Actually they'd lean toward subtler weapons: knives, daggers, garottes, crossbows, poisons. The convent of St. Mortain raised assassins. Not your typical convent, but then Mortain wasn't your typical Catholic saint. He was the Breton god of death, dressed up in Catholic robes to appease the Church, which didn't look too kindly on local pagan deities. Ismae was marked from birth as belonging to Mortain and the convent trained her to do his will.
Crossbow toting assassin nuns? Yes please!
You can see why I would be so excited to read this book. I was all geared up for an 549 pages of bloody action! Maybe the page count should have tipped me off that I'd be in for something a little different. What starts out as a medieval version of Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series - minus the boy troubles and with far less comedy - quickly turns into a story of aristocratic intrigue and court politics as Ismae leaves the convent in order to protect the adolescent duchess of Brittany from scheming advisers and backstabbing barons. I've got no problem with that! I happen to love history and politics. I found it very interesting learning about medieval Brittany and its struggle to maintain independence from France, especially since LaFevers faithfully carried over most of the people and events from the documented annuls of history. (Read the author's note for more on the subject of historical accuracy.)