159)
Showing 1-5 of 157 (next | show all)
This book is 549 pages long, but it was still too short for me. I was extremely entertained with Grave Mercy, more than I originally thought I would be. I could not put the book down and focus on other things, instead I needed to know what was going to happen next. Usually, I find that first books in a series don’t hold my interest enough to continue on to the second and third volumes, but I will be most definitely buying the entire series. I am thoroughly impressed with Robin LaFevers.

I loved all the characters, even the baddies. I especially loved Beast and his last scene with Ismae. Characterization in this book was so good. I cannot stress it enough. The writing is beautiful, but not pretentious, and keeps you guessing until the very end. ( )
  CinaChilders | Aug 13, 2014 |
I am not a big fan of paranormal stories, but that aspect of this book is fairly minor. The historical fiction aspects were well done and I found the setting of 1480s Brittany fascinating.

Erin Moon did an excellent narration - I look forward to listening her narrate other audiobooks. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jul 4, 2014 |
This is a book about assassin nuns and that’s probably all you need to know to guess how crazy awesome it’s going to be! However, for the sake of thoroughness… The book focuses on Ismae, a girl whose near death marked her as a servant of Mortain, the god of death. When she flees an arranged marriage, this means there is a place for her at Mortain’s convent where she will be trained as an assassin. To date, her life has only put her in contact with brutal, cruel men and she has no qualms agreeing to go on a mission that will include killing anyone Mortain marks for death. Her experience in the real world, however, quickly makes her realize that both men and Mortain’s orders are more complex than she thought.

I had the great pleasure of attending a discussion with Robin LaFevers at the Rochester Teen Book Festival this year. I hadn’t read Grave Mercy yet, but the conversation made me certain I wanted to. It was clear that the historical research she did for this book was just fantastic. Several large plot elements and characters are based on real historical events. Even the small details, from poisons to perfume ingredients, are well researched. I loved the richness of the setting in this book and I think that research had a lot to do with it.

The main character is impressive and unique. She’s not stereotypically attractive and she’s had some bad experiences, which allows for great character growth later in the book. Ismae becomes more confident in herself and learns that not all men are evil, without doing too much swooning over them either. She also has to make some very hard decisions. The theological questions about fate and the will of god were very interesting, leading to deeper moral questions that I love and usually expect more from sci fi than from fantasy.

This book swept me away. The setting, the main character, and the moral questions were all wrapped up in constant action that made it hard for me to even pause to take notes. The ending was suitably epic and even without a cliff hanger (which I didn’t miss!), I couldn’t wait to dive into the next book. If you like fantasy or historical fiction, you should definitely listen to the hype and pick up Grave Mercy.

This review first published on Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Jun 29, 2014 |
I'd recommend this book to those who like historical mysteries, light fantasy, assassins, and romance (though if you don't like romance you might still like this book!). This is the story of a girl sired by Death, trained at a convent to be an assassin (or handmaiden to Death). The majority of the story is spent on her third assignment which leads her to court.

The style took me a little while to get into, as it is written in first person POV and the language is a bit stilted. However, the story is much better than I expected and it kept me reading into the wee hours of the night. It wasn't until the end that I started to truly love this book, rather than enjoy it. ( )
  RoseCrossed | Jun 23, 2014 |
With a kick-ass heroine and plenty of court intrigue, Grave Mercy is a very fun read. LaFevers has a very unique concept for this trilogy and I love how she really brought out the medieval feel with the gods of old Brittany. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Jun 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 157 (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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:13 -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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