Grave Mercy Robin LaFevers Book Review

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named April. She dreamed about castles and royalty. Then she went away to college where she learned that medieval people were actually kind of gross, but totally bad as. Instead of dreaming in bed, she’d day dream at her desk of relics and miracles and saints. Years passed and she got a goodreads account and eventually a blog. With the rise of ‘debut mania’ she came across the cover and description of Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers which looked like an old college day dream in book form — as Grave Mercy set in the medieval era in Brittany and has warrior nuns.

Grave Mercy Robin La Fevers Book Cover

Grave Mercy

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
is MY ideal book. I shit you not. Encompassed within are a few ingredients that I find to be irresistible. Such as political maneuvering and INTRIGUE. I know I talk about intrigue in like every review of every fantasy book ever, but it’s like a drug to me, I can’t get enough intrigue.  While reading Grave Mercy I was consistently asking myself who is good? Who is bad? PLUS not only is there intrigue, but Grave Mercy has a legit killer plot.

Ismae is a daughter of Mortain, the God of Death. Grave Mercy opens with Ismae marrying this super gross guy and as a reader I’m like OH NO! BUT THEN she’s saved by a priest and sent to this convent which totally does not suck because at the convent she learns how to be an assassin for Mortain. Oh, you all, I just love an assassin – fictional, not in real life, mind you. ANYWAYS, she’s then sent on assignment by the nun leader to the court of the Duchess Anne and she does cool things like kill people who bear the marque of Mortain. OH OH and she has to work with this guy who is like a super stack of swoon named Duval who is like a bastard, like a real bastard as in he’s illegit, and the half brother of Anne, but he IS a legitimate piece of eye candy.

Y’all there is kissing all up in Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT.  Like, I want to read about kick ass fantasy girls who get down and dirty with kick ass fantasy men. Is that pervy? Do I care? Look, I fell in love with Grave Mercy much the same way that I fell in love with Poison Study and Graceling.

Also, HMH you better watch out BEA week, cuz I am TOTES busting in and stealing book 2 (who is with me?)!* SINCE OMG YOU GUYS, Grave Mercy can be read as a standalone and it contained characters that I love, heat, passion, and yes, the kickass nuns that I totally daydream about. ALSO book 2, Dark Triumph stars a different character whose story is one I can’t wait to read.

*sidebar: I’m not really going to break into HMH!

Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley.

Other reviews of Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers:

Book Harbinger
Bunbury In The Stacks
Into The Hall Of Books

His Fair Assassin Series Order:

Grave Mercy (Book One)
Dark Triumph (Book Two) -coming in 2013
Dark Hope (Book Three) – coming in 2013


About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. This sounds soooooo good April! I passed on a chance to review this… why did I do that? WHY?
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  2. I loved this book so so so much! I can’t wait for book 2, why is it so far away!! 🙁 🙁 🙁

  3. Gosh yes I’m in love with this book. And YES I knew it would be an ideal book for you — I remember reading and thinking you’d love it too!
    Anna recently posted..Take a Bow Elizabeth Eulberg Book ReviewMy Profile

  4. Donna Gambale says

    This review encompassed everything I loved about GRAVE MERCY, and it was hilarious. My favorite? “OH OH and she has to work with this guy who is like a super stack of swoon named Duval who is like a bastard, like a real bastard as in he’s illegit, and the half brother of Anne, but he IS a legitimate piece of eye candy.”
    Donna Gambale recently posted..10 Reasons I LOVED The Hunger Games!My Profile

  5. BOOM! All of these words are TRUTH. I’ve been FREAKING out over reading Grave Mercy since I first saw the cover a couple months ago and it immediately became one of my highly anticipated reads of this year, and you know what ALSO blew me away about it (in addition to the killer nuns, badassery, SEXYTIMES that BURN, scheming, plotting, etc.)? It actually EXCEEDED my super high expectations, which doesn’t happen often. I think that’s more my fault than anything else, but still. I might not BREAK IN to HMH at Book Expo, per se, but I shall stalk them to the ends of the earth for book 2. Woot! Stalkage!
    Amy @ Tripping Over Books recently posted..Rewind and Review (4): The Demon KingMy Profile

  6. Gosh, I’m loving this one. I’m 90% finished with the ebook, and I have SUCH a busy day today, I probably won’t finish it until bed time tonight. It’s one of those books I’ve been thinking about when I’m not reading it, and can’t wait to get back to it….Great stuff! Should probably be reading instead of reading posts…. but I need to do that too….
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  7. I’m so looking forwards to Grave Mercy! Female assassins and politics. Um YES! I’m a sucker for a Badass girl in any setting but Fantasy is my fave. Dying to get my hands on this when it releases!

