Friday, May 24, 2013

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers [Review]

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2)5 out of 5 Robots!

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassin #2
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Release: April 2nd, 2013
Hardcover: 385 Pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
Sybella's duty as Death's assassin in 15th-century France forces her return home to the personal hell that she had finally escaped. Love and romance, history and magic, vengeance and salvation converge in this thrilling sequel to Grave Mercy.

Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?
(Courtesy of the Publisher)
Shannon's Thoughts:

Lady Assassins return!  Grave Mercy (the first book in the series) was one of my favorite books in 2012.  I was so excited to read the sequel, but apprehensive when I learned it would be told from Sybella's perspective.  I knew I would miss Ismae and Duval.  Sybella was such a mysterious and hard to understand character in the first book.  I was afraid I wouldn't like her as much as Ismae.  But all my fears were quickly put to rest.  If anything, I am really happy this is Sybella's story because we finally get to understand her.  Sybella has had a truly hard life at the hands of her father.  And it really isn't until the end that we finally realize the depths of her father's abuse.  

Dark Triumph overlaps chronologically with Grave Mercy, but as a warning there is no recapping.  While the story starts off exciting, I felt a little disorientated as I tried to recall the key events and characters from the first book.  So, if you've read Grave Mercy, I suggest re-familiarizing yourself with the story.  Also, if you haven't read Grave Mercy yet, then you should read that first before Dark Triumph.  Grave Mercy lays the groundwork and the infrastructure of the series.  And in doing so, it allows the reader to jump right into Dark Triumph.

So what we end up with, really, is Sybella's personal journey.  There is much less court intrigue and political power plays here.  It is a smaller, more intimate story.  But don't worry - there is still spying and murder and assassin-ing.  Ismae and Duval make a small reappearance (less than I would have liked).  But Beast does return and is integral to Sybella's story.  Yay!  Beast is the best.  

If you liked Grave Mercy, you will love this one too.  I highly recommend it!

Books in the series in the order they should be read:
1. Grave Mercy
2. Dark Triumph

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