Review No.235 – Grave Mercy

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin No.1) – Robin LaFevers

Andersen Press, 2012

It is not easy to kill a daughter of Death, but that doesn’t mean there are not those willing to try. Fleeing the village where she was born, Ismae finds shelter in the abbey of St. Mortain, where she is taught to serve the god who fathered her. By the time her training as a novice is complete, she will be a fully fledged assassin. But before she can take her vows she must venture outside the convent and prove her skills in a game of volatile political powerplay, where her loyalties may be tested to breaking point.

Grave Mercy has an excellent premise and a promising start but about halfway through the plot takes a more formulaic turn. Ismae is not given enough space to show off her skills or ingenuity, while her male love interest is allowed to dominate the story. Even his friends are given more plot relevance than hers. There are a few unexpected twists and some very good ideas, but they just didn’t pull together well enough for me. The series continues with Dark Triumph.

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