Thursday, 23 August 2012

Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers

Add to: Goodreads
Source: Won
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: Hardcover, 549 pages
Release Date: April 3, 2012

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?
You want to talk about a unique and interesting premise? Try this: ASSASSIN NUNS.

I can list many, many painful ways that this idea could go horribly wrong but R.L. LaFevers, as far as I’m concerned, nails it. I never had a moment of thinking that the ASSASSIN NUNS were just put in there for shock value and the way that they were integrated into the story made perfect sense. The historical aspect of the novel was also extremely well done and while this is quite obviously an alternate history, the details are rich and authentic.

Along with the premise, I loved the moral conflicts that were brought up. Ismae begins the novel as a skilled but relatively untested assassin (NUN) and while I admired her confidence and devotion to her task, I also really liked watching her question the things she had been taught. Ismae is forced to make some leaps of faith in the novel and focus on her own instincts and while this isn't the style I usually go for, I loved it on Ismae. 

As can be expected in a book about ASSASSIN NUNS (and no, I am never going to get over that), this book is rife with action, mystery and adventure. The novel boasts a rather hefty size but I didn’t even notice it as I tore through this read.

I’ll leave you with one last thought… ASSASSIN NUNS!!!

Cover Comments: Well first off, talk about an awesome tagline! I love that and if I were just browsing in a bookstore, I definitely think it would draw me in. Not that that’s the only thing either. I love the background tones and the bold, even font.
4 Royal Crowns!


  1. sounds really exciting! i'd love to read this one!

  2. I read the first 150 pages of this book and I think I was having a little bit of a reading slump because I put it down! But everyone says that it's so awesome so I'm definitely going to give it another chance :) Awesome review!

    Crystal @ Elegantly Bound Books

  3. This was such an awesome read. I loved the premise too!

  4. This book looks really good! I mean gifts from the god of death? Seriously amazing :D

  5. I love the tagline too! It drew me in and is what made me want to read the book in the first place! That and that it's about ASSASSIN NUNS
    *grins* Fun review, Sonia! I loved this book too!

  6. ASSASSIN NUNS FTW!! This was fun to read! :) I agree, great tagline...and great book!

  7. Hehe I love your obsession with ASSASSIN NUNS. ;) Dang, this book has been on my to-read list for literally FOREVER. I got it back when it was an auto-approve title on Netgalley and still haven't read it yet. Clearly, I NEED TO. I can't wait to find out how Robin nails the 2 contrasting elements--ASSASSIN NUNS, and the well-developed characters. Great review! :D

  8. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Sonia! I loved the premise for this book too and really enjoyed it in the end. I do have to admit that it bored me a little in a few areas, but I definitely liked it despite that. Brilliant review! :)

  9. ASSASSIN NUNS! Who can resist assassin nuns, honestly? Such an awesome idea. Glad you liked this book! I agree - I liked when Ismae began to question the things she'd been taught and no just follow orders anymore. Great review! Pretty excited for the next book, though I'll be sad it's not from Ismae's POV (at least I think it's not) - I'll miss her!

  10. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this one! I absolutely loved it and flew through it too. It really just doesn't get any better than assassin nuns. There is just no way to top that.

  11. Hehe, ASSASSIN NUNS!!!! That is just... so effing COOL. Who on earth would ever consider putting those two together? Well, clearly R.L LaFevers, but WHO ELSE? NO ONE. THAT'S WHO. I LOVE IT. And I love that she managed to pull the idea off for you. It sounds incredible and I'm DYING to read it. Your brilliant review does not help my dwindling bank account. But my bookshelf and inner badass loves you for it :D