Customer Reviews for

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
( 238 )
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(150)

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(61)

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(13)

2 Star

(7)

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(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

38 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

While GRAVE MERCY is categorized as YA, it has one foot in the a

While GRAVE MERCY is categorized as YA, it has one foot in the adult fiction category as well. Novels like this one show how rich and diverse the genre can be. I love a good fantasy, especially one as layered and textured as this. It twines lush, slow-building romanc...
While GRAVE MERCY is categorized as YA, it has one foot in the adult fiction category as well. Novels like this one show how rich and diverse the genre can be. I love a good fantasy, especially one as layered and textured as this. It twines lush, slow-building romance (No insta-love here, rejoice!) with political intrigue, deft mystery, and the lore of Death's handmaiden. Plus, there are female assassins. Win! The story unfurls at its own pace and never feels rushed. Rather, it's one I want to savor. If you're looking at the fact that GRAVE MERCY is Book I in the HIS FAIR ASSASSIN series, fear no more: This is not one of those stories. Ismae's tale is self-contained, as are the following novels, though I expect that familiar faces will come back in passing. The second book, DARK TRIUMPH, will center around Sybella, whom we meet briefly in GRAVE MERCY. My guess is that the third (and likely final) book in the series, DARK HOPE, will revolve around Annith, a third girl from the convent of Saint Mortain.

Many of the characters in GRAVE MERCY are centered around real people that lived, making the novel historical fantasy, which can be richer than traditional fantasy when factoring in all of the original research. Robin LaFevers posted an in-depth author's note on her website rather than in her novel so that readers wouldn't be pulled out of the story. Ismae, the novel's main character, is wholly original, as is Lord Gavriel Duval, the man with whom Ismae leaves the covent on a mission to discover who has been betraying Brittany to the French. The characters were both detailed and well-fleshed out. As the novel progressed, we learned more about each one and watched their wariness of one another move tentatively to trust and onward to something deeper. Ismae is such a complex character. Her story begins with betrayal: Her father sells her into an abusive marriage, and only after her escape does she discover the convent of Saint Mortain, a place where she can learn how to be her father Death's handmaiden, a female assassin.

Once she has spent three years training at the convent, Ismae is giving a position at Lord Duval's side to be the eyes and ears of Mortain, dealing justice to anyone found to be an enemy of Brittany. She is told to trust no one, and is properly careful around Duval. And Duval! This man is one of my favorite heroes to sweep his way into the fantasy genre in quite some time. I loved the way his character was built up. LaFevers pulls back layer after layer, revealing him like an onion until you can't help but love him and his unwavering loyalty. He shares a strong connection with Ismae; their relationship is never forced or rushed the way it is in so many teen novels. Both characters have reasons to guard their hearts, so when they let that guard down, the result is beautiful and deep.

GRAVE MERCY has been on my "to read" list since the publishing deal went through in 2010. I coveted it long before the awesome cover reveal that made everyone sit up and take notice. Sometimes when this happens, my expectations are too high and the book can never meet the lofty bar I've set for it. And that's always my fault, never the book's. With GRAVE MERCY, however, I never felt let-down. I was captivated from the moment I picked the book up and I couldn't put it down until I had turned the last page.

posted by Bonnie_W on March 29, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

It was rough.

The synopsis had me interested. Assassin nuns? It sounded pretty cool. Sadly it turned out to be more of a mystery/ romance than an action packed book about assassins. Plus, i really, and i mean REALLY, had to fight to get past the first 200 pages. It was really slow an...
The synopsis had me interested. Assassin nuns? It sounded pretty cool. Sadly it turned out to be more of a mystery/ romance than an action packed book about assassins. Plus, i really, and i mean REALLY, had to fight to get past the first 200 pages. It was really slow and boring. However, i trudged on because i wanted to find out what would become of the duchess and who the traitor was. I must admit that the last 80-100 pages were way more exciting than the first 3/4 of the book. Which is why i gave it two stars. The ending was rather quick and rushed, and seemed as though it wasnt very well planned or thought through. Overall its mostly boring with a little excitement in the end and an underwhelming ending.

posted by roniVT on May 15, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2013

    It was rough.

    The synopsis had me interested. Assassin nuns? It sounded pretty cool. Sadly it turned out to be more of a mystery/ romance than an action packed book about assassins. Plus, i really, and i mean REALLY, had to fight to get past the first 200 pages. It was really slow and boring. However, i trudged on because i wanted to find out what would become of the duchess and who the traitor was. I must admit that the last 80-100 pages were way more exciting than the first 3/4 of the book. Which is why i gave it two stars. The ending was rather quick and rushed, and seemed as though it wasnt very well planned or thought through. Overall its mostly boring with a little excitement in the end and an underwhelming ending.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

    Had promise but doesnt deliver

    The premise of the book was interesting and new compared to all the dystopic books and supernatural books out there but it fell short. I found myself skimming to get to the end instead of enjoying the story bc the plots were shallow and frivolous. The romance is sterile. However there are moments of good writing but so few and far between. It was like having two storytellers; one capable and the other inept.

    ##chinina##

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Grave Mercy is about kick-butt Assassin Nuns.. what's not to lov

    Grave Mercy is about kick-butt Assassin Nuns.. what's not to love? With paranormal and historical fiction elements, this book has the potential to be absolutely amazing. Unfortunately though, I found that this book was just not for me. Everything about it appealed to me and seemed so beautiful – the cover is one of the best I have seen and the overview sounded catching and drew me in.




    The characters and storyline were a complete hit and miss for me. It just felt like there was something missing, something to bring it all together. I was so sad that I was so bored - really it broke my heart.




    The plot really fell flat for me and I didn't feel a connection to the characters. There was plenty of potential, which just did not materialise – perhaps it improves in the next book. Unfortunately I do not have the urge to continue with the series.




    I know my review is in the minority when it comes to this series, but hey that's OK, there are still a ton of great books out there waiting to be read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2014

    XXXX johnking4226 at gmail,com XXXX

    Addd mmmeeeee monica

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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