Death Dealings: DARK TRIUMPH by Robin LaFevers

Posted 20 April, 2013 | Mary @ TheBookSwarm | | 14 Comments

DARK TRIUMPH (His Fair Assassin #2) by Robin LaFevers
YA Historical Fantasy
385 pages, hardcover
Available now (April 2013)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review

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?

ASSASSIN NUNS!! Need I say more?

True, that’s what first drew me to this series with the first book, GRAVE MERCY. But it’s so much more than that. 

The gorgeous writing and the tangled web of intrigue and deception within the the duchy of Brittany fully immerses readers in the world of DARK TRIUMPH and doesn’t let go. This time, it’s Sybella’s turn. When we met Sybella in the first novel, she seemed cold, unapproachable and, despite a touch of mad-crazy-aggressiveness, imminently shatterable. Not surprising, considering that when she first arrived at the convent, she was on the brink of madness, pulled back only by the love of the Sisters and her dark Father, Mortain.

Despite Sybella’s iffy mental state, the Reverend Mother sends her back into the jaws of the very devil she ran from, expecting her to complete nearly-impossible tasks while holding onto her sanity and surviving her own Hell on Earth. 

Luckily, Sybella is stronger than we first think and immerses herself in that dark and twisted world, holding on only because of her impending vengeance and the knowledge that Mortain is her true father, and that the sisters-of-her heart, Ismae and Annith, love her dearly. She spies, she sidles, she plots the death of all those who so richly deserve it but mostly, she survives.

And then there’s the fierce and heinously scarred Beast of Waroch. Personally, I have a deep and abiding love of scarred characters — whether they be on the inside or starkly visible, as the Beast’s are. Even with these scars, this massive and brave warrior is exactly what Sybella needs to help her move past her burning need for vengeance and to fully recover, becoming the strong and whole woman she’s destined to be.  

Filled with underhanded machinations and death dealings, DARK TRIUMPH proves that love can triumph over evil. This joins its sister story on my shelf as a favorite read.

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14 Responses to “Death Dealings: DARK TRIUMPH by Robin LaFevers”

  1. I remember reading the Kindle sample of the first book and for some ungodly, unknown reason not feeling it. Buttttt gosh, pretty much *everyone* says good things about this series. I really need to give it another try, perhaps this time in physical format, which sometimes makes the difference!

    • It took me a bit to get into the first book mostly because I hated the “husband” and didn’t really know what was going on. Give it a longer shot and I think you’ll be a convert! Plus, paper really does change the feel of the book, IMO. 🙂

  2. I’m with you on Scarred characters, Mary! Beast, March, Naji… all my favorites. I really loved Sybella’s story, in many ways, it was deeper, somehow more significant than Ismae’s. I have no idea where LaFevers might take us with Annith, but I can’t wait to find out.

  3. YAY! So glad you enjoyed this, Mary 🙂 And I’m with you on the scarred heroes. They’re usually the perfect blend of alpha and sensitive. It’s amazing how much I loved Beast even though every description of his looks was totally unflattering. He’s just so irrepressibly lovable. Such an amazing book and series! Lovely review 🙂

  4. There is so much more to this series than Assassin nuns. I love how that is what drew so many of us to the first book but we returned for so many more reasons. Personally Beast was a huge draw for me as I fell for him right away and wanted more of his story.