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?
This book was intriguing, it's full of passages like this:
"We carry out Mortain's will when He wishes to alter the warp and weft of life's weave for some purpose of His own.
and while that sounds like a lot of religion it really didn't come off that way, maybe because the religion of the people of Brittany is different than most religions, at least the ones that I have knowledge of. I still enjoyed this book very much even though I really don't like to read religious books. I think it was all the gritty history involved in it.
The year is 1485 and Brittany is a considered a duchy, which by definition is: the territory of a duke or duchess; a dukedom. (Eventually, in 1532, it was united with The Kingdom of France as a province.)
Looking down at my bodice, the fool relaxes. Are men truly such idiots that they cannot resist two orbs of flesh?
I comfort myself with the knowledge that if Duval ever feels smothered by me, it will be because I am holding a pillow over his face and commending his soul to Mortain.
--Inside Ismae's head, Grave Mercy
The story centers around Ismae, who has become one of death's handmaidens, which basically gives her a license to kill. She is sent out on assignment and gets caught up with Gavriel Duval and all the court intrigue involving the duchess. And so the story ensues.
"When one consorts with assassins, one must expect to dance along the edge of a knife once or twice."
--Duval, Grave Mercy
I would recommend this to anyone who likes a clean historical romance, with a gripping story line and stimulating characters.