Apr 06, 2019PimaLib_ChristineR rated this title 4 out of 5 stars
I'm torn on this book. I don't read romances as a rule and this definitely fell into the "historical romance" genre. So I'll say that I really enjoyed this book but I don't feel it necessary to read anything else in the series following other convent classmates of our heroine, Ismae.
What I loved: while this is fantasy to some extent (Ismae can see some sort of mark, or as she would say "marque" on those she is sent to kill), it is mostly a history, covering the court of Anne of Brittany at the end of the 15th century. Even more than the And I Darken series with Istanbul, Grave Mercy</i> taught me a huge amount about the duchy of Brittany--that I hadn't even known existed before this book!
Ismae is a poor villager who is sent off to live in a convent that worships St. Mortain, the saint of death, as a god. Trained to kill, it is the sisters' job to remove those who would work against the Duchess--and there are many. One of Ismae's first jobs is to infiltrate the court and decide if her court patron, Gavriel Duval, the Duchess' half-brother, is a traitor. While I felt that her indecision regarding his innocence was overblown, it was perhaps one of the only missteps in this novel full of intrigue, and murder of course.
The mystery of who was the key traitor was well-crafted and the romance didn't overpower the story. Indeed, it would be difficult to overcome the many levels of machinations that were taking place. If you enjoy historical fiction or mysteries, you'll likely enjoy this novel.