Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Release Date: April 3, 2012
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?
This was SO awesome. Nun assassins who kill people when the God of death says so. Oh, yeah, definitely my kind of book. "Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?" plus it's historical fiction plus THAT cover? This was screaming my name!
I was sucked in from the start, though it has a little slow hole after the second chapter, but as soon as Duval appears, this became mouth-dropping. You know that perfect kind of stubborn romance that's prone to fight and push and pull before actually realizing they're head over heels? Isn't that the best kind to read about? Ah, I think so.
Beyond gorgeous writing, steady plot filled with conflict and kick-ass female action way back in gown times (1400-Brittany), makes this one of this year's favorites. Sparkled with sprinkles of magic, history comes alive in a plot that shares all the amazing elements I love about high fantasy. Technically historical fantasy, this book will appeal to all readers, even those who don't normally read anything history-related.
I loved the array of characters, Ismae is just hands down one of the coolest heroine in a historical book and Duval was maybe too good, but still pretty yummily flawed at times. I loved the schemes and back-stabs going on, and how close the author managed to come to real events. It was addicting and smart and brilliant. The second installment cannot come fast enough for me!
“When one consorts with assassins, one must expect to dance along the edge of a knife once or twice.”
“Surely He does not give us hearts so we may spend our lives ignoring them.”