Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

First in the His Fair Assassin trilogy


Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?
Ismae has been cast off by her father to a husband. The husband saw her scar on her shoulder. A scar that shows she’s a daughter of death, St. Mortain. He orders death, but the priest sends her to the convent of St. Mortain. The sisters serve an old god, but they serve to better the country of Brittney removing traitors. Death has blessed Ismae with dangerous gifts. She trains to be an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. The perfect place for a young girl cast aside and wronged by men. Ismae’s most important assignment takes her right into the duchess’s court. Deadly games for power are constantly going on and she pretends to be Gavriel Duval’s mistress. What happens she actually starts to want to become something to Gavriel? Is the convent all they say they are? Who’s the real traitor and what will become of Ismae in the end? This book should’ve been awesome. It sounded so good. There is Death. Death!

Of course Death isn’t as cool as him, but still Death. Death in literature has always fascinated me and I love seeing different interpretations of him. This book was not awesome. Not awesome at all. I feel like the black sheep of the bunch. Everyone seems to love this book, but I can’t even bring myself to give it 2 stars. I refuse. This book is boring and pointless. It took me almost a month to read it. A month! It was soooooooooooooooooooooo boring. I mean I have never read a book as boring as this. You’re probably wondering why didn’t you just finish it if you were so bored? Well I didn’t finish it because I was hoping for it to get good. It did eventually around page 410. That is unacceptable. A book should not drag for that much. It shouldn’t! This book has left me feeling numb and full of rage. How dare it leave me bored? Everything was boring. The characters, the plot, the drama, the romance, the sex, the betrayal, the assignations, and the covenant.

The main female character is Ismae. Ismae is probably one of the most boring characters I’ve ever come across. All she can do is kill. That’s it! She’s not good for anything else. She’s not interesting and all she thinks about is slitting people’s throats and even then her methodical killings are boring and uninteresting. Maybe I’m too hard on her, but honestly she’s boring. I’m seriously trying to think about one thing I liked about her and I can’t. I did actually like her at the end though when she was on the battle field and being merciful. That was probably my favorite scene of the whole book. And Death was there so that was a bonus. (My English teachers have told me never to start a sentence with and, but after watching Burlesque I decided I shall be risqué.) I do think I might actually like her in the next book. If I read it. I might read it. If I find it at the library or someone gives it to me. Otherwise I probably won’t read it.

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 2

The main male character is Gavriel Duval. To be honest I’m not sure if I should call him Gavriel, Duval, or milord. Milord has become my most hated word. I hate that word because of this book. I’ll call him Duval. Duval is not a very good love interest. I didn’t want to run after him and attack him with kisses or even hug him. In fact I’m pretty sure that if I saw him in real life I wouldn’t pay him any attention besides thinking he’s attractive and then skipping and move on with my life. When I read a book I want a good love interest. One that will make me feel like I’m the heroine and that he loves me and that I’m not all alone. Duval did no such thing. In fact, Duval didn’t bring anything to the table. He is BORING! I mean literally I just I can’t even describe his personality because he’s just not worth describing. Those kisses between Ismae and him were only somewhat exciting and I found those boring too.

Swoon Worthy Scale: 2

The Villain- I saw that coming from a mile away. How Ismae and her dumb self didn’t figure it out sooner I don’t know because the signs were there about 200 pages before she realized it. What about his son? Is his son hot? I want some forbidden romance to bloom between him and the duchess. That would be fun. Not going to happen though because that’s completely beside the point and completely random. I don’t know why I even want this. I need to cut down on Kleypas (which I refuse to do).

Villain Scale: 4

Thank you, Pierce the Veil, Sleeping with Sirens, and Falling in Reverse for keeping me company while writing this review and reading this book when it got boringer. (Yes I made that up and yes I know it’s improper but I don’t care.)

There were so many and I mean many frickin characters. There was the duchess, Beast, de Lornay, Anith, Reverend Mother, and like a thousand other people from the court. Really the only characters I like were Isabeau, the Duchess, and de Lornay, and Nocturne, too. That horse was totally kick-ass.

Character Scale: 4.5

I personally think and knew that covenant was a bunch of baloney. I couldn’t see why Death would only have assassins kill traitors. At the end though, I feel like Ismae is no longer as stupid and ignorant towards Death and his wishes. I am morbidly interested in the sequel. I think the sequel might actually be a thousand times better. At least I hope so since I’m adding it to my TBR list. We shall see.

Cover Thoughts: I actually hate the cover. I think her dress is ugly and I don’t like the angle that we look up at the model. I don’t like the castle. It looks fake as hell and terribly photoshopped. Just like the clouds. Those clouds are fake as hell and they don’t even look good. I like the grass.


  1. I love Death interpretations! But I wasn't too sure of this book in the first place. Sheesh, I hate hype sometimes. Staying clear of hype is my flow of things for books. (unless it sounds interesting but it just becomes crap once i read it) I think the problem with this story (i don't really know cause i haven't read it) is the characters are flat and very unlikeable. I don't know.

    Anyways, great review, Sarah! I will keep in mind to just pick this up at the library if I ever feel like reading it. XD

    1. Thanks, Delaney! I love Death interpretations, but this one just wasn't done right and the characters were not my cup of tea.