Young adult fiction.
Courts and courtiers
Courts and courtiers
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adottoprog thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over
KKPGIRL thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over
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Ismae Rienne is not a normal girl; she is the daughter of Death himself, marked -- and hated -- from birth. When her human father tries to sell her into a brutal arranged marriage, Ismae escapes to the convent of Saint Mortain, where other daughters of Death learn how to kill for their Duchess and their patron god. Ismae believes in the convent's purpose, and is excited by her first assignment -- following the serious Gaviel Duval to the court of Brittany to root out traitors and French agents. But what she learns at court, and what she begins to feel for Duval, might come between her and the convent that rescued her.
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“Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?”
“When he laces his fingers through mine, my heart does its now familiar panicked flight, bumping painfully against my ribs. My shoulder twitches as if to pull my hand back, but my heart overrules it.”
“I pause at the door, wishing I could find a corner and sleep until my head clears, but the sailor said the abbess is expecting me, and while I do not know much about abbesses, I suspect they are not fond of waiting.”
“He barks out a laugh. "My little rebel.”
“It is this kindness of his that unsettles me most. I can dodge a blow or block a knife. I am impervious to poison and know a dozen ways to escape a chokehold or garrote wire. But kindness? I do not know how to defend against that.”
“The body on the ground is nothing more than a shell, a husk, and I am filled with a sense of peace. Yes, I think. Yes. This is what I want to be. An instrument of mercy, not vengeance.”
“... true faith never comes without anguish.”
“God's Teeth,' he says. 'I was only trying to wake you. You were crying out in your sleep.'
'I was not,' I say, then look from his neck to my knife.
'When I tried to wake you, you stabbed me.' He sounds sore put out. and I cannot blame him.”
“I comfort myself with the knowledge that if Duval ever feels smothered by me, it will be because I am holding a pillow over his face.”
“I am sorry,' he whispers. 'I am sorry I treated you so ill. I thought only to protect Duval.'
'It was not I who was poisoning him,' I say.
'No, but you had stolen his heart and I was afraid you would rip it from his chest when you left.”