Okay, so I love me a good series – but there are so many to choose from! And so often they start off great and then dwindle into disaster (*cough*Divergent*cough*). Have no fear! I am here to recommend and review one of the most engrossing YA series I have read in the longest time – the His Fair Assassin trilogy by Robin LaFevers.
Synopsis: The convent of Saint Mortain is a sanctuary for death’s handmaidens. You heard that right; a boarding school for the daughters of death. Here they are trained to be assassins so that, once they are of age, they may carry out the work of death. Ismae, Sybella and Annith are three of the initiates of the convent each with very different pasts and personalities, yet equally lethal skills.
This series had me completely hooked from the start. A glorious mix of historical fiction, as it is set in 15th century Brittany, and fantasy, helped along with a good dose of political intrigue and convincing romance, this series has everything.
Each book follows a different character, each of which are briefly introduced at the start of Grave Mercy. Each girl is vastly different from the others and I enjoyed reading from all of their perspectives. Feisty Ismae with her warm heart and razor wit. Dark Sybella with her heart-breaking past and deep love for her sisters. And naive yet determined Annith with all her wicked cunning. I loved each one and found the change in protagonist throughout the series kept it interesting and fresh.
Us Iggles all have our feminist streak and this series packs a feminist punch. These ladies are afraid of no man and forge their own destinies. Some of the action scenes are stunning and so intricately detailed that you can’t help but imagine them with impressive clarity. A lot of research has gone into this series and it’s paid off; the fighting and political setting feel very authentic and believable, despite the mix with fantasy elements.
And the romance… Ah, it just got better with each book. What I liked most was that it was weaved throughout each story, but none of the protagonists ever made strange or ridiculous decisions because of love. These are level headed women who have their priorities in order, but there’s always room for some swoon-worthy love interests.
If you’re looking for a change from dystopian series and have a love for fantasy or historical fiction, I just cannot recommend this series enough. Completely unique and utterly compelling, this will keep you up till 3am in the best way.