My latest read has been "Dark Triumph" by Robin LaFevers. This is the second in her "His Fair Assassin" Series. The first book, Grave Mercy, I really liked. These books are dark, and about girls who are nuns of St. Mortain (the god of death) and assassins who do his will. Which sounds uber creepy but these are done so, so well and in a way that is unexpected.
St. Mortain sounds a lot like Satan but death is presented here as both justice and mercy. "Grave Mercy" dealt with the mercy part. "Dark Triumph" deals with the justice part. Sybella is trained to kill and wants to because of her past and what she's had to suffer through and endure.
There'a lot of political drama and intrigue in the first book that is not as forefront as this one. This one is much more personal and the lead character, Sybella, a very, very wounded person. I really loved this book and how it chronicles her coming to grips with her past and dealing with her brokenness. (Reminds me a lot of my own main character). It also serves as a great flip side of the same coin that Grave Mercy sets up. I loved the love story in this too. The guy isn't good looking but is charismatic and endearing and is the perfect fit for our wounded girl. A great story about healing and self discovery,all within the context of adventure and high stakes.
I will be honest and say that I wouldn't recommend this book to a young reader. A lot of YA is gritty, and this is a very dark story. There is some sexual incest mentioned and alluded to that I think would disturb a younger reader. It would have disturbed me to read that at fifteen. Granted, I grew up very sheltered and what most could handle at 15 I couldn't handle until I was in my late 20's. So take that with a grain of salt.
I love this series. The third book comes out this fall and I will definitely be begging our local library to get it. I like that these books are different. There are a lot of girl assassin books on the YA shelves right now, but these are different because of the religious element. These girls serve the god of death, but it's not all demons and satan (in fact, none of that). The author has a Catholic background which you definitely see elements of and I love the world and religions she created in these books.
Again, a dark read, so if that's not your thing steer clear. But if you can get into it and love characters who overcome and are not just stupid silly girls intent on being a damsel in distress, you should definitely check this out.