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Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin Trilogy (Hardcover)) Hardcover – 3 Apr 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 549 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin; 1 edition (3 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780547628349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547628349
  • ASIN: 054762834X
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 15.9 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,165,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"With characters that will inspire the imagination, a plot that nods to history while defying accuracy, and a love story that promises more in the second book, this is sure to attract feminist readers and romantics alike."--"Booklist, " starred review "Fiction and history coalesce in a rich, ripping tale of assassinations, political intrigue and religion in 15th-century Brittany. ...LaFevers' ambitious tapestry includes poison and treason and murder, valor and honor and slow love, suspense and sexuality and mercy. A page-turner--with grace." --"Kirkus", starred review "LaFevers is an artful storyteller who has created a strong lead character....The tale is one of scheming nobles, political subterfuge, murder, and romance--all of the best aspects of a good read. And like any good mystery, the plot is unpredictable." --VOYA "Rich in historical detail, well-realized characters, political machinations, and enticingly prickly scenes between Ismae and Duval, LaFevers's complex tale incorporates magic both sparingly and subtly. This powerful first volume of the His Fair Assassin series should attract many readers."--"Publishers Weekly, "starred review "The book is well written and filled with fascinating, complex characters who function realistically in this invented medieval world."--"School Library Journal, "starred review "Readers will immediately warm to Ismae's determination to think for herself despite the powerfl influences of multiple others."--"Bulletin"

(star) "With characters that will inspire the imagination, a plot that nods to history while defying accuracy, and a love story that promises more in the second book, this is sure to attract feminist readers and romantics alike."--"Booklist, " starred review (star) "Fiction and history coalesce in a rich, ripping tale of assassinations, political intrigue and religion in 15th-century Brittany. ...LaFevers' ambitious tapestry includes poison and treason and murder, valor and honor and slow love, suspense and sexuality and mercy. A page-turner--with grace." --"Kirkus," starred review (star) "Rich in historical detail, well-realized characters, political machinations, and enticingly prickly scenes between Ismae and Duval, LaFevers's complex tale incorporates magic both sparingly and subtly. This powerful first volume of the His Fair Assassin series should attract many readers."--"Publishers Weekly, "starred review (star) "The book is well written and filled with fascinating, complex characters who function realistically in this invented medieval world."--"School Library Journal, "starred review "Readers will immediately warm to Ismae's determination to think for herself despite the powerfl influences of multiple others."--"Bulletin""" "LaFevers is an artful storyteller who has created a strong lead character....The tale is one of scheming nobles, political subterfuge, murder, and romance--all of the best aspects of a good read. And like any good mystery, the plot is unpredictable." --VOYA "A rollicking historical romance with a formidable female protagonist bound to win the hearts of teenagers and maybe moms too!" --"Family Circle" "Start with the medieval action and mystery of a Tamora Piere novel, throw in some "007 License to Kill" action (only the assassins are nuns!) and add two duty-driven and proud main characters involved in an achingly-denied romance (seriously, would you just kiss him already!?!). This triple threat of entertainment is unputdownable." --"Just

Cynthia Leitich Smith, New York Times best-selling author of the Tantalize series:

"A delectable simmer of intrigue and ferocity, passion and compassion. Grave Mercy sates and fascinates, even as it leaves you craving more."

Elizabeth Bunce, author of Starcrossed and A Curse Dark as Gold

"Chilling, deftly plotted, and with a thread of subtly crafted romance. Readers will be seduced by LaFevers's deadly snare of haunting magic and courtly intrigue."

Laura Whitcomb, author of A Certain Slant of Light

"Atmospheric, romantic, and gripping."

Ten Teen Reads You Can't Miss, Entertainment Weekly.com, October 2012:

"Prepare to enjoy LaFevers' tasty court intrigue and one badass heroine."

Starred review, Booklist

* "With characters that will inspire the imagination, a plot that nods to history while defying accuracy, and a love story that promises more in the second book, this is sure to attract feminist readers and romantics alike."

