by Robin LaFevers
Ismae wasn't meant to be born.
She was meant to be murdered in utero by the poisons forced by her father on her mother.
Poisons he purchased because Ismae wasn't his daughter; she was the daughter of death... literally.
Years later, after a failed attempt to marry her off to a violent man, Ismae is taken to the convent that worships the God/Saint Mortain: the god of Death.
For years, she is trained in the art of assassination. She learned every possible way to kill a person from daggers, to garrotes, to poison (the poison one being her specialty, since she is completely immune to all of them).
Once trained, she begins the final steps to becoming a sister of the Order and assassinates the first two of the three she must kill as part of her initiation. Unfortunately, the men she killed were on someone else's list, and now she must work with that someone to get to the bottom of a plot to destroy the very country Ismae lives in and loves.
But leaving the convent to save the country could mean ending all Ismae has ever thought she new about her world.
Final thoughts: This was OK, but I don't think I'll seek out the next one, especially since it seems to be following a different character who was mentioned a few times in this book, but not really discussed in depth. Ismae and Duval's relationship felt a little forced. However, my main issue comes from the author trying to explain, in detail, both the religious world and political world of her characters. People keep referring to this as "historical fiction" and that's only true in a very broad sense. Don't expect any real accuracy to time, people, and events here. There were lloooonnngggg discussions about politics here that maybe needed some trimming. And LaFevers' religious world seems to rely a LOT on Greek mythology with Mortain's story of love mirroring Hades and Persephone.
And one more issue I have... why is Duval constantly grabbing Ismae's arm and dragging her from place to place? It is mentioned at least once every few pages once they meet.