Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)
Author: R. L. LaFevers
Book Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 549 pages
Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Narrator: Erin Moon
Listening Length: 14 hours, 14 minutes
Audiobook Publisher: Recorded Books
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?
Even though this book has been reviewed by many others, I didn't exactly know what I was getting into when the story began. I was rather alarmed with the beginning of the story and how horrible Ismae's childhood and early adult experiences were. Fortunately, I continued listening and truly enjoyed the basic storyline even though I was often perplexed by Ismae's naiveté and some of the predictability in the plot. The basic premise that a convent of nuns teaches young women to commit righteous murders appeals to me on many levels. I also really enjoyed the political intrigue in the royal court and the evolution of the relationship between Ismae and Duval. I thought both Ismae and Duval were original characters and I enjoyed the midnight conversations between them. This is definitely a series I will follow particularly because other girls at the nunnery will be the focus of those stories.
As a listening experience, I enjoyed the narrator's voice and thought she did a good job with many of the accents and creating suspense when appropriate. While I was able to keep up with the names of all the primary characters I had a difficult time keeping up with all the names of the secondary characters. Around the middle of the book the plot started to drag but it was around the time things were starting to develop between Ismae and Duval so I didn't mind much at all.
Considering I was able to download this book for free through the SYNC summer download program it was a GREAT choice. If you don't know about the program I highly recommend it for next summer!