I read this book originally in 2012, kind of. It was the last book I had in a stack and I had two days to read it, I tried to renew it but someone wanted it, so I couldn’t. So I did a really quick speed read, and I might have skimmed the last 100 pages when I realized I couldn’t finish it on time. I picked it up again, to try and figure out what really happened in those last 100 pages and so I would have a better understanding of the series.
Ismae has had a hard life. She is horribly scarred from when her mother took a poison to expel her from her womb. The poison didn’t take and Ismae still lived. It is rumored that her father is Death itself. The book begins with Ismae being married off and about to partake in her marital duties when her husband finds that he has been tricked when he sees her scars. The local herb witch spirits her away to a new life working for the convent of St. Mortain – the God of Death.
Years later, after much training, Ismae is on a mission where she runs into a interested party who won’t let her escape without some drastic measures. Back at the convent the same man comes and accuses the convent of interfering with his plans to gain information. Seeing no other way, the abbess sends Ismae with the man to court to act together. The man turns out to be Lord Duval, the duchess’ bastard brother and closest confidant. What follows is a tale of intrigue as Ismae and Duval work together to figure out who is threatening Duchess Anne’s life and preventing her from making a prosperous marriage.
So I don’t know what’s with me lately, but I really love historical fiction. The intrigue and politics of court life and the romance is quite interesting. Ismae’s tale was a different take on the ‘court life’ fiction too. A woman assassin in 1500 France who works for a convent? Awesome. I also liked the small way that LaFevers wrote in Ismae and Duval’s budding romance, and I’m kind of curious to what Ismae will decide about him? Will she marry him?
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Only complaint about this book was how trusting Ismae was of her convent and the chancellor, but how quickly she doubted Duval. She really needs to work on that.
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