Ismae has grown up with a horrible father and is about to be married to an equally horrible suitor. On her wedding night, as she is about to suffer the first of her new husband’s abuse, she escapes and is aided in her getaway by a hedge priest. Soon enough she finds herself recovering in a remote convent where she is told her destiny, should she choose to believe it: she is the daughter of the god of death, Mortain, and her life’s work shall be to assassinate those whose evil acts mark them for murder. After months of training in the arts of poison, knife-wielding, and seduction, Ismae is implanted in one of the high courts of Brittany to protect the young duchess Anne and dispose of anyone she sees that is marked for death. This is a difficult enough task for a common girl who now has to pretend to be a member of the royal court, but things get terribly complicated when she reluctantly falls in love with a man who has been clearly marked. There are rules against love for the daughters of Mortain- especially if the object of their affection is also the object of their deadly arts.
This book was simply captivating. Historical fiction isn’t always for everyone, but the supernatural element that exists makes it a good sell to any fantasy fan. The details that the author has written of the convent are dark and fascinating, while most of the information about the royal court and the treachery against Anne is based on fact! Hand this to anyone who loves fantasy, history, supernatural mysteries, and romance!
Also, keep an eye out for the sequel released earlier this month, which tells the story of Ismae’s friend Sybella who is another of the daughters of Mortain.