April 12, 2012

Book Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Title: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publication Date: April 3rd 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley

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?

My Thoughts

Where to start?

Well its a really lllooonnngggg read at 549 pages.
And while both the story and characters are interesting, there were no moments of anticipation or sheer excitement that had been chaffing at the bit to plow through it at a rate of knots. The writing itself though is fluid and easy to read, but it is dull and it was at times a chore to read.

For an assassin, Ismae doesn’t kill many people and she takes a back seat to all that goes on around her, whereas one would have thought the action, and Ismae’s part in it would be endless. Instead she spends most of her time waiting for things to reveal themselves to her rather than being an active part in discovering the traitor in their midst.

The slowly growing feelings between Ismae and Duval are just that…slow, and I felt the culmination of those feelings was hurried and skimmed over in its conclusion.

Overall the story and setting are interesting, the writing smooth if at times boring and considering it takes so long to get there, the ending and final wrap up only takes about 60 – 70 pages, and the ending has left me feeling cheated.

A nice read if you have time and patience but definitely not a lot in the romance dept if like me you thought there was some.

A solid 3-3.5 Star read


  1. I got this book and haven't read it yet. Seems like people either really love it or think it's meh. I'm big into the romance so I may just skip this one. Sad, I was really into the synopsis.

  2. Too bad you had these problems with GRAVE MERCY, although I can understand why. I was lucky that I didn't mind the slower pace and at the same time I loved that the relationship between Duval and Ismae developed more slowly than in other YA novels. Sometimes I'm a bit sick of the usual instant-love.
    Thanks a lot for your honesty though! :)

    Fictional Distraction

  3. Thanks for your comments Stacey and Carina :)

    I too read the blurb and was instantly intrigued Stacey, sadly it just didnt measure up (IMO of course)

    I totally agree with you about being sick of instant-love storylines Carina!
    I did like Ismae and Duval together...I just felt that they werent together enough :(

    Thanks again for dropping by ladies
    Cath :)


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