Friday, December 20, 2013

Grave Mercy by Robin Lafevers

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, 549 pages
(Book 1 of His Fair Assassin series)

Ismae is born with the mark of Mortain and becomes the bane of her "father's" existence. Thinking to rid himself of her in the most painful way possible, he marries her to a pig farmer he knows will abuse and mistreat her. But the god Mortain has other plans for his daughter. He arranges for an herb witch and priest to rescue her and take her to a nunnery in service to him. There she learns all the ways to become an assassin - Death's handmaiden. She is sent with Gavriel (the bastard son of a Duke) to discover who is trying to betray the young Dutchess. Ismae must swallow her revulsion of men and become all that she despises to weed out the traitor in the midst. As much as she hates Gavriel, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to him. When Mortain's mark is aimed at Gavriel, will she follow her heart or her oath to serve Mortain alone?
 The second time around is even better than the first read. There was so much I had missed. The subtleties throughout the book will be missed the first read through. I found myself liking Ismae, the trained assassin of St. Mortain, even more than I did the first time. The romance between her and Gavriel was much sweeter this time. The treachery, mystery, and tidbits scattered through out the pages were more easily discovered than when my mind was first engaged in guessing where the author was taking this historical fantasy fiction story.

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