Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

From Goodreads: 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 ... 

My Rating: 4.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: After reading and loving Robin LaFevers’ Grave Mercy way back when it was released, I knew that sooner or later, I’d read Dark Triumph, the second novel in the His Fair Assassin series. While I was a bit bummed out that it wasn’t about Ismae and Duval, I was curious to learn more about Sybella, who I found fascinating in Grave Mercy.

Whereas the political backdrop was such a large part of the story in Grave Mercy because of Duval’s presence and his association with Brittany’s Duchess Anne, Dark Triumph focuses more on Sybella’s narrative. It’s therefore much easier to mentally keep track of all the characters, but it becomes harder to know what is happening at court since Sybella has been assigned to d’Albret’s household. She does eventually make her way to court though, where we get to see Ismae and Duval.

As much as I loved Ismae in Grave Mercy, I love Sybella even more. Her story is so sad and awful that you not only can understand the reasoning behind her choices in the past, but also admire her resiliency. 

As well, I loved the romance. Although I thought that Sybella developed feelings for Beast a little too quickly considering her backstory, it’s easy to see why she did. Unlike the men she is surrounded by, Beast is loyal, honourable, and courageous. Another thing I liked about the romance was that Sybella fell for Beast based on his personality rather than his looks and acknowledges that he isn’t and will never be labelled as handsome. But, this was very realistic because as a man who is overcome by bloodlust on the battlefield, it makes no sense for Beast to not be a physically scarred warrior.

A fantastic companion novel to Grave Mercy, Dark Triumph was released in April 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. 

Comments About the Cover: I really like the tagline and how deadly Sybella looks. 


  1. I adored Ismae and Duval as well, but Sybella's story got to me on a deeply emotional level. It was utterly heartbreaking and SO well written. LaFevers is such a fabulous author, i have no words.
    I have such high hopes for Annith's story. Can't wait!

  2. I really seem to be the only one who didn't enjoy Sybella's story so much. I mean, I still liked it, but compared to the first one, I do have to say I liked that one better. :(

  3. I was really surprised to find how dark this book was and for me it took some time to get a reading groove going. Nonetheless I did enjoy it but not as much as the first book.

  4. I'm already a little in love with Beast Z and I haven't even read a single page of this book yet! I've heard nothing but amazing things about this series and I really need to make time for them! They sound beautifully character driven and those are always the stories I love most:)

  5. Ooh it's interesting to hear that you loved Sybella more than Ismae! I'm definitely looking forward to reading this book, and hope to make some time for it this year. I had a few issues with Grave Mercy, but I liked it overall, and hope to enjoy this one even more. Lovely review, Z! I'm glad you were impressed. :)

  6. I already forgot what happened in book 1 but I remember obsessing over it for weeks! I was a little disappointed too when I found out that this is not Ismae and Duval's story but I've read a lot of good reviews about it, so there's that. ;)

  7. I haven't heard of this series but it sounds interesting! Great review :)

  8. Great review! I just need to get this series read!! I haven't read Grave Mercy yet either. Yes, I know, it's a terrible shame. ;)

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

  9. I *adored* this book. I felt the same way about is not being about Ismae and Duval, but lo and behold, I liked it even more as well.

  10. Ooh, you liked Sybella more than Ismae? I remember being so curious about her story in Grave Mercy, as well, so I can't wait to find out her side. And also dreading it a bit because I know it will be sad. I can't believe I haven't read this one yet. I better get to it before the third one comes out!!


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