Thursday, July 3, 2014

Review: Grave Mercy

Title:  Grave Mercy
Series:  His Fair Assassin #1
Author:  Robin LaFevers (Website | Twitter)
Age Group:  Young Adult
Publication Date:  April 3, 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source:  Bought
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?
Find Grave Mercy online

My Review:  I'm really unsure how I feel about this one.  Some moments while reading, I just couldn't get enough and was basically devouring the book whole.  Other times I was just so annoyed and frustrated with it that I honestly didn't care whether I finished or not.  In the end, though, I found myself happy and satisfied once I closed the cover (or, rather, turned off my nook).  

I liked Ismae a lot actually.  She was a kickass heroine that I was rooting for most of the time.  There were a few instances when I didn't like her decisions and thought she was being super naive but for the most part, she kept her head and did the right thing.  The other girls is where it got a little shaky for me.  Actually, the entire convent is where it got shaky.  I didn't understand Ismae's relationships with Sybella or Annith.  It seemed like they were in constant competition.  Anytime Annith paid Ismae a compliment, it was a little backhanded.  Like, she would say something along the lines of "You did a good job but I should be out there doing these things".  It seemed to me that she never felt genuinely happy for Ismae.  And we didn't see much of Sybella at all which made me honestly just not care much for her, even though Ismae was worried about her.  

I liked Duval a lot.  I thought his loyalty was extremely admirable and I loved seeing more of him throughout the novel.  As a team, Duval and Ismae seemed unstoppable.  When they were working together, things were amazing.  However, I was frustrated with the way Ismae kept going bcd and forth on whether she could trust him.  Of course, it was understandable considering she had only grown up at the convent.  

I loved the idea of the different saints/gods and the convents that represented them, however, I would have liked to have it more clearly spelt out.  I felt so confused sometimes while reading because they would start discussing people and places and politics without explaining it for the reader and it left me feeling frustrated.  It might have just been lazy reading on my part (though I don't think so) but I had to completely guess what they were talking about a lot of the time.  

The plot was intense and awesome.  All of the action and the high-stakes situations Ismae was put in with her assignment kept me glued to the pages and pushing forward when I hit a part where I was frustrated.  I wanted so badly to figure out what was going on and unravel the mystery of what was happening in Brittany.  

Grave Mercy, while flawed and a little frustrating, was a story I'm glad I read.  It was full of action, romance, and a world that was so real I felt like I was living in it.  

“Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?” 

“I comfort myself with the knowledge that if Duval ever feels smothered by me, it will be because I am holding a pillow over his face.” 

“When one consorts with assassins, one must expect to dance along the edge of a knife once or twice.” 

(I obviously had a lot of quotes I loved)

Four Cards


  1. Great review!! I liked this book as well but I found the same flaws as you did.

    Rachel @A Perfection Called Books

  2. This is another one I have on my TBR. I hope to read it soon. I just might like it.


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