Starred review, Kirkus Reviews

* "LaFevers' ambitious tapestry includes poison and treason and murder, valor and honor and slow love, suspense and sexuality and mercy. A page-turner-with grace."

Starred review, Publishers Weekly

* "Rich in historical detail, well-realized characters, political machinations, and enticingly prickly scenes between Ismae and Duval, LaFevers's complex tale incorporates magic both sparingly and subtly. This powerful first volume of the His Fair Assassin series should attract many readers."

Starred review, School Library Journal

* "The book is well written and filled with fascinating, complex characters who function realistically in this invented medieval world."

Starred review, Shelf Awareness

*"Riveting."

#3 on Kids' Indie Next List, spring 2012

An Amazon Best Teen Book of 2012"

Cynthia Leitich Smith, New York Times best-selling author of the Tantalize series:

"A delectable simmer of intrigue and ferocity, passion and compassion. Grave Mercy sates and fascinates, even as it leaves you craving more."

Elizabeth Bunce, author of Starcrossed and A Curse Dark as Gold

"Chilling, deftly plotted, and with a thread of subtly crafted romance. Readers will be seduced by LaFevers's deadly snare of haunting magic and courtly intrigue."

Laura Whitcomb, author of A Certain Slant of Light

"Atmospheric, romantic, and gripping."

Ten Teen Reads You Can't Miss, Entertainment Weekly.com, October 2012:

"Prepare to enjoy LaFevers' tasty court intrigue and one badass heroine."

Starred review, Booklist

* "With characters that will inspire the imagination, a plot that nods to history while defying accuracy, and a love story that promises more in the second book, this is sure to attract feminist readers and romantics alike."

Starred review, Kirkus Reviews

* "LaFevers' ambitious tapestry includes poison and treason and murder, valor and honor and slow love, suspense and sexuality and mercy. A page-turner-with grace."

Starred review, Publishers Weekly

* "Rich in historical detail, well-realized characters, political machinations, and enticingly prickly scenes between Ismae and Duval, LaFevers's complex tale incorporates magic both sparingly and subtly. This powerful first volume of the His Fair Assassin series should attract many readers."

Starred review, School Library Journal

* "The book is well written and filled with fascinating, complex characters who function realistically in this invented medieval world."

Starred review, Shelf Awareness

*"Riveting."

#3 on Kids' Indie Next List, spring 2012

An Amazon Best Teen Book of 2012"

Book Description

Why be the hunted, when you can be the hunter? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
2.5
This book is like small dashes of awesomeness randomly sprinkled throughout long stretches of boredom. Perhaps I would have been far less bored if I cared more for fantasy/historical fiction that focuses most of its energy on the romance story. Perhaps I would have been less bored if the romance had been the kind to creep up on you, so that you're inwardly pleading that the characters will get together long before they even acknowledge their attraction for one another. Perhaps.

However, the romance was the main player in this book and it was the kind that sprang up immediately and left our heroine instantly breathless every time she saw Mr Duval after their first meeting. I prefer a book that is about more than a bit of romancing, but I'm not immune to a well-told love story either and I can easily be persuaded to award a book at least three stars if I'd been sold on it. Unfortunately, I wasn't. It all happened too soon, too predictably, too obviously. The heroine - Ismae - is a trained assassin that has some serious man issues (with understandable reason), so why can she do nothing but ogle Duval's sexy body in armour when they are in life-threatening situations?

The beginning, in my opinion, was the best part of the whole book. A young woman has been scarred since her mother attempted to abort her pregnancy but she survived, and the marque she bears is that of Death's servants. She is rescued away from the beginning of an abusive marriage to be taken to a convent... but these are no ordinary nuns. She is trained as an assassin, taught how to fight, how to create complicated poisons to kill instantly or drag out a death for days. She is the ultimate weapon and she uses her abilities to serve the convent and Death.
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