The Daughters Of Death Are On The Prowl - His Fair Assassin Series (Review)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Title: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)
Author: Robin LaFevers
Release Date: April 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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“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?”

When Grave Mercy first started, I'll admit I wasn't so sure. And by that I mean like two pages. I'm not sure how I expected it to start, but that wasn't the way. But then things happened and I was quickly pulled into Ismae's plight and I found myself rooting for her to become this big, badass assassin.

I really liked Ismae, she had this drive to prove herself useful, to prove to everyone that they didn't make a mistake by taking her in. Her loyalty to her friends and the convent was inspiring. But she didn't just leap and blindly follow commands like at a snap. She received her orders from higher up, knew her duty to her God, and yet she managed to look and listen, and form her own opinions based upon her observations. Being true to herself, yet also managing to follow the path she believed her God set her upon.

If I really liked Ismae, then I adored Duval. He was devoted to getting the young duchess through coronation and securing her lands for her. He was serious and driven, yet it was obvious from early on that there was much more to this man than that.

The two of them really complemented each other well and I found myself rooting for their inevitable get together.

Even the side characters were complex and well done. Anne was so much more than I thought she was going to be when she was introduced. Sometimes I found myself forgetting how old she was because I was easily captured by the promise she showed to be a great ruler. I really liked Duval's two friends from the moment we met. Every time they appeared on the page, I wanted more of them.

The plot was fairly simple: Secure the lands for Anne and get her through her coronation.

And yet, the plot was far from simple. There were layers upon layers and lies and secrets. Schemes upon schemes, with different players taking the lead at different times. Even though I knew a certain individual was suspicious from the very beginning, it was still entertaining to watch all the lies and strings this character set into place.

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Title: Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2)
Author: Robin LaFevers
Release Date: April 2nd 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

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I must admit, I'm not that big of a fan of finding out book two of a series has a different point of view character right before I start to read it. So I went into this book a little hesitant.

But I really liked (in a twisted 'this is all so horrible but it makes a fascinating read sort of way') Sybella's situation. Right away my heart went out to the girl, but I knew she was strong and brave, and I just knew she would be able to save herself if she could only find the path to take to do so.

If I though book one was complex and had layers, book two had so many that I had to untangle from what I thought I knew about everything already. As I read, Dark Triumph reminded me a lot of Beauty and the Beast, a tale I love, and not just because her love interest was dubbed Beast. So I enjoyed this story a lot more than I initially thought I was going to.

I loved Beast and Sybella together. Though I enjoyed the way their relationship progressed, I thought they moved on to "I love you" feelings a bit too quickly. It wasn't anything in particular that made me feel this way, but rather a feeling like I missed something.

Mortal Hear by Robin LaFevers

Title: Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3)
Author: Robin LaFevers
Release Date: November 4th 2014
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

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The blurb for Mortal Heart didn't have her love interest listed. So I may have scanned a few pages toward the end when I checked the page count.


Just a few.

I'm not surprised about the who since I already had my theories. I had a feeling I was going to like this pairing from the start. As we got to know the two of them and watch them fall for each other, I found I really loved them together.

I may just love this book a tad more than the other two for this reason alone.

Storywise, I loved all the secrets and twists. Even though I knew from the beginning that the certain characters were up to no good and hiding things, I never expected certain things to be revealed. It was a pleasant surprise to have not predicted everything correctly as that rarely happens to me anymore.

My only real complaint was having just finished Dark Triumph not too long before, I wanted to dive right in to the story at the present time. But her story starts closer to when book one started. I get the need to show certain things and it wasn't presented poorly or anything, but I found myself wishing she'd just hurry up and leave already. I already knew certain plot points occurred so it was hard to feign surprise when I they happened.

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