Monday, April 23, 2012

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers [ARC REVIEW]

Grave Mercy
(His Fair Assassin #1)
by Robin LaFevers
Summary from Goodreads:

"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?"

Grave Mercy kind of reminds me of the time I read the Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas. I was expecting action and suspense, not mystery and political assaults. Only the difference is, unlike my disappointment with the Three Musketeers, I actually had fun reading Grave Mercy. Probably because I read the Three Musketeers at such a young age (I think I was about 8 or 9 years old then) where I was naive and ignorant about the topic so the book didn’t particularly catch my interest. I think I should reread it to see if I still feel the same way.

Anyway... so yeah, Grave Mercy. And may I just say WOAH! I absolutely LOVE it! With just one book, I am fan of Robin LaFevers!  Her writing style is just incredible! I’m not much of a mystery-fan and politics is definitely not my favorite subject so I don’t know what makes this book so gripping for me... but I don’t care! Oh it’s just so fabulous! *fan-girl moment*

Alright, I’m calming down now... Let’s get down to business.

Grave Mercy introduces us to a broken-spirited girl named Ismae. She’s been saved from an abusive father and a husband she has just been sold and “married” to. She finds refuge in the convent of St. Mortain where the sisters worship the ancient gods. Now here is where Ismae’s life turns around. She finds out that she is blessed by the god of Death and is gifted with extraordinary gifts. What is her profession? Well, she’s one of those lovely assassins trained to do His bidding! 

Now you see why I expected an action packed story. Assassins! I did get some action of course, but not as heavily as I thought it would be. It was more of mystery solving and learning the game of politics...and a sweet, sweet, SWEET romantic story. I still feel all giddy and I giggle like a school girl over the romance between Ismae and Gavriel. It’s rare to find myself being all hopelessly romantic over book characters but I couldn’t help myself when it came to these two. I even found myself anticipating the time that they’d actually... you know. *Snicker*

...and as much as that moment was sweet and I hear myself go “finally!” *LOL*, it was also a teeny bit awkward given the situation Gavriel was in. (I know it’s vague, read the book to find out. *chuckle*)

I really didn’t see a love story forming here but I feel incredibly rewarded! I love them both.  In fact, I love a lot of the characters in this book; each one all the more interesting. And just as Ismae struggles to find out who she should trust, readers get the same confusion of trying to find out who is deceiving and who is telling the truth.

I strongly recommend Grave Mercy. You don’t often come across a historical fiction like this and I think this is going to be a series worth looking out for, filled with plots and characters like no other.

*Thank you Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Netgalley for the copy of Grave Mercy.


  1. thanks for your review. this book sounds cool! i'm definitely going to read it.

  2. Great!! Looking forward to this one, hope to win it:) getting excited about this giveaway. Thanks for sharing the fun of reading.

  3. I really like to read this one! ;) I've been hearing good things about it!

  4. I dislike history but this sounds really good! Fancy being trained as an assasin for death! Gavriel sounds nice!

  5. Absolute favorite book of this year! Love it <3

  6. I am so excited about this! Loved your review. It sound soooo good!

  7. I actually prefer mystery and intrigue more than action, so that's a plus for me!

  8. Great review! I read & reviewed an egalley of this book - I LOVED it!! I must now get a pretty physical copy for my bookshelf because it was so awesome! Glad you loved it too! :)

  9. Sharvana GacayanMay 13, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Awesome review! Your review made me want to buy a copy!!! :)

  10. Great ! This looks like something I would love to read!

  11. Awesome review! I've seen a few of the ones on GR but they only really sparked my interest somewhat. It didn't make me want to move Grave Mercy higher up on my To-Read list but your review has made me all giddy about it! haha. I can imagine I'll be sitting there getting all excited about the love story too. It's actually embarassing when I do that... I pause, giggle, then keep reading. Looks pretty stupid xD Can't wait to read this book though!

    - Kim

  12. So happy you likes this one. I own it and it is on my to-read next pile! Thanks for the great review :)

  13. i just recently purchased this book and I heard nothing but great things about this book. Good to know that you also love it, now I am so excited to read it asap =)


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