“There is no shame in scars, Ismae.”

Title: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)
Author: Robin La Fevers
Release Date: April 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 549
Edition: Hardcover
Cover Judge: I like it less than the Angelfire cover but I still really like it!
Quote Choice: I love that scene SO.
Note: Not a werewolf, book. JUST A WARNING.
Source: For Review
Goodreads: Link

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?

This book is like all of my favorite thing mashed up together in a book of Epic.

There is POLITCAL INTRIGUE. Y'all, one of my favorite things about High Fantasties and Historicals is the fact that there is so much secrets and lies swarming around that your desperate to put the pieces together and figure things out. Ismae is sent to go help out Duchess Anne, the ruler of Brittany in a time period where France was trying to take over. This is a Historical Fantasy, people, so that means that it is set in a time period and place that is real but there is some fantasy elements that make it super kickass.

Ismae is an assassin...but she's also a daughter of Death. The book starts you off with her being sent off to a convent after escaping the awful husband her father engaged her too and being trained in the art of stealth, combat, poison, and basically everything you'd need to carry out Death's duty and get rid of the people she is ordered to do.

Ismae as a character really was amazing. She was passionate and stubborn (but not overly snarky) and very introspective; I loved seeing her over the course of the novel having to fight between her moral values and the duty that has been brought upon her. She was a young girl who had been taken out of an awful situation and told that she was supposed to help a Saint and really was good at what she did, even if she didn't believe it herself. She was a strong heroine and I really loved watching her grow throughout the novel into someone who wasn't afraid to make their own decisions, even if it pissed off the people who took her in and raised her.

The writing is very lush and I will admit -- a bit tedious to read at times. Like most Historicals, it's full of details and descriptions and sometimes I just wanted to get past that and dive back into the story! But it wasn't bad enough that I'd consider it a completely bad thing.

THE CHARACTERS. Duval is the best, seriously. The moment they set out on this journey, they're wary of each other and constantly doing their best to pretend the other isn't even around, which ultimately fails. They form a bond slowly and lovingly and every second made me want to squeal! The more Duval's character was fleshed out and his history was revealed, the more I loved him and his devotion and passion for his country and his queen. Duval and Ismae do bring in the steam but really, it was the connection that they shared through a mutual trust that made me all happy inside.

Overall, a FANTASTIC read.
Happy Reading!


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