3.5 stars, I think. It's a good book, but the characters are so bloody confusing and I didn't really care for any of them apart from Ismae. -----Before picking this book up, I had heard a lot of talk about a kickass female assassin who was raised in a nunery. This is something that was totally different to anything I've ever read before, and while I am usually hesistant to pick up historical novels (which is kind of ironic, as I'm currently writing a historical fantasy), I couldn't wait to read this one. I love badass females, and Ismae is definitely one of those!Ismae was my favourite element of the book. I loved reading about her background story, her time at the convent and her time elsewhere. At one point, she took down three men at once, which matched the guy who was fighting with her. She was AWESOME!I also liked a couple of the other characters, the Beast and Anna, but to be honest I became very confused over the amount of characters in this book. I had a hard time learning all their different names and statuses, and it got on my nerves because I wasn't able to get as sucked into the story as I had hoped, due to having to concentrate on which Lord was which.The plot was action packed, and had several different elements thrown in there. I was hooked as I read about Ismae and her fighting, and as she spent time in the high court. I was hoping for more conflict at the end, because the book spent a lot of time building up to the climax and it fell a little flat. Perhaps I was just expecting too much from the ending.As for the love interest - I won't give any names, though I do think it is glaringly obvious from the get-go - I feel pretty neutral about him. I liked him in the beginning when we didn't know much about him, but then his character development came to a halt and I grew bored.Overall, this is a great book with a top notch female lead. A few elements were disappointing or average, but as so many others have adored this book, I think the impact these elements have must vary from person to person!