I really enjoyed this book and despite what felt like a slow start to me, it picked up and I ended up having a hard time putting this down. I won't go into all of the back story as I think it is important to read (I feel like I say this a lot but it's true...). With that said, Ismae is an assassin raised to believe she is the daughter of Death. With her role and parentage come certain abilities. While on an assignment she encounters Duval who is the bastard brother of the Duchess.Long story short, Ismae ends up going to court posing as the "cousin" of Duval and that is when things begin to get really interesting. There are a number of characters in this book, outside of Duval and Ismae, that play important roles in the story. The other assassins Sybella and Annith, Duval's friend de Lornay and Beast, as well as the Reverend Mother and the Chancellor. All add another layer to what is going on and helped in moving the story forward. Overall this story has a bit of everything, mystery, history, politics and there is also a romance at the heart of what is going on. I enjoyed how the relationship between Duval and Ismae progressed as well as the fact that she continued to struggle with what to do based on her loyalties to the convent and her conflicting feelings. I am glad Ismae was able to come to a conclusion around who she is and what she feels her purpose is without having to choose one or the other. I do look forward to the next book as one of the things I do wish we would have gotten more information around what was going on with Sybella and Annith - I assume they are coming in the next books but we only got glimpses of their stories and I felt like it was a major tease.