Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)
By Robin LaFevers
April 3, 2012: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
“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?”
Well what can I say? Where have you been all my life, Grave Mercy? I love you!
Ismae is given a new life in the convent of St. Mortain, as a handmaiden of Death. Assassins carrying out the mark given by the god of Death himself. Leaving her old life behind her, she willfully carries out her duties when she is thrusts to the political circle of Brittany.
Together with a nobleman, Gavriel Duval, she sets out to the high court to help with the growing political issues and perhaps know who are the traitors that will probably earn them a mark of death. But when things don’t feel right anymore for Ismae, her faith will be put to the test as well as her heart.
I love Ismae’s character because she has personality. She’s not just a former victim turned soldier, she is someone with a purpose and is driven to rise above her fears though it continues to haunt her. The convent is her home, the sisters her family, her faith to St. Mortain and his cause her purpose. I love her chemistry with Gavriel Duval.
At first Duval is a mystery. Gradually his identity was revealed as well as his redeeming personality. His unraveling was made with his interaction with Ismae was beautiful. Though his loyalty and honesty are constantly put into question, we can agree that Gavriel Duval can now be spelled as sexy.
The political plot in the story is nothing short of astounding. I mean it’s not that convoluted or anything, it is simple yet it was always a mystery that keeps on eluding my theories. Looking forward on how it develops in the next book! And of course how the characters will do too. :)
Highly recommended for readers of fantasy stories as well as for those who want to try it.