Author: Robin LaFevers
Published: April 3rd 2012
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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?
Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not the biggest fan of historical fiction. Yeah, I love me a few classics, but mostly I’m just not that interested in historical fiction. That doesn’t mean I don’t love historical fantasy. I had the idea that His Fair Assassin series held a bit more fantasy in it, but the fantasy part wasn’t that big. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Grave Mercy, quite the opposite: I enjoyed this book a ton!
“When one consorts with assassins, one must expect to dance along the edge of a knife once or twice.”
Pg. 21 already managed to surprise me, so you could say that it was good start. I like how we got knowledge of what is taught in the convent, but don’t spend too much details and time on it. The chapters are very short (about 10 pages) and there’s relatively big spacing between lines so it all reads very quickly. (That’s why the second book seems so much smaller when you compare the hardcovers, but nope! It’s not since the spacing & font in Dark Triumph are way smaller.)
Ismae, even as a novice, is extremely kick-a! I loved how she went from a loyal follower to a young woman who realized that there are different interpretations to things and not everything is black and white. Her growth was pretty awesome. Duval :) Le sigh. He’s just too adorable for his own good. These two dislike each other thoroughly at first. One of my favorite romance types! We have this cliché scene where she comes down the stairs and he forgets to speak since he’s too busy staring at her.
Don’t mind me at all drooling over the pages. Ha. Yeah, this cliché scene totally got to me lol. The side characters, especially the main characters for the two companions in this series, are absolutely wonderful and very different from Ismae which I appreciated a lot.
The world is made of awesomeness and the learning experience until becoming a full-time assassin is well-written. It’s not overbearing, nor underwhelming. Later references to Ismae’s novice age more than make up for glossing over some information and make the story, plot and pace wise, even better. The writing is very simple for a historical fantasy book, but it really helps with the pacing, especially since the chapters are so short. During the middle part of the book the pacing and the plot slow down thanks to lots of scheming and plotting, so the power plays and politics may be a tad overwhelming if you’re not into those. The mystery was wonderful and kept me on my toes throughout the entire book.
I’m extremely excited about reading the next novels and discovering the world even more thoroughly. There are lots of questions in my head that are waiting to be answered and I cannot wait to find out more, plus, Beast will be one of the main characters in The Dark Triumph, whoop! This, my lovely friends, I’m very excited about :) Read this gorgeous thing with Jasprit & Tanja and it was so fun to discuss all the scheming and twists so thoroughly. Can’t wait to dive back into this world!
Overall rating: 4.3 out of 5.0