Title: Grave Mercy - His Fair Assassin #1
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release date: 3rd April 2012
♔ ReviewWhy 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 a nice historical book! To be sincere, historical has to be the genre that I've read the least, but I'm definitely intrigued about. Oh, believe me, I've tried. But those others just weren't for me. You can imagine how happy I was to see that I liked this book so much.
Ismae is a girl outcasted by everyone. Her mother tried to have an abortion when she was pregnant of her, and that has left poor Ismae scarred and marked by Death, who they say is her real father. When her father tries to marry her to a despicable man, she escapes with the help of priests and herbwitches to a place where they say she'll be save. So they take her to St. Mortain's abbey, a convent that serves Death. There, she is trained as an assassin to carry out his wishes. And kill. But even as a handmaiden of Death, she is a bit special. She can see marques, shadows on a person's skin that shows how they will die. At first I was a bit worried because I thought it would be too much like Mara Dyer, but then I saw I had nothing to worry about!
As a result of an unexpected development of events, she ends up in court, just at the center of the whirlwind of conspiracies, treason and murder. Another great thing about Grave Mercy being historical? I got to see all the power struggles between the ranks of society. It was fascinating. I admit to being a little confused about countries, governors and wars sometimes, but it didn't keep me from understanding what was going on in the book.
All the characters were so well defined, I had a lot of fun reading about them! Some of them were very unique. The love story wasn't what I expected. There were some very sweet scenes, and some others that didn't work for me.
All in all, it's a very nice historical read that will keep you hooked until the very end. I have no idea what the second will be about (it was very conclusive), but I'm looking forward to it!