Release Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Assassins, Romance, Mystery, War
Format: Paperback ARC
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository
Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?I was really excited to receive this one from the publisher, really excited (I'm pretty sure I screamed when I opened the mailbox). When I began reading it I found the story intriguing and the style diverse and new for me, but I had a hard time giving it my full attention. About a quarter way through the book I started to fly through pages. When the story gets going it is a remarkable and captivating read with a lively assassin to root for and villains to be discovered. Robin writes a fantastic historical fiction for readers of any genre and mixes in the perfect amount of fantasy and magic. My advice? Check it out for sure!
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?
I haven't read any other books by Robin LaFevers, but I can't wait to start. I'm also anxious for the second book in this series, Dark Triumph, I'm sure it will be an epic follow up.
“Surely He does not give us hearts so we may spend our lives ignoring them.”Ismae is a resilient character full of fire and a need for revenge. In the beginning of the story she is young and frail, unable to protect herself against the demons of her world. Her future is shaped when she is brought to the convent of death and trained to do his dirty work. Asking no questions she begins a new life killing traitors bearing marques by her god, Mortain. But, as she rises in her stance and unwillingly falls in love she begins to question all that she has been taught. The author's use of historical politics and days at court created a well rounded adventure story that I had a hard time being away from.
Ismae's story is one of death, love, mystery, challenge, vengeance, and above all trust. I am very impressed with the amount of personality and individuality the author is able to portray in her characters over the length of this novel. One of my favorites is Beast, you have to read it to see why.
Overall this book is a magical addition to any bookshelf and one I really recommend. I am impressed and awed at the fresh story implemented through smooth flowing language. It's a great read, not only for YA but anyone.
“When one consorts with assassins, one must expect to dance along the edge of a knife once or twice.”
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