Friday, March 20, 2015

His Fair Assassin ♥ Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers Review

Friday, March 20, 2015

Image and video hosting by TinyPicGrave Mercy
  • Robin LaFevers

  • Series: His Fair Assassin Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 3, 2012)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547628349
  • Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
  • Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Nobles
  • Source: Personal Kindle Purchase

  • Synopsis: 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?


  • 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. 

    • Shukran for reading this! Leave your blog links in the comments & I'll be sure to check them out :) Stay in tuned pretty creatures.. 

      “Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness.” —George R.R. Martin 
      femmmefatalee@gmail.com

    66 comments:

    1. I need to check this one out - sounds so amazing! No insta-love - yes please!
      Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    2. I have this one to review. I hope I like it as much as you do. I'm all for books that don't have insta-love! Great review, Benish!

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      1. Yes, you will find slow burn to the maximum here! Hope you enjoy it ♥

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    3. It's been on my tbr pile for quite a long time too. I like that there wasn't any insta-love and that their relationship took time to grow. I also totally love that they weren't the perfect characters either! Awesome review, thank you!

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      1. Thank you Katie ♥ I hope you enjoy this novel as much as I have :)

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    4. I loved this one Benish but Dark Triumph was my personal favorite. So glad you read it and liked it.

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      1. I have to check the next installment in the series very soon :)

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    5. Oooh, I am intrigued! Especially about the history piece, I really like that. And I have this book.I LOVE that the characters aren't all supermodels. I am reading Throne of Glass now, and that is actually my biggest complaint about it- WHY is everyone so perfect!? No, that's not reality! Now I am definitely bumping Grave Mercy up on my list, fantastic review!
      Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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      1. OHH, Throne of Glass annoyed me at some parts - It's like she doesn't sweat, she glitters LOL I liked Grave Mercy much better than Throne of Glass honestly. The characters are more real and genuine. They're both books about assassins though.

        Thank you Shannon, waiting to see your reviews soon! :)

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    6. Nice review, makes me really want to read it myself.

      www.girlcandress.blogspot.com

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      1. Hope you check it out for yourself :)

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    7. Nice review, makes me really want to read it myself.

      www.girlcandress.blogspot.com

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    8. I have always wanted to read this book but I guess I have so many on my shelf I will have to wait, Lovely Review

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    9. Oh this book has been on my to-read list for ages and I own a paperback copy for a long while now, but still haven't read it. This is one of those books everyone seems to enjoy and I really want to know what I think of it. And the fact that the characters are average instead of very beautifull is somethign I would appreciate as well, sometimes it's so weird that every main character seems stunning. I like slow building romances, so I am pretty sure I will enjoy that part of this book. Great review! I can't wait to read this book!

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      1. I loved that Grave Mercy has average characters, I'm kind of sick of novels where the main characters are portrayed as perfection. This is more believable fiction, even though it's fantasy. Thank you Lola, hope you enjoy this one as much as I have :)♥

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    10. I get waaay too picky on some things, but I think it also depends on if I'm in a reading slump or if a book pissed me off when I get bitchy about a book, haha. I've heard this is more character driven (which I love) so I did think it would be a slower pace, so glad it's not. I love flawed characters, it definitely makes them more relatable and realistic. :)

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      1. It's more on the moderate side, the beginning was amazing though :) Hope you enjoy reading this one Kristy ♥

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    11. I really loved this series. I think sometimes authors put those foreshadowing things in there because they WANT the reader to know what's going to happen. It's all about the characters' reactions. I can't really remember if that applies to this book -- I read it quite a while ago. Sometimes I don't mind seeing the twists ahead of time. (But, sometimes I do!) Great review!

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      1. Aaahh, I'm quite different with predictable novels, I like being surprised more. Thank you though Annette ♥

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    12. I read this one when I was on holiday. I didn't LOVE it, but I enjoyed reading it. I couldn't really get into the romance too much, but I liked that Ismae could hold her own most of the time. I actually read the second book too, and I enjoyed it much more than the first one! It's really good. I haven't read the third one yet, but I'm planning on it.

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      1. Yes, I liked this book a lot, but I couldn't love it. I've been hearing great things about the next installment in the series so let's see :)

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    13. I need to get into this series! I have heard some great things about it!

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    14. I really loved this book too. I loved Ismae and Duval so much. They are one of my all-time favorite OTPs for sure. I liked that these were average characters too and the plot was fantastic too!
      I think you'll love book 2 better. It's my favorite of the series for sure.
      Wonderful review!

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      1. YAY, you loved it as well xD I've heard the second book is even better, so I cannot wait to read it soon :) Thank you Nick.

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    15. I've had this one on my TBR list for quite a while too. I looove the cover, and that's what made me pick it up to begin with. Yes, I judge books by their covers. Anyhow, I think maybe I'll move this one up to the top of the TBR after reading your review. Thanks! Great review!

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      1. It is a catchy cover though, thank you Kimberly, hope you enjoy this one :)

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    16. Glad you gave this series a go. It took me a long time to get around to it, and I ended up doing them on audiobooks. The audiobooks are fantastic. Highly recommend. The second book is the best in the series. I loved it.

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      1. I heard the second book is the best book in the series, I cannot wait to dive into it soon! :)

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    17. This is on my TBR! I am so excited to read it, because historical and fantasy are my favorite genres so to have them together is like dream come true :) And I am happy that you enjoyed it! It is very promosing to hear that characters were flawed and real. Great review, Benish!

