Monday, December 22, 2014

Review: Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by Robin LaFevers


Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2)
by Robin LaFevers
April 2, 2013
385 pages
 

Goodreads Summary:
When Sybella arrived at the doorstep of St Mortain half mad with grief and despair the convent were only too happy to offer her refuge - but at a price. The sisters of this convent serve Death, and with Sybella naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, she could become one of their most dangerous weapons.

But her assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to the life that nearly drove her mad. Her father's rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother's love is equally monstrous. But when Sybella discovers an unexpected ally she discovers that a daughter of Death may find something other than vengeance to live for...
 

Review
 
Dark Triumph was a hard book to read. Not because it wasn't good but because the story was quite dark. Unimaginable things were revealed and I found myself gasping in horror at some of the revelations. Yet the story was so masterfully constructed I was captivated and only wanted more. The political story carried on from the previous book and I found myself still really invested in that storyline.

Before I get to anything, let me just get this one off my chest. The number one thing I wanted from this book was to see D'Albret dead. Like seriously. DEAD. Sybella and I were definitely on the same page. I loathe that man. How can those that follow him be so loyal to him? He's awful. I don't want to spoil anything but let's just say I was supremely pleased to see some people get exactly what they deserved. Maybe not right away but the wait was worth it. Yes.

In Grave Mercy, when we were first introduced to Sybella, she felt like a maniac to me. Having been left with that impression, I wasn't sure I'd enjoy her story. I shouldn't have worried because her journey was just as solid if not more gripping. Her backstory was truly horrifying. Just when I thought her past couldn't get any more shocking, it did. D'Albret murdered her baby right after she gave birth, what!! Without a doubt Sybella has a strong will to be able to hold on for so long. Practically on the verge of insanity, the only thing that kept her grounded was her goal of protecting her sisters and exacting justice on D'Albret. She endures staying in her father's household under the hope that Mortain would mark him. Everyday she suffocates a little more as no mark appears. She's filled with darkness and it shows through her thoughts.
Then the best thing happens to her! It or rather he, unexpectedly brings light to her dark existence. 

Sybella meets Beast. More accurately she rescues him from D'Albret's dungeon. They end up travelling to Rennes together and getting to know each other better than they thought they could. He wasn't your typical good-looking, mouthwatering love interest. In fact, we're repeatedly told he's just the opposite. It's a well-known fact he's ugly and I love that. Sybella saw past Beast's exterior and Beast saw through Sybella's past. LaFevers does a beautiful job with connecting them. The romance was subtle and wasn't the focus of the story but it matured beautifully. I craved for more Sybella/Beast moments because they seriously make quite the killer pair. And I do mean killer in every possible way :P

It was so lovely to see Ismae and Duval again! They remind me why I love Grave Mercy so much. Our young duchess is still as angelic as ever. They all care deeply for Sybella and while she found it surprising they cared for her at all, I loved seeing her return their affections. The bond shared by Ismae and Sybella particularly shone on two separate occasions. When the abbess revealed Sybella's identity, Ismae was worried for her but did not think any less of her. Then when Sybella refused
to go back to Nantes and the abbess threatened to send Ismae or Annith, she agreed without hesitation. She was willing to sacrifice herself for her sisters so despite what she thought of herself, she's a good soul!

I love the way Robin LaFevers's writing just flows. I can read on forever. Her plots and twists are so exquisitely developed. The tone and atmosphere are perfect. Her characters are so magically-crafted you can't help but love them. Best of all, her world leaves you wanting more. If you have a taste for historical fiction, this here would be your most excellent choice. Trust me you won't regret it. You won't.

4.5 Cats

20 comments:

  1. The title definitely fits this one, it was a much darker read than the first. It was fabulous though, darkness and all.
    I am so glad you read this and loved it! The last book is fabulous as well and not at all as dark as this was.

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    1. Definitely! It was dark but so good! I also really loved the last book~ My review for it will be up later this week ;)

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  2. AWESOME review! I read GRAVE MERCY a couple months ago and I absolutely LOVED IT! But like you, Sybella seemed like just such a crazy, unenjoyable character, that I've been skeptical to pick this book up. But I've read so many great reviews for this book (Yours included) that I KNOW it has to be good!

    Thanks for the insightful review, and for stopping by my review of PRINCESS OF THORNS @ Addicted Readers! :)

    New Email Follower! :)

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    1. Thanks so much for following me Alicia! Thank you for reading my review too! I hope you get to Dark Triumph soon and we can discuss :D

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  3. I sadly read some of the first one and was into it then just lost interest. I love dark books though so I've thought about picking it up again. I get in really weird reading moods where I end up not finishing a lot of books.

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    1. I have weird reading moods too where I just don't want to keep reading. I end up picking up another book but I always manage to go back and finish the book I put down. This one's definitely worth picking back up! I hope you do and the last book is awesome too!

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  4. Dude I cannot WAIT for you to read Mortal Heart! Of the three, this one was my "least" favorite, but I loved it so much. Grave Mercy was my favorite, then Mortal Heart, then this one. But this one got 4 stars from me, so "least" is relative. I'm glad you loved it!

    Excellent review, Eileen!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. I've read Mortal Heart and LOVED it! My review will be up later this week :D This one is also my "least" favourite out of the series. I can't decide which of the other two is my favourite because I really loved them both~ Thanks Alyssa!!

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    2. Ha -- see, I totally disagree. This one was my absolute favorite, then Grave Mercy and Mortal Heart last....
      Jen @ YA Romantics

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    3. I had a feeling you might say that ;) Wait till you read my review for Mortal Heart hehe :)

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  5. Grave Mercy has been in my TBR for a while now, and I'm surprised that the book was dark, as you said, because I actually thought it was mystery. Sybella sounds like a very mysterious character to me. Even if some parts did not work, glad you liked it anyway :D I MUST READ THIS.

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books

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    1. Sybella has quite the story as we get to learn a lot about her! Hope you'll enjoy it!

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  6. I absolutely adored this one too! I read this one and Grave Mercy earlier this year and they became absolute favourites!

    Like you I wasn't 100% about Sybella when I first started reading but I soon started rooting for her and then later on for her and Beast! Theirs was such a lovely relationship that developed slowly and that gave both of them the space they need!

    Great review Eileen!!

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    1. Yay they're my favourites too! Doesn't Robin LaFevers just create the most excellent characters?! I love them all~

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  7. Wow, you have such an amazing blog - I can't believe I hadn't found it before! Following you via GFC & Fab post - thanks for sharing =)

    Benish | Feminist Reflections

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  8. I loved Grave Mercy, and I was kind of ignoring the existence of this novel because like you, I wasn't too sure of Sybella. I guess this means I should read this one to actually know who Sybella is. And Beast sounds wonderful! The romance sounds exactly like what I would envision the author creating.

    Great review, Eileen!

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    1. Thanks Naban~ I think you'll enjoy this one if you don't mind the darker tone :D

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  9. I've wanted to read this series for a while. I've heard generally good things about the first book, so I think I might give it a chance soon. I'm worried though because you mentioned that it might be too dark, but still....I'll probably start it in the new year :)

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    1. I'd really love to hear what you think :D

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