Rating: 5/ 5
Summary: Sybella is a Handmaiden of Death. She came to the Convent of Saint Mortain driven to the edge of sanity by her family and home life. After befriending Annith and Ismae, Sybella is able to reel herself back to reality day by day. With the tools of training from the convent, Sybella is a knife in a pretty & distracting sheath and she is sent out on a mission for the convent. Back to spy on her family that almost tore her apart. Once she arrives, she is given a new mission: help the prisoner in the dungeon escape. Sybella does as she is told; however, her escape plan goes terribly wrong when she is taken with forcibly.
While this book is historical fiction, there is more fiction than history in this installment of the His Fair Assassin trilogy. However, this story needed it. Sybella is not one for court politics or playing damsel in distress. Sybella has had a torturous home life living with D’Albert and his evil schemes. The ghosts of her past still haunt her and through this story we discover them as well as watch Sybella begin to heal herself.
I enjoyed the plot. It starts off at the D’Albert stronghold and nowhere in there is safe for Sybella. She must run from her father, brothers, one of her maids and the vile soldiers that live there. While she is family, she is not trusted. When Sybella must help the Beast of Waroch escape the dungeons, she plans on not surviving the night and taking her father with her to death. This doesn’t happen. While helping Beast escape, her knocks her unconscious and takes her with him. They flee D’Albert’s men and head to the court in Riennes. Sybella ends up going on other journeys with Beast to the coast of Brittney and the two slowing begin to depend on each other for strength and comfort.
The chemistry between Sybella and Beast was undeniable, but still Sybella tries to resist. I can’t blame her after learning all she went through. Her backstory reminded me a lot of the backstory of Celaena Sardothien. It was also probably one of the reasons I liked Sybella so much. She is sassy, intelligent and knows how to get what she wants. Her sharp tongue covers hope deeply the scars of her upbringing run.
I really loved seeing old characters (namely Ismae) pop up again in this story. I love seeing friends unite again and Sybella really needed some good friends. The Abbess also comes back and I have really become to dislike her. It started a little in Grave Mercy when she was being rigid with Ismae. But she truly does not like Sybella for whatever reason and was downright cruel to her. Nope not okay!
I really enjoyed this sequel, probably even more so than the first and I can’t wait to see how the series will close with Mortal Heart! I want to learn more about Annith! I’m excited.