  8. I just want to do lots of CAPSLOCK and !!!!!! and OMG and all that stuff because this book was one of my favorites of this year so far, and I’ve read some pretty dang good ones so that’s really saying so much.

    Ismae is awesome. Duval is hot. And all of the other stuff in the book is just badass. LOVED every word on every page and that cover is super pretty. Total package book, right here. Hurry up books two and three. NEED YOU NOW. So glad you liked!
    Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) recently posted..My Thoughts On: Losing Clementine by Ashley ReamMy Profile

  9. My heart is beating faster because you said there was kissing all up in this book! HELL YEAH! That’s why I read! For the good kissing…and plot. Yeah, the plot too. I’m on ch 4 in Grave Mercy right now and your review makes me want to stop everything and go read!!
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  10. I’ve said this book is like Maria V. Snyder and GRRM had an epic baby made of words.
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  11. Assassin nuns? Annnnd this is definitely being added to my tbr list. Close to the top too.
    Meghan recently posted..[review] The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess RothenbergMy Profile

  12. I loved this book. It was so hard to put down. The build up to the first kiss was all kinds of amazing. I cannot wait for the next book and I’m thrilled that it’s going to be told from the perspective of a character that I found fascinating because she was so mysterious.
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  13. I AM COMING WITH YOU AND SNAGGING BOOK TWO DURING BEA!!! WAIT FOR ME! Holy cow, I totally loved this story and can’t wait for the next installment.
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  14. I realize you aren’t ‘really’ going to break in to HMH, but if you were to ‘theoretically put together a team of operatives’, I like to think of myself as the muscle. Just sayin’. You know. Theoretically.

    This review made me all happy and excited about this book all over again. I loved it so! Dude, the intrigue is where it’s at! And slow burn goodness with hot hot kissing? Hello my drug of choice! Totally running out to get Poison Study now that I’ve heard it mentioned in so many Grave Mercy reviews.
    Heidi recently posted..Review: The Girls of No Return by Erin SaldinMy Profile

  15. I LOVE your review!! I’ll admit that this book really wasn’t on my radar until a couple of weeks ago when another blogger friend told me she love it. Now I am without a doubt going to read it. Especially since I now know that there’s lots of kissing!

  16. I can’t wait for the next book too! If I was going to BEA I would so be with you about book 2 🙂 The only thing I wasn’t a huge fan of is Duval. He didn’t grab me as much as other heroes.
    Debbie’s World of Books recently posted..Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversMy Profile

  17. Oh goodness, now I know exactly what to buy when I get paid this month!

    Additionally, this?

    “I know I talk about intrigue in like every review of every fantasy book ever, but it’s like a drug to me, I can’t get enough intrigue.”

    Agree 100%. There is nothing that gets a plot moving like a decent bit of intrigue.

  18. so I have this book already and I thought to myself, well hell, lets go see what April thought because SHE EATS THIS SHIT UP (not that the book is shit but y’know this fantasy shizzle) and she’ll tell me in her very own magical way if i should read this book. If i wasn’t already sold on assassin and kissing then you mention INTRIGUE. gotta love some intrigue.

    • HAHAHAHAHA I totally DO eat this shit up, it’s fine I know what you mean. Yo, you got to read this. It’s so a you book. Plus I know you don’t have the patience of a three year old – judging by your reaction to Eon and because you read Game Of Thrones so I think you’ll LOVE this.


  1. […] “Grave Mercy can be read as a standalone and it contained characters that I love, heat, passion, and yes, the kickass nuns that I totally daydream about.” – April @ Good Books and Good Wine […]

  2. […] vague spoilers for Grave Mercy, so read at your own risk but note this review is not riddled with all the big reveals and […]

  3. […] Reviews: Books and Sensibility, Bookshelvers Anonymous, Good Books and Good Wine, and more at the Book Blogs Search Engine. Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the […]

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