Friday, March 29, 2013

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by R.L. LaFevers

book cover of Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Title: Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2)
Author: Robin LaFevers
Release date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Pages: 400
Source: ALA
Reading level: YA

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?

I honestly thought it would be impossible for Dark Triumph to live up to it’s predecessor.  Grave Mercy is one of the best historical fantasy novels that I’ve read and Dark Triumph definitely is too. Sybella’s story is just as fantastic as Ismae’s and readers will be rooting for her from the very first page.
Sybella is a little harder to like than Ismae but she quickly grows on readers.  She’s had a hard life, maybe even harder than Ismae, and things don’t come easy to her.  She’s rather standoffish and sometimes rude but those are her defense mechanisms.  She doesn’t know any other way to take care of herself.  She doesn’t trust easily but she does start to when Beast enters the picture.  Oh, Beast.  Do I even need to say anything about him?  He’s just as lovable as in Grave Mercy and just as funny. He brings much needed humor to the rather serious story.  And of course there are some wonderful scenes with Duval and Ismae.  Their appearance in the story made me very happy and I loved getting a glimpse of their relationship.
The story is a bit slow in the beginning.  This time around the story is very political and there isn’t always a ton of action.  It’s not a book that you can just plow through but it’s worth a slow read.  There is a lot going on and if you try to read the book too fast you just might miss something very important.  There is also quite a bit of foreshadowing as to what might be coming for the third book.  It will definitely leave readers eager to finish the trilogy.
Overall, Dark Triumph is a very strong followup to Grave Mercy.  Fans of the first book will not be disappointed.  Sybella is just as kick-ass as anyone could have hoped and I may actually love Beast more than Duval now.  You’ll see why as you read.  
Looking for more reviews of Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers?
Dark Triumph (#2)
Mortal Heart (#3) – 2014
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  1. Little Miss Becky

    I keep sitting down to read this one and setting it aside for other books. It just hasn’t been the right time for me for a slow, intense historical read lately! I will get to it soon, though, and hopefully will love it as much as you! If it’s even half as good as Grave Mercy, I know I will enjoy it!

  2. Scarlett

    I’m glad you liked it so much! I really enjoyed the first one and that always makes me a little apprehensive about it’s follow up, but you have given me hope! Great review!

  3. Aneeqah

    Eeep, I am so excited for this one!! I’m so excited that you managed to love this one as much as you loved Grave Mercy. The fact that Isame and Duavl pop up in this book makes me so excited. <3 Not to mention this new romance you speak of! I think I’ll have to read this during the weekend though, because I want to be able to follow along with all the political factors, which I surprisingly enjoyed in Grave Mercy, so hopefully I’ll be able to do the same with this novel.

    Fantastic review, Katie! I’m even more psyched for this book now! <3

  4. Kim (YA Asylum)

    I haven’t read Grave Mercy yet but it’s in my TBR list. I’ve been hearing so many great things about it and this book. I really need to start reading this series now! Particularly since you think Grave Mercy is the best historical novel you’ve heard. I love historical. Great review!

  5. Bookworm1858

    I know I love Beast more than Duval-I think he’s just amazing and I was so pleased to read more about him. I’m also glad to read about Sybella-she was so broken but her strength, courage, and will to live inspired me.

  6. Kayla Campana

    I have yet to pick up Grave Mercy, but it looks like it’s sequel sounds just as good! I love the whole story concept and your review has really made me want to get on top of the series ASAP!

  7. Alexa

    I think I will like this one even more than the first book. I know people are finding the characters a little harder to connect to this time around but I feel I will like them even more than the first book.

    Thanks for the great review! Glad you loved this one! 🙂

  8. Christina Kit.

    I’m a huge fan of this series and this author!

    I haven’t come across a more unique and imaginative paranormal historical ever, and I LOVED the nuns and their cult and their mission.

    What’s perfect is that each book has a heroine who’s so completely different, so unique as a personality, it’s like experiencing the world and historical period in an entirely different way.

    Lovely review.

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