“One heart cannot serve two masters.”
I had been in a very long, long, looooonnnggg YA book-rut after reading Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series. I have a TBR bookshelf with just about 78 books, but I keep buying more books. One day, I decided to take a look at my shelf and saw that I had Grave Mercy. I won it in a Goodreads Giveaway and just never bothered to read it. It had a 3.94 rating on Goodreads so I decided to give it a try. I finished this 549-page book in two days and immediately grabbed the next two from my library.
Synopsis for Grave Mercy via Goodreads:
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?
I want to talk a little about all three books, but only posted the first book’s description to give you all a little information about it. Not only are they historical fiction, they are also full adventure books. With the girls following the God of Death, there is a fantasy element.
Each book follows a new character: Grave Mercy focuses on Ismae, Dark Triumph focuses on Sybella and Mortal Heart focuses on Annith. All three characters are present in the three books, so their stories don’t end at the end of their books. Instead of getting an epilogue at the end of the books, the stories continue in the next book. LaFevers writes with a gift of continuation; so many series are unreliable in the consistency of the story telling. Thankfully, His Fair Assassin is not plagued with this.
How I felt through the series (in .gif form)!
I am a romantic, so any stories with well-written romances make me swoon. All of the romances in the His Fair Assassin series are beautifully different and very well-written. I think I was most satisfied with Dark Triumph‘s romance than the other two, but only because I felt absolutely awful for Sybella. She was the character I was rooting for the most, and felt she truly deserved a chance at a happy ending. Ismae and Annith’s romances were great in their own ways, and I loved both of them as well. Annith’s was the most surprising (cue Jim Carrey’s reaction) but each of them were plausible. I can’t stand books where two characters are in love within the first two chapters. LaFever makes sure her characters have a friendship of some kind before any romance evolves, which makes these more realistic than some of the YA I’ve tried reading.
Some parts of the books were slow. LaFevers does make note that these books are historical fiction, so much of the series is set in the 1490s during a war. This leads the characters, some of whom are royalty or nobles, to have a very large hand in the fate of the kingdom. I found these parts the least interesting to read, but that’s just my opinion. I ended up skimming through those passages to get back to the parts I cared about the most (aka my OTPs).
I give the whole series a very solid 4 stars out of 5.
Have you read this series? Did you enjoy it as much as I did??