Title: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)
Author: Robin LaFever
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?
I am always amazed at how some people who have nothing or have lost so much can rise up from all that and be such influences in their world. Batman for example, comes to mind (although he did have money) when he suffers the greatest loss a child can go through and work through that loss to become someone great. Ismae is like that. She comes from a father who does not want her and so sells her to the highest bidder and a mother who seems to not care one bit for her. By becoming one of Death's handmaidens she goes off on a great adventure filled with confusion, loyalty and romance.
Ismae for me has become a heroine. She goes through great loss to become a great instrument in the efforts of a country to stay free from being taken over. She does seem a bit confused throughout the book as to what she should be doing but that in and of itself shows how human she is that she does have to rely on others not just the Death god to be able to help. Her eagerness to be something better then a farmers daughter is inspiring.
One thing I really enjoyed about the book was that although sparks fly between Ismae and Duval it is not the sort of instantaneous sparks of love at first sight. It is more of the smoldering heat that rises and rises. Things were never rushed and I liked that because in some they are rushed so fast past you that you're left reeling as what happened. They sort of hated each other through maybe half the book which just added to my liking.
There were a lot of scenes were I was left saying "Oh Shiz" because I didn't see it coming or because it made me laugh so hard I literally almost fell of my bed. Ismae's awkwardness with the opposite sex also made me laugh because it was one of the things she had learned and yet she still seemed to stumble in the art of flirtation and the like. I loved all the court intrigue. Sort of like a soap opera only better (because it was never over done). 'Grave Mercy' kept me wanting to find out what was to happen and who Ismae was going to be ordered to assassinate next. Loved all the action in the book. Especially the secrecy in which the main villain is hidden behind. It was a such a sneaky/sly way to keep me interested and it worked.
It was a great story with no rushing, no bad characters, and a great plot. Overall I highly recommend this book to everyone who has not yet read it.
Rating I've given this book: