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10 May 2012

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers is the great first book in the His Fair Assassin series - an historical fiction series that takes place in the late 1400s in Brittany (now part of France).

Ismae has had a rough life and it is not about to get any better now that her father has sold her to a husband. But the morning after her wedding she is whisked away from her new brute of a husband. She is taken to the convent of St. Mortain - the god of Death. It has been said of her all her life that she is the daughter of Death himself. Now she will have a chance to serve him.

Those who live at the convent serve Death by becoming assassins. Ismae will be taught hundreds of ways to kill - from knives to crossbow to poison. She will be taught ways to get close to a man in order to kill him - though she would prefer never to see a man again.

Her first assignment will lead her to the high court of Brittany. Duchess Anne has inherited duchy, but is not old enough to rule in her own right. She has a Privy Council, a Chancellor and a chaperone. Because Anne is not old enough and because she is a woman, there are dozens of plots to take over control of Brittany. And Ismae finds herself at the center of the intrigue, trained to kill but unsure who deserves it first.

LaFevers has written a fascinating book that will capture readers and not release them until the end. This is the kind of book that will make you stay up late and/or miss your train stop because you have no idea what is going on in the world around you - seriously I did missed my stop today and ended up deep in Queens. Read it! And then wait impatiently with me for the sequel...

LaFevers, Robin. (2012). Grave Mercy. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

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