Posted by Ashley K
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?
My Rating and Review
I expected this book to be wonderful before I read it. I have read and heard wonderful things about it so my expectations were set high. I was not let down.
I love the time period and the world this book takes place in. I love gowns and palaces and war. The setting is well done and feels true to it's era. The characters play their parts as what would be expected of them at a royal court of the time. I enjoy that throughout the book we are set in the midst of a country being torn apart, both inside and out.
The main character, Ismae, is really easy to like and believe as a person. She is strong but also has vulnerability that is so true to human nature. She is considered marked and conceived by Death, himself, and therefore is an outcast and looked down upon. She grows so much during the book and endures twice as much. She is smart and thinks things out to figure out the pieces. They do not just come to her like you see in many YA books. She fights for what she believes in and I enjoyed reading her journey into fighting for herself and what she thinks is right through the course of the book.
This book is written in a more mature manner which is something I really like. It reminded me of The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory in someways and that is never bad being that it is one of my absolute favorite books.
Even though this is set in a time that is a completely different world then we know, it is easy to follow and understand the customs and actions of the people and society of the story. It is never dull and has you questioning who is really a "good guy" throughout. There is betrayal, drama, and mystery to keep this book from ever boring you.
If you like historical fiction as much as I do, well even if you don't, read this if you haven't already. It's definitely something I will reread later on. You won't be let down with this amazing novel!