Grave Mercy {His Fair Assassin #1}


Published date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Author: Robin LaFevers
Pages: 549
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal

You can view the summary for Grave Mercy here.

First things first, as you can see by the cover of this book, it’s a period piece and our protagonist is carrying a cross- bow. Immediately you know that a) this book will kick ass and 2) YAY for period pieces. In Grave Mercy, you meet a young woman who is about to be initiated into a convent where a stone cold pack of weirdos assassinate people in the name of St. Mortain {their god of death}. Used as an instrument of death, our MC {main character} is sent to help aid/spy on some of Brittany’s noble but she finds herself up shit’s creek without a paddle. With out many people to trust, she’s left to her own devices and learns that sometimes following your gut is the only way to stay alive.

With a premise full of assassinating nuns – or as I like to call them, assassnuns… get it? Because they’re nuns and they assassinate… assassnuns?…- you’d think this story would be all action all of the time, right? Well it isn’t and that’s okay. LaFevers gives you back stories and builds her characters into strong women instead of making them automatically accustomed to their roles. You aren’t distracted with flower prose but are eased into this world of dangerous liaisons and murder. It all works.

One thing I have to mention is the romantic development in this book. LaFevers did it right. There was a thread of tension that wove itself through every chapter of this book. There was no insta-love but instead a slow blossom that you can relate to. I found myself wishing for more with every turn of the page but instead was met with quick goodbyes and missed opportunities. It was perfect.

*sigh* This book may not grab you right away but once it does, it will not let go. If you’re in the mood for a book with a little bit of paranormal mixed with a healthy dose of murder and poison and bitches-be-crazy situations then this one is for you! Also, yay for period pieces. Lucky for us His Fair Assassin #2 and #3 are available for your reading pleasure. High five to not having to wait! #waitingisdumb

Happy reading y’all!


5 thoughts on “Grave Mercy {His Fair Assassin #1}

  1. You could call them sassnuns and have a pun that works on THREE levels. Or maybe not.

    How did you feel the religion was handled? I’m a bit leery of reading a book set in medieval France (so I’ve heard), but with a completely made up religion. Too big of a disconnect for me. I know that sounds silly…

    • Oh, I definitely get it πŸ™‚

      In regards to religion, you almost have to suspend disbelief. Remember in medieval Europe that Druids and belief in Celtic gods and paganism was still very much alive. While LaFever made up the nine gods/saints in this novel, it didn’t feel far fetched. Now, there’s an element of fantasy so yeah it’s stretched in that regard. Over all, it was handled well. It wasn’t hokey or completely flamboyant. It felt as if it might’ve existed somewhere at some point. Thank you for commenting πŸ˜‰ if you read this, I’d love to hear your opinion on it

      • If it’s somewhat based on Druidism, I might read it then. I tend to get annoyed when a completely new cultural aspect is added to a historical setting seemingly out of nowhere, but this sounds okay.
        I generally do better with countries based on real life places–like Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. Then it doesn’t feel weird to me when the author adds new elements.

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