Title: Grave Mercy
Author: Robin LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassin series
Pages: 549 pages hardcover, 484 paperback, 560 Kindle, 340 ebook
Grave Mercy is one of those books that I’ve been thinking about reading for a while, but I was never quite sure about. I’d take a look at it and consider picking it as my next read, but I was never sure the history and the supernatural would mix well, so I’d put it aside and pick something else up instead. Finally, after a year, I decided it was time to read it.
It was amazing. There was everything I love about a historical fiction novel, from the drama and deceptions to the language and people. LaFevers even sticks pretty close to the actual history, which made me enjoy it even more. Even the assassin nun aspect fit perfectly, and I wasn’t sure it would. It adds another layer to the novel that makes it even more intriguing.
Ismae has been marked by Death and after a disastrous arranged marriage, she ends up at the convent of St. Mortain. She is trained to deliver death to those that are marked, and because of how the convent saved her life, she agrees to do Death’s bidding without questions. It’s only after she is sent on a lengthy mission outside the convent that she begins to wonder where her loyalties lie.
Gavriel Duval is the bastard half-brother of the young Duchess Anne of Brittany. Everything he does is to protect his sister, her title and lands, and her happiness. He and Ismae begin to work together in order to discover and take care of the traitors hiding in her court.
I think what I loved most about this book is how strong Ismae is; not only in physical strength, but emotionally as well. She has faced a tough life because of who she is, but instead of giving up, she finds a way to make her pain her power. Her strength also comes in her ability to see people for who they are, not what they say they are. She can see why people do what they do and tries to understand a little piece of everyone she comes across.
Grave Mercy is an intriguing read that will have you holding your breath as you wait to see how it all unfolds. There’s history, drama, romance, and death all wrapped into one gorgeous package.