Book Review: “Grave Mercy”

“Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)” by Robin LaFevers

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy

Other His Fair Assassin books

GoodreadsSource: Bought

Summary from Goodreads:

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?


  • Ismae just gets settled in and suddenly it’s three years later? We’re just completely skipping over Ismae’s training? That makes her skills a less impressive to me. I want to see her grow.
  • I really don’t like the ‘religion’ in this book. It doesn’t set well with me at all.
  • What’s up with always having to pretend to be mistresses? I guess it “explains” why Ismae was traveling with Duval but it really, REALLY rubs me the wrong way.
  • I could not connect with Ismae. I just didn’t feel any spark with her.
  • I did have a really hard time getting into the book. I didn’t think the story was paced very well. When the politics got stirred up towards the middle of the book, I finally was able to get into the book.
  • Honestly I preferred the duchess Anne’s story to Ismae’s story.
  • I thought how Ismae saved Duval was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read. Seriously?! They “have” to sleep together to rid his body of poison??! UGH. Not to mention I wasn’t really feeling their romance.

The bottom line? It took me a while to really get into the book but I ended up mostly enjoying it.


3 thoughts on “Book Review: “Grave Mercy”

  1. Hahaha, you make a good point about the contrived-ness of the scene with the poison. I really loved this book and was rooting for their romance to work out, so it didn’t jump out at me at the time, but you’re quite right. There is an excerpt on the author’s website with more about Ismae’s training though 🙂 I think the author had to take it out to shorten the already very long story, but a lot of people were interested in it, so she put it online for people to read.

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