His Fair Assassin 1
Author: Robin LaFevers
Pages: 549 pgs
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Release Date: April 3rd 2012
Review Source: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The description of this it what first drew me in. It sounding dark and dangerous and intriguing. After reading it, I can say that it is all of those things and so much more.
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.Historical fiction is slowly becoming one of my favorite genres in YA fiction. There's so much that can be done with it. I loved how Robin managed to bring fantasy and mythology into an historical story, giving an interesting and fun twist to it.
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 also includes her beautiful writing and easily it flowed. With some books, I've found myself confused and having to flip back to keep certain characters or scenes straight, but not with Grave Mercy. Robin did a fabulous job of weaving everything intricately and clearly for readers so that you don't get lost.
In a time when women are seen as nothing but genteel and the property of men, Ismae breaks the mold. She and her fellow trainees are trained to be handmaidens to Mortain and we get an inside look at that: their lessons and training as well as their first assignments. I loved seeing where she'd started out before going to the convent and how much she'd changed while being there. It really helped to explain her devotion to them.
While we do get intrigue and mystery, we also get a sweet romance that is essential to Isame and her journey. Everything that the sisters taught her at the convent can't prepare her for what the outside world brings, including the handsome Duval. What she thought she knew about Mortain, and men for that matter, was put to the test and I enjoyed seeing it unfold.
I definitely became a fan of Robin's after reading this and can't wait to continue the journey for His Fair Assassin.