Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.
She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn't mean she has...
I have been a fan of this series since the beginning. Is anything not interesting about about a group of nun assassins? I find it a little odd that these books are always classified as historical fiction, when there are so many magical/supernatural elements to them. Is it because the supernatural elements involve religion? I don’t know. They definitely read more like good old-fashioned fantasy novels. Between the journeys, the war, the magic, and the very mythological feel, not a lot of it feels too historical. It does take place in the 15th century. But in a 15th century that accepts nuns as assassins, and allows women to work independently from men (as long as they are followers of a God/prophet).
I love a good book with girl power! And all three books in this series definitely are loaded with this. The beliefs and interactions with the gods (particularly the god of death) have a very Greek mythology type of feel to them. The author kind of combines the ideas of saints with Celtic gods (pre-existing the spread of Christianity). At least this is what I gathered from the note at the end of the book. I was reading an ARC, so hopefully the note is left in the final version because I found it super interesting.
While I find Annith’s character to be kind of fascinating, I actually think I liked this book the least out of the 3. I still enjoyed it. And there were so many good things here, but I just didn’t fall into it like I did with the first two. I also feel like I’m in a bit of reading rut. This is third or so book in a row that I was hoping to love a lot more than I did. I even DNF’ed a book this week (something I rarely do).
Any way, the things I loved were: the 3 assassin friends coming together again(!), the answers we finally receive (Finally, I understand the abbess and all of my questions were answered!), the way in which all three of the stories connected, the romance, the politics, the character of the duchess, and the Helloquin (you have to read it to learn what this is and why it was amazing).
What I didn’t love: nothing was surprising (there were 3 or so major twists that I kind of called from the first chapter and kind of wished would end even slightly different than how I predicted), the repetition, and the final resolution. What was repeated? There were a few too many scenes where Ismae’s and Sybella’s men would fret over their safety. Every time one of the assassins volunteered to do something there would be disputes. And while I guess this probably would happen, I’m not sure I needed to always see it. It became rather repetitive and boring. It made my two favorite characters seem boring to me. I eventually started skimming all the scenes that involved planning political schemes because they all ended the same way. I would have loved to see more of the three women interacting than seeing these disputes over and over.
I won’t talk too much about the end because I don’t want to spoil things. I guess I just wanted to be a little more surprised and a little more impressed. That’s all I’ll say. I did really enjoy the series. And this book certainly tied everything up really nicely. There are no unanswered questions. There are plenty of new, wonderful characters. I just wished for less repetition and more surprises. I give it an 8/10.