This was originally posted by me at http://blackanddarknight.wordpress.com (no longer available) on April 11, 2013.
Genre & Length: Young Adult/Historical Fantasy, 576 pages
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?
Plot: I’m not sure I can give praise that lives up to the plot of this book. It’s unique, enthralling, and heart-wrenching. I absolutely fell in love with Ismae and Gavriel, and even Sybelle. (The next book, Dark Triumph, this one about Sybelle, comes out April 2, 2013 and I can’t wait!) This book has assassin nuns, all sorts of fun religious themes (I like books that make me think :P), and sweet romance. All while being moderately historically accurate (you know, except for the fantasy elements). It was fantastic.
Pacing: I could not put this book down. Seriously. I read it in . . . 3 to 4 hours, tops. Pacing was spot-on. I did not skim read once.
Writing Style: Truly a pleasure to read. LaFevers chose each and every word with care and precision, and I loved being in the head of a “young adult” who wasn’t an airheaded bimbo, for once.
Would I read this book again: YES. A thousand times “yes”.