Release Date: First published April 3, 2012 / Audio unabridged edition 2012 by Recrded Books
Format: Audio MP3
Pages: 549 (Hardcover) / Audio Length: Approx 8 hours
Narrator: Caroline Ramsay
Source: Library Borrow via Overdrive
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Review Date: August 23, 2013
Rating: 2 bookmarks
Synopsis: 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 story takes place in 15th century Brittany, France, This is really a British drama with a lot of overly complicated Tutor-ish politics wrapped up with a little bit of paranormal. It's almost like the fantasy part of this story takes a back seat to the historical fiction part. It's a little odd. I like British historical fiction, but this didn't exactly hit the mark for me.
The story had a shocking start and it pretty much came to a crawl after that. The heroine, Ismae, starts out as the victim of her circumstances, but soon after being rescued she end up with nuns at a Convent. But this is no ordinary Convent. These nuns take in women and girls who they feel have the gift of St. Mortain, the God of Death, and train them to be assassins and to do Mortain's bidding. The story had a a few peaks and many valleys. There are a few points of excitement spread throughout the story with lulls in between. Not only that, but the romance seemed a bit weird and out of place. It wasn't that believable to me. This story actually wouldn't have been hindered at all had the author left the whole romance subplot out of it.
I'm glad that I was listening to this story. I may have given up on it if I were just reading it. The narrator was decent, while it took a few chapters to get used to her voice and accent, overall I believe she helped the story along.
I won't be reading or listening to any more of this series. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't horrible, but there was a lot of room for improvement.
Happy Reading & Listening,