Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
Cover Thoughts: I felt the cover was perfect for this book, it shows a female with a deadly weapon and she looks deceiving.
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?
Oh wow I loved this book. It was simply spectacular historical YA fiction about a nun assassin! Can’t get any better than that! It’s a historical fiction perfectly harmonize with some ancient myth and dark legends throw in some some tantalizing clues behind the political subterfuge and murders and you’ve got yourself this amazing story that you won’t be able to put down.
The main character Ismae is abused her entire life by her vicious father and then married off at fourteen to an equally vicious husband, Ismae is saved by a hedge priest on her wedding night and taken to a convent where she is told that she is a daughter of Mortain, the god of death. She is to be trained to carry out Mortain’s will and kill those he has placed his mark upon. Intrigued? I hope so!
I really admired Ismae. Getting to know her as a character was on of my favorite parts of this book. I liked her spirit and her intelligence, which made her incredibly lethal, and I think a large part of her lethality is her quick mind and her observant nature plus I felt that she was a consistent and well built character.. It didn’t take long for her to abandon the victim mentality which I REALLY liked and accept that she is the one with the power, and that power is only earn through hard work. She was just pure awesomeness!
Duval is the love interest I loved the slow burning romance blended and filled with enough struggle and romantic tension to keep me glued to the book making the story immensely entertaining!! It’s the kind where at first they didn’t get along at all (which I LOVE), and after arguments and some eye rolling, Duval and Ismae agreed to work together in order to protect their Queen and at some point they developed feelings for each other. Their romance had depth and genuineness which makes the reading warm to their romance, it worked slowly yet passionately. And I loved it!
Overall I would own it cause I liked it that much!
Language: Moderate (PG-13)
Violence: Moderate (PG-13)
Drugs/Alcohol: mild (unless you consider concoctions of herbs to kill)
Sexual Content: moderate (some discussions that Ismae is taught in the arts of love-making -weird I know)