Title: Dark Triumph
Series: His Fair Assassin, #2
Author: Robin LaFevers
Date(s) read: July 22 – 23, 2013
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher (Hardcover)
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?
Thank you to Thomas Allen & Sons for a copy of this for review!
Oh my GOODNESS! Where do I begin with this book?
First off, I originally was a little scared to start reading this. When I finished reading Grave Mercy last year, I loved it so much and had only had a glimpse at Sybella’s character and frankly didn’t want to learn more about her (I get like that with books). AND it had been so long since I read Grave Mercy that I felt like I wouldn’t be able to get into this one, no matter how good of a writer Robin LaFevers is.
Let’s just say I was wrong on both accounts.
This book was freaking AWESOME! I fell in love with Sybella, hard, and couldn’t get enough of her story. This story was a little more personal, a little less political, than Grave Mercy and that was a good thing. There was also romance in it — something I found myself rooting for for most of the story. Yes, romance is one of my favourite things in a book like this, but I especially loved it between two really tough characters — mostly, Sybella who isn’t one of those helpless girly characters. She is the complete opposite, so it was great to see her feeling thoughts OTHER than wanting to kill.
Of course, while there is romance, there is a major situation going on and I found myself in complete suspense wondering what would happen. There are also some very dark themes that take place, one chapter leaving me with my mouth open in shock — while that was shocking, I love it when a story does that to me! I also liked that we got to know more about Death and why people are “marqued” for death.
And when I talk about death — there is a lot of it in this book. Really, this book isn’t for the light-hearted because there is fighting, killing, and some very stomach-turning bad scenarios taking place. The characters aren’t light and fluffy — in fact, one of the main characters is a heathen of a man, someone who I didn’t like from page one, knowing that that’s exactly how I was supposed to feel about him.
This really wasn’t a quick read. While I find myself eating up books in a day, this was one story where I wanted to take my time, making sure I was getting all of the words in. Robin LaFevers is an amazing writer and she left me wanting more, more, more! It was so wonderful that this book really didn’t feel like the middle book of a series — there was so much going on, so many layers, that it felt like it could be the beginning of something. As when I finished with Grave Mercy, I am a little disappointed that the next book in the series is about Annith, but if this book is any indication, I know I’ll love it. This series is highly recommended!