Any of the moments involving poison. I was fascinated with how poison was used in the story, and some of the heartbreaking moments that came with it!
I enjoyed the scenes early in the novel where Isame is at the convent, training for her service. And I can't deny that I was a fan of the kissing that happens later in the story.
I found the book to be difficult to take in all at once, so I listened over several weeks. This is my general approach to historical fiction, especially when you toss in all those French names!
I found this story very enjoyable and the narrator was terrific. It was a fun story with some very interesting twists and I would definitely recommend it. There were a few holes (of course they'd teach an assassin to fight in dress clothes), but they were minor and not too distracting. I will definitely be reading the sequels.
Adult who is in love with YA books.
The book flows beautifully, no long pauses to distract you.
When she shot the arrow into the guy's head with a mini bow
the moment when someone new looked at her scars.
This book has so much potential to be totally awesome: a convent of assassin nuns, political intrigue, some romance for those who enjoy that sort of thing, and a badass protagonist. Let's tackle these claims point-by-point, shall we?
- First, the education in assassination is skipped over completely by a three-year time jump from when Ismae arrives at the convent to when she is sent out on her first mission. It would have been really cool to get a glimpse of the education in the convent, Harry Potter style: worked in between chunks of character and plot development. And for a book about assassin nuns, there weren't enough assassinations in this book.
- For all the hype about political intrigue, it wasn't all that intriguing. Maybe I'm just blessed with the powers of 'whodunnit,' but the traitor was painfully obvious from the get-go so there wasn't much in the way of surprise there, either.
- The romance was so cliche that it hurt to read about it. Since I listened to this on audio, I found myself turning to the radio when the romance cliches came in. What is it about a guy radiating heat that makes him sexy? We're told multiple times that Ismae feels the heat of Duvall's body when she's not touching him. Also, the whole 'girl meets boy and they detest each other until they realize they're in love' thing has been done to death. And, there really wasn't anything about Duvall that was particularly sexy or interesting; he's just the main guy in her life so he has to be the love interest.
- Ismae is no badass. Sure, she's trained in weapons and poisons (or so we're told; see above), but she's more of a sit-around-and-wait kind of girl. Other than one time that she takes the initiative to follow Duvall to the castle, she doesn't really make any of her own decisions or do her own investigating. For the most part, she just waits around and life and this supposed intrigue just happen to her. In fact, for two major events in the book, she is only on hand because she was warned by Sibella, another assassin on assignment. Now, maybe Ismae's lack of action is because there is a lot of focus in this book on the will of the gods and her passivity is intended to throw light on this and illustrate the few choices that are open to her, but I don't really like protagonists that aren't agents of their own destiny. To be fair, Ismae takes much more of an active role at the end of the book so I haven't completely ruled out reading the second book in this series when it's out, but I think I'd enjoy it more if it were from Sibella's point of view.
I don't want to leave the impression that the book was all bad. It wasn't. After all I did give it 3 stars. The semi-accurate history was a plus, Beast was a pretty fun character for the scenes when he was around. Learning a bit about the old Breton gods was cool. I'm sure I can come up with more...
All in all, I might read the second one, but it's nowhere near the top of my to-read pile
Having already read the book I enjoyed listening to my favorite parts.
For the story yes... Although I would warn them about the funky ending and the narration leaves a little to be desired.
Narrators voice pretty much stayed the same volume weather a character was whispering or not which I found slightly annoying. Pacing itself was fine.
When Duval assists Ismae in a part later in the story...don't wanna give to much away.
Grave mercy... Bury this story quick! Completely pointless and unimaginative story. Didn't finish this one. The narrator was ok but not even the narrator could keep this story from the grave.