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By: Robin LaFevers
Published by: Graphia
Format of Review Copy: Paperback
Recommendable for people who enjoy: Action adventures with strong female leads!
Synopsis (from Amazon):
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?
I enjoyed this book, so much!
Action, historical fiction, paranormal-ness, a strong female character, a not-over-whelming non-insta-love relationship. WHU?! Can I just say “hoo-rah!”
Lets talk about the characters for a second. I loved that the main female lead in this book was a strong “stand alone” female. Though there was a bit of romance, she wasn’t all pining, nor was she a damsel needing rescuing. She was a fully fleshed out, dynamic character who had a hard life and came out stronger for it. So strong, for it, that she was an assassin!
Story wise, this book is: a little historical fiction, a little paranormal, a little action, a little mystery, a little thriller, a little romance. I don’t want to say anything too in depth about the plot because I don’t want to spoil anything.
For the sake of this review, and because I want to be honest with you guys… I want to say that even though I loved the story arc throughout, I can’t lie. There are a few points when I was like “ok, lets move on now…” haha. With that said, please take it with a grain of salt, because I am not a fan of romance. I hate romance. So anytime romancy stuff starts, my eyes start to roll and I kind of skim to get past it. This book does have a romance aspect to it, but its not so overwhelming that it made me want to stop reading. It definitely wasn’t insta-love, and I think that made it more tolerable for me.
I really enjoyed the story, the growth of the characters, the historical realism of the world building, the mystery aspect of the plot, and even the “handmaids of death” aspect. Heck, even cried a little toward the end during the big “climax”.
Loved! I devoured this book and am dying to read book two Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin Trilogy) by Robin LaFevers!! Definitely pick this one up if you like strong females, fantasy, historical fiction, and/or action adventure books!
I think this book would maybe be best for ages 13+. Does contain violence. The main character is an assassin for Death. Death in this book is a “god”, and I feel this may lead to questions about faith and religion/beliefs for younger readers.
For Parents and Students:
ATOS Book Level: 5.9
Interest Level: Upper Grades (UG 9-12)
AR Points: 20