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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