His Fair Assassin Series, Book 2
Description (taken from Robin LaFevers' website):
Vengeance is divine.
Sybella’s duty as Death’s assassin in 15th-century France forces her return home to the personal hell that she had finally escaped. Love and romance, history and magic, vengeance and salvation converge in this thrilling sequel to Grave Mercy.
Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?
Honestly, I couldn't tell you what happened in the first book of this series other than it was from Ismae's point of view. And that didn't prevent me from enjoying this story. While the Breton politics continue, we get a new story from Sybella's point of view. And we find that she comes from a very dark past, a past that could consume her.
After finding sanctuary at a convent devoted to Mortain: the saint of death, Sybella finds herself back at home. D'Albret's estate which he took from the duchess of Brittany, Anne. And he's trying to capture her (the duchess) to force a marriage between the two of them. Did I mention he's been married six times already? As D'Albret's daughter, Sybella has witnessed the horrors that occur in his household. It's either follow D'Albret or die. When D'Albret's men capture a man known as the Beast, Sybella is requested to free him and bring him home. Sybella soon finds herself making a choice: taking vengeance on her father and killing him or helping Beast, a soldier who fights for Brittany's freedom.
This book is one of the reasons I love historical fiction. Some historical fiction pieces, like this one, could be considered fantasy because of the superstitions and gods of past (whereas nowadays we have science). It's so fun to read the political backdrops and learn something slightly true about history. But back to the characters, Sybella had a very dark life. I found myself rooting for her from the very beginning. And I loved Beast; I was gunning for that romance instantly. I mean who wouldn't want an assassin, whose past tortures her, to fall in love with one of the most renowned soldiers in the area?
I recommend this book for historical fiction lovers. If you enjoyed Grave Mercy, this one doesn't disappoint. Just be aware that I don't agree with the young adult rating; the themes are dark and involve a more mature audience.