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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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954None9,072 (4.13)59
Member:Bookswithbite
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

2012 (19) 2013 (14) adventure (8) ARC (12) assassins (72) Brittany (13) death (41) ebook (26) fantasy (122) fiction (54) France (21) gods (15) His Fair Assassin (13) historical (40) historical fantasy (24) historical fiction (77) Kindle (13) mystery (12) paranormal (18) read in 2012 (21) read in 2013 (10) religion (8) romance (60) series (22) teen (19) to-read (76) wishlist (8) YA (76) young adult (88) young adult fiction (12)
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» See also 59 mentions

English (151)  German (2)  All languages (153)
Showing 1-5 of 151 (next | show all)
The fact that I'm assigned to read this for class makes me feel like I'm getting away with something. It was so good! Historical fiction with pre-Christian gods in Brittany, dealing with France wanting to take over Brittany.
An assassin serving those elder gods, now called saints to fit in with the Christian dictates.
If I didn't know this was historical fiction, with real place names like Nantes, I'd have shelved it under fantasy. There's a supernatural/magic element going on with Ismae, the assassin. Which absolutely worked for me.
( )
  ewillse | Mar 23, 2014 |
Ismae is the daughter of Mortain, the patron saint of death, known to be his by the birthmark on her back. She's married off to a man who is tricked and frightened when he finds out who she truly is, then quickly whisked away to safety in a convent. These aren't your average nuns, however: they serve Death himself, and Ismae soon learns all the ways in which she can assassinate those who have been marqued. When Gavriel Duval finds her killing a man whom he was going to meet in his work the future duchess of Brittany, Ismae starts to learn that her actions are not the simple, swift justice she had assumed. If it's more complicated, who is in the wrong, and who is plotting against the duchess, Anne?

I've had Grave Mercy on my list to read ever since it came out. A couple of people whose recommendations I respect spoke highly of it, and I decided finally that it was time. The story didn't disappoint at all. Ismae narrates the story, so the politics of the court slowly unfold as she becomes less the accepting novice and moves to a more nuanced understanding of herself, Duval, and Anne's advisers. Technically fantasy, this story wears that lightly and feels more historical; recommended for fans of Graceling and The Thief. ( )
  bell7 | Mar 20, 2014 |
Grave Mercy was just okay for the first half... yet I actually really enjoyed the second half. The rating of this book is going to be difficult...

3.5 stars? I would recommend this to historical fiction fans :) With assassins and magic. ( )
  Emily_Anne | Mar 16, 2014 |
Umm…yeah. I’m not proud of it, but I was binge reading some super fantastic fantasy novels while I was away. Grave Mercy and Throne of Glass share deliciousness in their commonalities, but they have a unique flavor unto themselves as well. I. Could. Not. Get. Enough.

Grave Mercy, by Robin LaFevers immediately jumps into action with Ismae escaping a husband that’s devoured one-too-many cream puffs. She finds herself harbored by a convent that trains her in the lethal arts of assassination. Ismae, for once, is a highly believable character; she starts out as over confident with her training, then questions herself and her morality as the story unfolds. And she’s smart. It’s starting to become difficult to find that type of perception in a YA novel female lead. The fact that she would totally dominate in a cage fight doesn’t hurt, either.

What completely blew my mind, however, was the skillful way LaFever wove her story with multiple characters—but not so many that the reader was confused and had to depend on a character chart. There was action, romance (NO LOVE TRIANGLE, thank god!), and intrigue, which again, many recent YA novels lack. She sprinkled spicy plot points throughout her story that gave me a hunkering for more, which she delivers in the second installment, Dark Triumph. Both are well worth the read, and I’m anxiously awaiting the third installment, Mortal Heart, due in 2014.

As I sat back wiping the powdered sugar off my face, satisfied from that appetizing novel, I spied yet another compelling cover delivering an enchanting aroma from the bookshelf. I tried to resist, but once I was past the opening page, there was no turning back from this mouth-watering adventure. The character of Celaena has been hardened by her life as an assassin and prisoner in a brutal mining camp. Her battle back from the brink of death while still maintaining her steely exterior and dignity was impressive, and again, the court scheming opened a significant window of Celaena’s street savvy and strategic intelligence that gives the reader a crisp, refreshing breeze. Although this story does have a love triangle, it was layered in circumstances, personalities, and outcomes that were surprising and not syrupy-sweet in the slightest.

Maas is an engaging writer for fans. She dutifully published several backstories of early assassination assignments and adventures for Celaena, while the author’s readers patiently waited for book two of the series, Crown of Midnight, recently published in August, 2013. This is another series that I will gladly belly up to the buffet and finish. Round two of binge reading, commence! ( )
  ChocolitChick | Mar 9, 2014 |
The fact that I'm assigned to read this for class makes me feel like I'm getting away with something. It was so good! Historical fiction with pre-Christian gods in Brittany, dealing with France wanting to take over Brittany.
An assassin serving those elder gods, now called saints to fit in with the Christian dictates.
If I didn't know this was historical fiction, with real place names like Nantes, I'd have shelved it under fantasy. There's a supernatural/magic element going on with Ismae, the assassin. Which absolutely worked for me.
( )
  PatienceFortitude | Mar 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 151 (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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