Review: Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers

Title: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)

Author: R.L. LaFevers

Release Date/Publisher: April 3rd, 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Read: March 29th, 2012

Pages: 528 (eBook edition)-Advanced Reader’s Copy from NetGalley


  1. Grave Mercy
  2. Dark Triumph
  3. Mortal Heart


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?

What I thought:

Ismae is shipped off to this convent after barely escaping her new husband on her wedding night. There she is told that she can either go back out into the world alone, or stay with them and learn all the ways to kill a man. Out of wanting revenge against her father and other men who mistreated her, she decides to join. She learns all the various weapons, self defense, making poisons, and many other skills they will need.

After her first two missions, a man called Duval (who is awesome) comes, and she is taken to where the current duchess is. While keeping an eye out for any order to kill from the abbess back at the convent, she is taken up in the plots and betrayals of the court, as they try to find a suitable husband for the duchess so she may be crowned and protect them against France. You never know who is still loyal to her, or who will think nothing of betraying her any chance they get.

Well, Assassin nuns sounded awesome, and I was lucky Netgalley had a copy of this for me to try out. Thank you! After reading a few chapters, I became hooked. Ismae was such a likeable character and very smart, I also liked her two convent sisters Annith and Sybella. I loved all the trouble she got herself into, the action, the plotting at court, and the small amounts of romance.  It just kept me reading, and I wished the story would keep going. Luckily I’ve heard there will be two more books, though the excerpt at the end said Spring 2013, so will definitely have to re-read this next spring.

I will be getting my own copy of this soon, just waiting for the paperback version to be available in a few months.

I highly recommend this for those who want to read something with a little bit of romance, action, and historical fiction, and of course assassin nuns!


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