Friday, April 6, 2012

Book Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers


Released on: April 3rd, 2012
Source: ARC from publisher to review
5 stars: I LOVED It! Go Pick It Up!
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Series:  His Fair Assassin series, Book 1

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? -quoted from Goodreads

I am in love with this book! All the things I love about a well written story are found within the pages of Grave Mercy. Beautiful writing, a rich historical setting, an enchanting romance, the unique paranormal element and the lively, in-depth characters. The characters in this book are fabulous, and I really liked that there weren't one dimensional characters who didn't really serve a purpose in the story. No matter how big or little their roles were in this story they each added a depth or richness to the incredibly engaging storyline. 


The story's main character, Ismae, was by far my favorite. She's one of those characters whom I was immediately drawn to. She's a character who's deadly, stubborn, strong willed, and someone I grew to really admire. She had a horrible upbringing, is sent to a covenant where she's trained to be an assassin, and upon given one of her biggest tasks yet, she finds herself trying to disphere between the feelings of her heart vs her desire to not fail her mission. I seriously loved this girl's fiery passion, which also makes her a character that I won't soon forget. Ismae is incredibly smart, knows how to handle herself when she needs to, and I love the fact that though she's hugely underestimated, she doesn't let anything go to her head. Let me just say this girl kicks some serious butt in this book! 

The romance in this book is AWESOME! I loved Duval from the moment he was introduced into the story. He really is Ismae's perfect match and I loved how the two of them could ruffle each other's feathers. He does a wonderful job at unnerving Ismae just as much as she does to him. Duval is cunning, extremely observant, and though he can be fierce and strong, I loved how gentle and soft he was at times with Ismae. The chemistry between these two is fabulous! It's so well crafted and drawn out, making the reader savor their moments together. Their relationship is one that starts out with a lot of mistrust, but over the course of a few events it turns into something much more than that. I really liked the way their feelings and trust for each other grew. It made their relationship feel genuine, and it naturally flowed with the story and fit right in with this story's historical time frame.

The historical aspect of this story is so well written. I completely fell in love with the feel of this book. The writing, the attention to detail of the settings, what the characters wore, their mannerisms and how they talked was richly detailed and made for a story that was so easy to visualize for me. I am such a visual person and I love it when an author is able to create a visually stunning story with out being overly descriptive. Robin does such a brilliant job at providing the right amount detail to her story, which adds so much to her mesmerizing storyline. Her writing is fabulous! I got so swept up into the plot line, the fantasy element of this story, the action, betrayals, the shocking plot twists, and the enchanting romance.

Grave Mercy is an incredibly intriguing read. Though this book is over 500 pages long, Robin's writing flows so well that it creates a fast paced, hard to put down book. Surprisingly it was very easy for me to keep up with everything that was going on and not once was I confused by the different characters and their roles in this book. Again, that's a huge credit to Robin's writing style. Aside from it's historical elements, this story is jam packed with betrayals, political scandals, danger, suspense, and one of those romances that will leave you wanting more long after you finish reading the book. I absolutely loved this book and I am looking forward to reading the next two books in this series. If you're a fan of Graceling or Maria V. Snyder's The Poison Study series, I highly recommend picking this book up.

12 comments:

  1. I've lately heard so much good things about Grave Mercy that I need to read my ARC now! :) Great review!

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    1. Thank you Jana! I seriously LOVE this book. This will be apart of my top 10 favs from this year, it's that good. Robin wove together all my favorite YA elements with Grave Mercy. I can't wait to get my hands on the published copy to see if anything changed or was added to the book.

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  2. I am not much of a historical fiction person, but I really did enjoy this book. I loved the romance and the setting, I was just confused about the events and the scandal until I actually looked up the time period online. Once I was more clear on it I was able to enjoy the story more. I only wish I had done the search sooner. It would have saved me a lot of confusion. Now that I know about the time period I am very excited for the next book. Robin's writing is absolutely fantastic!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! That stinks the time line was confusing. I read another review that said the same thing. I love this time period. I agree, Robin's writing is fantastic.

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    2. After giving myself a mini history lesson I was more clear on it. I will be better prepared for the next book. I am really looking forward to it. I am interested to find out what is going on with Sybella!!

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  3. Fantastic review andnow I am goimg to add it to my read now list.

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    1. Thank you RuthieLynn! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I want more from this series.

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  4. I've preordered this book. Can't wait to read it! Anyway great review and I really love the trailer too!

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    1. Thank you so much! YAY! i'm so excited you're going to read it. PLEASE let me know what you think of it. :)

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  5. I am soooo looking forward to reading this. Thanks for the review!

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    1. Thank you Deb & you're welcome! This is such a fantastic read. I hope you enjoy it!

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  6. YES! I absolutely agree that Duval is Ismae's perfect match. And I just loved the assassin nuns. And the historical fiction aspect.

    THIS WHOLE BOOK, really. LOVED.

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