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 book had me excited to read it. YA fantasy? While you get a lot of YA PNR, you rarely get a historical fantasy book. I do enjoy fantasy and to pair it with a bit of magic and assassin nuns I had to read this book.
You do get a lot of this world's political information within this book and it does slow down the story in spots especially within the first half. The pacing becomes a bit uneven here. However, do not let that dissuade you from reading it. Those slower spots are necessary information for what comes later. It also helps you understand the main characters much better as they are mired within the political intrigue.
Isame's character often read quite naive in the beginning as she should. She knows nothing but what she was taught at the convent of the world. Before that her small world consisted of harsh living and abuse. However, her character grows. She learns to think for herself and becomes not just an assassin, a pawn, but a heroine.
Ah but what about romance? It is all about politics and killings? Yes, there is romance within these pages. It is slow building and it helps make it believable. No insta-love within these pages.
I give this book 4 stars. It's also for the older YA crowd. For fans of historical fantasy... you will enjoy this YA. For those that don't read this genre, I say give it a try. I really feel you will find elements in this story you will love. Just remember that all that political talk is necessary to untangle a web in which our characters are caught.
I received this eARC from the publisher and NetGalley and no compensation for my review was given.