When Ismae’s new husband turns out to be just as horrible and abusive as her father, she flees the life she has known and is rescued by the Sisters of Mortaine. They offer to let her live in their convent so she can be trained in the service of Saint Mortaine. Ismae has studied the saints and knows that Mortaine is the patron of death, so she assumes that she will be tasked with helping the ill and elderly as they reach their final days. To her great surprise, she learns that the convent doesn’t just ease suffering and offer prayers; the Sisters enact the will of Mortaine – finding his mark on people and removing them from the world. Ismae finds she has great skill with poisons and weapons, but when she is sent on a mission connected to the Duchess of Brittany and her handsome brother, Gavriel, working as a handmaiden of Death becomes much more complicated than Ismae ever expected.
Why It's Worth Reading:
Two words – assassin nuns! Who doesn’t want to read about assassin nuns? It’s a simple idea filled with such conflict that it must be fantastic! If the killer nuns aren’t enough to engage you in the first place, there’s also tons of action and adventure, some excellent political interplay, and a hint of romance. I just did a small book talk with a group in which one boy specifically asked for “violent romance”. This was the first book that came to mind. :-)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: April 3, 2012
Awards: 5 starred reviews!
Do We Own a Copy?: Yes! And both of the other books in the trilogy!