- His Fair Assassin has been on my TBR for quite some time now, and I'm quite happy I decided to indulge in it. I've seen a few negative reviews about the pacing of the novel and the "insta love." Well, for starters, it is not a slow book, but yes it takes it's sweet time. It's about 500+ pages which seems quite long, it's not slow though; it keeps a moderate pace. I stayed up until 4 a.m to finish the book, and I'm proud to state THERE IS NO INSTA LOVE. I don't understand why people assume things, it makes me think, did we really read the same book?? I'M DONE WITH MY RANT. Ismae escapes from an arranged marriage, and finds herself at the convent of St. Mortain. She is chosen to be an assassin and serve the God of death. Now, she must order out his killings; but happens when your heart and morals no longer agree with your actions?
“One heart cannot serve two masters.”
- Apparently, you have God fearing nuns as assassins here. That idea actually is pretty fantastic and unique, however, I thought it was absurd when I first heard of it because how can a nun commit murder? It sounded rather insane. Once I read the book, I realized they're handmaidens of the god of death, they serve his killings. This is a fantasy novel because of the mythology history and the powers these handmaidens posses.
- I loved the character of Ismae, she's badass, powerful, and she is humble. I like that she doesn't think quite highly of herself, I hate arrogance in characters. She's an assassin, and she's not the typical damsel in distress. You can bet she can hold her own against a man. It takes talent to fight in dresses. Finally, we have a novel where the heroine and hero aren't considered "so beautiful that they take your breath away." We have average people for once. Ismae might be beautiful, but she doesn't think much highly of herself. It's not because she's insecure, it's because she's a nun - they aren't vain. She is confident about her skills so that's a good thing. My most favorite part besides the ending is when Ismae finally acknowledges her beauty in the mirror and twirls in her pretty gown. I found that part quite adorable because she realizes her potential on how beautiful she can actually be. Her character was quite refreshing, and there's nothing I disliked about her. The male interest Gavriel isn't shown as perfection either, he's shown as an average human being. I liked him as well; he was brooding, intelligent, yet kind. The characters were flawed - I could understand them much better that way, they're genuine and real - even all the secondary characters were amazing. This is probably one the few books where I had no problem with the hero and heroine.
- I loved that Ismae and Gavriel's relationship took time to build up, there is no insta love once again. Pay no attention to people who stated such wrong information - There is slow burn, and it's a love/hate relationship which is my most favorite type of romance. Can you kill someone that you love?
“Whenever you are ready, or if you never are, my heart is yours....”
- The romance is swoon worthy and believable. Ismae has never had male interaction besides her father and her ex fiance, it's believable she would react romantically to a male around her age. I really would have liked to see them fighting in a dual though.
- I liked reading every scene that unfolded in front of me - the beginning of the novel was lovely, it was easy to engage myself in this novel right away. Grave Mercy is a unique concept with a strange twist - There are a couple of plot twists, and once I received the subtle hints - I figured out what was going to happen. The plot twists are actually amazing though. Also, there isn't much action in this novel, there are a couple of scenes, but is more inner monologue focused on the mysterious acts happening around the court. There is more conspiracy going on rather than plotting their next moves. I needed more reasonable action, they're assassins after all. It's really not much to ask. When the action did appear, it was epic! I liked the world-building plot, and Ismae's character growth by the end of the novel was beautiful too. Nevertheless, it's a promising series, and I do look forward to more of the author's work. This series is more standalone novels that are shown in different perspectives of the handmaidens or nuns. I would recommend reading them in the order they exist because I have heard the primary characters from the previous book appear in the next book but as secondary now so it might spoil it. Even though, the book does have it's flaws. I LOVED it though, I would give Grave Mercy five butterflies, it's a speculator novel if you like fantasy with a twist of historical fiction.
Recommended for fans of Throne of Glass, and The Hunger Games.