Rating: 5 Stars
Series: His Fair Assassin #1
Release Date: April 2012
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 picked this book up at the Strand two months ago, read a few chapters, and put it down. I just started reading it again in the past week and boy, am I glad I made that decision! It was slow at first, and I felt indifferent if not distaste towards members of the covenant and thus had little care for the characters. However, about a quarter of a way through, I was drawn in and I quickly formed my own predictions and suspicions (some of which turned out to be true).
Overall, I absolutely loved the plot, it was engaging and kept me wanting more. This is the first book in a while that has kept me so engrossed that I literally couldn't put it down. The story was unique and like none other I've read, and Robin LaFevers is a truly talented writer and storyteller.
The heroine/protagonist Ismae undergoes some amazing development and we see her go from a helpless, timid girl, to a blindly obedient assassin, and finally to a strong woman readers love and sympathize with. I knew from the moment we were introduced to Gavriel that he would be one of my favorite characters, and I was not left disappointed. The characters are all well developed and multidimensional, even the minor characters.
I definitely recommend this to anyone interested in YA historical fiction, fantasy, or really anyone interested in a fast paced novel with a hint of romance.