I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.
Series: His Fair Assassin #2
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on April 2, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
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. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella 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. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. 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?
Dark Triumph certainly lives up to its name and brings the darkness. In this riveting follow-up to Grave Mercy, Robin LaFevers does not hold back when giving us Sybella’s story. I was not overly fond of Sybella in Grave Mercy, but I am sure that you will grow to admire and love her as you read this book. Once again we are plunged into the 16th century Brittany, which is a time that isn’t written about very often. I think one of the main appeals of this series the way LaFevers makes this time period so enthralling. Brittany’s struggle for autonomy, which was ultimately unsuccessful, is not something I would normally be drawn to, but the writing and structure are so good that I was completely sucked into the story. (I also loved getting to read about Ismae and Duval, once again.) Political intrigue, deadly religious orders, and people that embody evil are just some of the obstacles that Sybella must overcome in order to save herself and those she loves.
The love story is not the main focus of the book, but it is one that is wonderful, none the less. Beast is by no means a handsome man, but since you are seeing him through Sybella’s eyes, you see only the best part of his soul. While I was reading this it reminded me of something that Rainbow Rowell said (paraphrasing) “You don’t have to be beautiful, you just have to find someone who thinks you are beautiful.” That pretty much sums up this relationship between a very broken young woman and a man whose goodness outshines his lack of physical beauty. This story was tough to read in parts, but it was so rewarding in its detail and emotion that I never considered putting it down. Dark Triumph was amazing and I cannot wait to read Annith’s story, Mortal Heart.