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Grave Mercy: 1 (His Fair Assassin) Paperback – 7 Jun 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Andersen Press (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184939413X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849394130
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A blooming romance…makes for a heady ferocious page-turner." (The School Librarian)

"I loved how rich and detailed the story was." (Have Book Will Read Blog)

"Like Hunger Games Ismae is a female assassin . . . A fantasy based on the rough contours of history . . . Game of Thrones-style." (New York Times)

"Sweeps the reader up in a page-turning tale of clashing factions, dangerous ambitions and simmering romance... An original and sophisticated beginning to a worthy new YA series." (Books for Keeps)

"Full of mystery and political intrigue that had me turning the pages as fast as I could" (Feeling Fictional)

Book Description

Why be the hunted, when you can be the hunter?

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jen on 20 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
For the nuns of St Mortain, life is a little different than the average nun. They are trained in the art of death, and deliver it to anyone found deserving by St Mortain, their patron saint and God. For this reason, Ismae is sent to attend the 15th century court of the Duchess of Brittany. The Duchess is a young girl who is beset on all sides by those who would betray her to the looming threat of an invasion by France, and Ismae must find out who the traitors are and dispatch them before they can do more harm.

Ismae has her crosses to bear. She must pose as the mistress of Duval, an important figure in the court who does not trust her one bit. Sadly for Ismae, Gavriel Duval is a man of honor, integrity, and someone who she just can't help but fall for, even though she has good cause to despise men. The two have to learn to work together and cast their suspicions aside to untangle the web of intrigue surrounding the Duchess' court.

Their is so much to love about this story; whether you enjoy light fantasy, historical fiction, tales of murder most horrid, or even romance. This has it all, and it is all written so well. I was initially concerned that there were too many political machinations, but R.L. LaFevers walked the line perfectly to keep me hungry for just another little clue about who the wretched traitor could be. The romance was perfectly pitched, building slowly in an Austen-like fashion, and reading those scenes was simply delicious. I think that this would appeal to fans of Maria V. Snyder, and particularly those that loved Poison Study (Book 1 in The Study Trilogy) (MIRA); the 'feel' of both books is similar.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 6 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
Sometimes, you find yourself in the mood for a historical fantasy book, you know? And that's how I came to pick up Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers off the shelves, after hearing nothing but great things about the book. To be honest, I also found out it was about nuns who were assassins and with that concept? I HAD to read the book! The brutality of the opening scenes drew me into the story immediately and ultimately, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey through Ismae's eyes.

Ismae is a young girl and daughter of St. Mortain or death himself, as he is perhaps better known, but it's not until she is taken in by the convent that she becomes an `angel of vengeance', slaying anyone who has been marked for death. After completing her initiation, she is given an assignment to go to court and find out who is plotting against the Duchess with instruction to take out the culprit.

In some ways, Ismae sounds almost heartless but she believes in her purpose and has ultimate faith in St. Mortaine. She came from humble beginnings with an abusive childhood but she has a silent strength which makes her a little bit kick ass. She's intelligent, eager to learn and eager to please the nuns, proving that she is worthy of being chosen. Ismae is not one dimensional however and can think for herself - in fact, when the nun's teachings are brought into question; it is Ismae who must choose to do what she has been instructed to do or do what she thinks is right. Head or heart if you will. Speaking of matters of the heart, it wasn't her intention to get involved with anyone, certainly she has been shunned her entire life because of her mark/scar and the implications of it but Duval quietly stole her heart and mine too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sarah (Feeling Fictional) TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Jun. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Grave Mercy is the first book in Robin LaFevers' new historical fantasy series and a book I'd highly recommend to fans of Maria V. Snyder's Touch of Power. Ismae has suffered from prejudice and abuse her whole life - starting with her mother's attempt to abort her before she was even born. The poison used by her mother left her scarred and marked her as Death's daughter, her father never forgave her for being born and after years of abuse he forced her into an arranged marriage when she was just 14. After suffering a brutal beating on her wedding night Ismae is rescued by the local herb witch and taken to the convent of St Mortain. Mortain is the god of Death and the nuns at the convent train as his handmaidens to become assassins.

Ismae is an easy character to love, she starts the story with a very low self image, lacking in confidence and believing that she is worthless and unwanted. She feels powerless in a world where men get to control women's destinies and it isn't until she arrives at the convent that she starts to realise that she can change her future. As the nuns train her with weapons and in the art of poison and she starts to uncover her previously hidden abilities Ismae grows as a person and becomes a confident, powerful and kick ass young woman. It is easy to see how she comes to blindly trust in the nuns who gave her her freedom and why she believes they have her best interests at heart. When she is assigned to go to court to protect the Duchess Anne she starts to realise that the orders from the convent aren't always the best way to serve her god. It is at that point that we really get to see her become a woman and begin to follow her destiny.
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