4 Stars ★★★★☆
I really, really, liked this one. It’s got old pagan gods, pretty dresses, history, and a convent of specially trained girls that will f*ck you up, if their god so desires.
How much more do you need? A summary? Okay…
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?
Yeah, there’s romance, but you just have to deal with that if it’s not your thing. She fights the notion, so at least it’s not that love at first sight bull. What I loved was the historical background, because as much as I love history and as much as I had studied it, I knew very little about the country and later duchy of Brittany, where the novel takes place.Of course not all the events in the novel took place, including the major story-line, but Anne and other characters and the events that surround them happened, and I find that fascinating.
This is part of the His Fair Assassin series, with Dark Triumph and Mortal Heart the next two books. Each book follows a character seen in Grave Mercy, and from what I’ve heard, they are better than the first book. Am I going to bother with them? Hell to the yes.