I loved this book! It really wasn't YA in my opinion. I won't give away too much. Ismae is young at the start of the story when she is mercifully brought to the convent after being beaten and almost raped. We learn about the convent, who Ismae really is, and see some of her training to become a handmaiden of Death but the story quickly skips ahead three years to the main plot. Because Ismae had such a hard young life, she walks into her assignment believing that she will follow the will of Death no matter what and that this is her only goal in life. That serving Him is the only thing that will make her happy. As the story progresses however, and she becomes more embroiled in the deception around her, she has several revelations and her feelings about these beliefs begin to change.
The action scenes in this book kept me turning the pages and the relationship that slowly develops between Ismae and Duval as she learns to trust him was beautiful. The supporting characters were all well developed and I especially loved Beast, who I believe has a larger role in the next book.
The historical setting was detailed and I felt as if I were right there in the time period with the characters. There were just enough twists and turns thrown in to keep me guessing until almost the very end. The story wrapped up nicely but could also easily continue and while I know the next book focuses on Sybella, another of Death's daughters, I hope to hear more about Ismae and Duval as well. I completely recommend this book and can't wait to read the next one!