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      1. Thank you Lucia! ♥ I hope you enjoy this one as much as I have.

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    18. Ooh this is on my TBR too! I have it in audio too and from the reviews I've read, they are mostly positive with no mention of insta-love...where the hell did that come from? I'm intruiged by these assasin nuns! And I'm all for flawed characters who are not painfully beautiful too. And I think I read enough of beautiful males that will last me a lifetime lol. Lovely review Benish! :)

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      1. I saw a couple of reviews about the "insta love." It's NOT even there *SCREAMS* lol I think you might like this one, thank you Amir ♥

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    19. "God fearing nuns as assassins" well, that is a very unique concept! I think I'll have to check this one out. It sounds like a book (and characters) I would really enjoy. :)

      Amazing review!

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      1. Thank you Magen, hope you enjoy this one ♥

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    20. Wow, this sounds good! I am glad that there isn't actually insta-love in this. The characters sound like people I'd like to read about! Great review. :)

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      1. Thank you<3 & YES, no insta love here :)

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    21. Insta love in Grave Mercy?They call this slow,sweet romance insta love?Seriously?
      I really enjoyed this book.I am a huge fan of historical fiction and I really loved the whole assassins concept in the book.
      Don't forget to give Dark Triumph a chance.I am sure you'll love it even more!

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      1. Yep, I read a review that made no sense to me :( & YAY, I'm happy that you enjoyed this one as well<3 I will check out the next installment very soon :)

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    22. I also liked this book! I kinda wanted more of the badass nuns to show their skills, I probably would of been in love! But I do have book two sitting in my TBR! :) Great review and detailed to the book!

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      1. I agree, I wanted to see more action, but it will due for you & thank you ! :) ♥

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    23. Well, I enjoyed ToG and HG so need to look into it more

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    24. I actually tried to start this one when it was first released, but really couldn't get into it at the time. I've never been a big fan of fantasy or historical, until recently. The premise sounds delicious and love how the storyline slowly unraveled, and readers aren't just thrown into the action from the get go. Now that I can appreciate fantasy so much more, I'll have to give this one another try. Brilliant review Benish, really enjoyed it <3

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      1. Thank you for your comment & for dropping by x This is actually a pretty unique series, you should try checking it out for yourself - think you might enjoy it.

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    25. Yay I'm happy you enjoyed it too! Great review and love the breakdowns of your post especially the gifs lol x

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    26. I love it too when characters are flawed :) Not ''monstrous'' in personality flawed, but the kind we could relate too, even if we might not be able to kill with a bow, lol. Or poison. Or kill period. I personally, LOVED this one, but I'm glad you at least ''really liked it''. Super review, Benish!!

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      1. Thank you Lola, & I peeped your rating too on goodreads :) It actually made me want to read it more. Thank you for dropping by x

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    27. I've wanted to read this series for a long time because let's face it, assassin nuns sounds awesome. I love how strong and confident, genuine that Ismae sounds. The slow build up is my preferred type of romance too. Just a shame about the plot twists that were predictable, that can definitely ruin your enjoyment sometimes. Great review Benish!

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      1. Thank you Jeann - the twists are predictable, but they're pretty badass though. I quite liked the idea when the thought first came up.

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    28. I actually just recently read this one for the first time myself - and I rated it same as you did: I liked it a lot, but I didn't love it. Ismae was a wonderful character and I adored her slow-burn romance with Graviel (seriously, I don't get how people saw insta-love here, it definitely was NOT the case). I think I'd just hoped to get to see more assassin training at the convent with the nuns. I still think that would have been cool LOL Great review^^

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      1. Lol I agree, I would have liked more action in general though - Let's see how the second book works out for us soon :)

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    29. I loved this book so much more than I expected to - I'm not usually a huge fan of the political intrigue in this sort of book, but I actually found myself enjoying it in this one! I think book 2 is actually my favorite in the series, so I hope you enjoy that one!!

      Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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      1. I've heard the second installment in the series is even better, so let's see :) I'm quite excited to read it soon!

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    30. I have seen this book around but haven't been sure whether or not to add it to my TBR! But I know we have similar tastes and although you didn't love it, you do seem to suggest it so I will try it at some point! Also, the idea of average looking heros and heroines makes me very happy :D

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      1. You defo. will like this one, I like to think you might :) It is a very long book though, but the concept and story is wonderful.

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    31. I had love Grave Mercy when I had read the book when it first came out. It has such a unique story line and a kickass character. I'm yet to continue with the series, but I really hope to do so soon. It's lovely to know that you liked this book as well. Nice review, Benish!

      Sarika @ The Readdicts

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      1. Thanks Sarika! I really liked Grave Mercy, I heard the next book is even better so let's see, here's to hoping :)

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    32. It looks like a good book dear :) I wish you a cosy and fun weekend.

      Check out my new post...10 cute easy easter ideas:)


      LOVE Maria at inredningsvis - inredning it's, Swedish for decor :)

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    33. Excellent choice of quotes, they make me want to go back and reread this series. I'm so glad you enjoyed it for the most part! The books just kept getting better and better, in my opinion :D I also was really grateful for the pacing, since it's such a large read. Nice review!

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      1. Thank you Alise! I have yet to check the next books in the series, I'm hoping they go well for me though :)

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