(Review-Ya) Grave Mercy by Robin Lafevers

Grave Mercy by Robin Lafevers

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LaFevers, Robin. Grave Mercy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2012. Print. ISBN-13: 978-0544022492.
Formats available: hardcover, paperback, ebook, audiobook. Paperback $9.26. Kindle $7.49.

Ismae escapes a brutal arranged marriage and is shepherded to the convent of St. Mortain, the saint (or god) of Death. Here she learns that she is a “daughter of Mortain” and has gifts that make her fated to be an assassin, to deliver Death’s will on earth. After training at the convent, Ismae is finally given her first real assignment, something she has been eager for, for some time. Ismae is sent to court with the instructions to get close to, and kill, a man who the convent believes is a traitor to the Duchess. But, once away from the convent, Ismae doesn’t see treachery from this man, only loyalty and honor, and a driving desire to keep the Duchess safe, himself. Ismae finds herself in jeopardy of giving this man her heart, and betraying everything she’s worked for or believed in by disobeying the convent, and Death himself.

My Thoughts:
I was recommended to this book, and I later found it for free on Kindle Unlimited, so I figured I’d give it a try. I am so glad I did, because I adored it, and quickly read the next two books in the trilogy as well. This is one part historical fiction, one part fantasy, with a couple drops of romance. Set in a fictional representation of historical Brittany (France), the setting of these books is a bit different than the more traditional English or Paris courts, making a nice change. One of the things I liked best was that the author calls the main characters Assassins, and doesn’t shy away from actually having them assassinate people. A lot of the time we have these supposedly killer female main characters, but then during the course of the books they never kill anyone, unless its in self-defense. Well these books are different because these young women really do assonate people, and they are even eager to do so. It’s not that the main character is blood thirsty, but she believes that this is her calling, bestowed upon her by Saint Mortain, the god of Death, himself. The other thing I enjoyed is the world building of both life at the convent, and life at the court of the very young Duchess of Brittany. Both are given attention, making the side characters in both places quite well developed and fully realized. Threads of the stories of Ismae’s two friends are also interwoven subtly into this book, making sure that the reader looks forward to the books to follow. Another aspect I enjoyed is that although this is the first book in a trilogy, it is also a stand alone book. Ismae’s story is basically completely wrapped up in this book, and her friend Sybil’s story starts in the second book. I enjoy when the books of a series take place in the same world, but with a new character. This way they act as a series, but also its own self-contained standalone story.

Liked it? Loved it? Gotta have more of it?
The next two books in the His Fair Assassin series are Dark Triumph and Mortal Heart

You might also like:

The Kiss of Deception (Remnant Series) by Mary Pearson
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas


About the Author: 

Citation & Credits
Book cover image: Courtesy of Amazon.com
Kelsey Bogan. 2015. All rights reserved.


  1. I’m so glad you liked this series! I’ve been thinking about reading “Grave Mercy” for a while but there are so many mixed reviews about it, you definitely convinced me to push it up on my TBR. And I had no idea that the second book features a different main character, I really like that and I’m even more excited now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The different main characters is one of my favorite aspects, because we get a broader view of the “world” by seeing it through three different people’s eyes. I also like that the magic/fantasy elements are subtle so it feels almost like a “real” time and place!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this series. I’m intrigued by the fantasy/historical setting and the assassins are also a plus haha. I’ll definitely be checking this series out soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yea its pretty good! The magic/fantasy elements are subtle so it feels almost like a “real” time and place. And I like that each book follows a different main character but within the same “world” and major story arc. Its pretty neat 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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