Review: GRAVE MERCY: His Fair Assassin, book one by Robin LaFevers

by Robin LeFevers
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (April 3, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 054762834X
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5 star
Buy This if you enjoy Game of Thrones, La Femme Nikita

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:

When I was first introduced to GRAVE MERCY by Rovin LaFevers I was completely taken in by it's jaw dropping premise: Teen female assassins, political intrigue, mystery and romance. Wow! that is a story that I want to read and become lost within it's pages.

The main character of GRAVE MERCY is Ismae, a teen that has led a rough life led by the back of her father's hand and cruel temper. When she is old enough her father sells her off to marriage she soon realizes that her father is not the only one with cruel intentions. Yet, she is saved from her dire situation when she is offered a new life at St. Mortain. Within those walls of the convent she is trained to become an assassin, an instrument of death that will stop at nothing until her mission is completed. Ismae has yet to graduate from training when she is called upon infiltrate the royal court to save the young queen from impending destruction. She is the handmaiden of death but unprepared for the callousness of court, and while trying to decide whom is friend or foe Ismae finds her heart traitorously longing for someone she does not think she can trust.

I am more than overjoyed at how amazing GRAVE MERCY is and how much I enjoyed reading it. Robin LeFevers has created a world that while cruel and unique is filled with political intrigue, mystery and a slow building romance that is a welcome relief. Ismae, is a well fleshed out character that has much depth and emotion and you come to understand and support her. I also have a soft spot for Duval because he was such a noble character and his interactions with Ismae were always a welcome respite amongst the backdrop of mystery and death.

The concept that Robin LaFevers has brought to life with this book, I believe to be an amalgamation of La Femme Nikita and Game of Thrones and it is well presented and detailed. I recognized the research and work that has gone into this book and I truly appreciate it. What I also welcomed about this story is that it is written in modern English and not old English. I personally found it easier to digest and less intimidating.

GRAVE MERCY is well worth your time, and has everything you could as for in an entertaining read. You will not regret one moment enveloped in this story and will only be left begging for more. I know I cannot wait for the next installment and regret that I have to wait a year before DARK TRIUMPH


  1. Wow, this sounds great! Awesome review :)

  2. I'm so glad you really enjoyed it! I'm super excited to read it (Thanks again, BTW) and am sure I'll be squeezing it in really soon! And I agree that it's less intimidating knowing it's not in old English. I think everything can still be captured well without bogging it down with language we need to research as we read. Thanks for the great review!

  3. It kind of reminds me of a mix between Graceling and Poison Study.

  4. I loved this book so much - I wish book 2 were out sooner. :(


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