Source: Netgalley/Houghton Mifflin Books – I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation.
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books
Series: His Fair Assassin #2
Edition: Egalley, 400
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
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?
This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats.
This is book 2 in the His Fair Assassin series, so if you have not read Grave Mercy then there may be some slight spoilers for you. You can read my review of Grave Mercy here: Review
Dark Triumph begins about 5 chapters before then end of Grave Mercy, so there is a bit of overlap in the events but instead of following Ismae this focuses on Sybella. I remember her from the first book and I wasn’t entirely sure if I liked her or not, but now I can honestly say I love her just as much as I love Ismae.
LaFevers keeps the wonderful writing and detail, but instead of focusing on the political battles and overall events of the world like Grave Mercy she brings the focus down to a personal level so that we are put directly in the middle of Sybella’s life. We get to see just what kind of monster her father truly is as well as the people she had to deal with growing up and it gives us some valuable insight on why she’s so dark and independent. Her father, who I can’t name because I can’t remember if it’s said in Grave Mercy, is a vile man and is the head of a very damaged and dangerous household where even the slightest bit of doubt on loyalty can lead to your death. LaFevers even gives us more information on the Nine, who are the Saints/Gods of the book, and we get to see more of their ‘children’ as well. The intrigue and warfare is still present but instead of seeing it on a grand scale we get to see it focused in one household for half of the story, which in my opinion raises the stakes and made it that much more gripping.
Sybella is a very strong main character who carries a very unique voice. She’s a incredibly smart, a bit ruthless, and very determined individual, and she can most certainly hold her own against all manner of enemies. I especially loved her growth as a person over the course of the story, she opens up a bit and is pulled out of the mental darkness she’s been in for so long (thanks to a very unique and amazing relationship that she develops with a certain someone). We do get to see some of the characters from Grave Mercy again like Ismae, Duval, Beast, the Duchess, D’Albret, and the ever frustrating Reverend Mother. We even get to learn more about a few of them. Which ones? I won’t say, you’ll just have to find out.
I was utterly addicted to this book and even after I finished it I kept talking about it, I even thought about starting it over and re-reading it. This is one of the few series I’ve read where the second book is as consistent and wonderful as the first book, and try as I might I can’t pick a favorite between the two because they just that good. I think that if you loved the first book then it goes without saying that you should definitely pick up a copy of Dark Triumph. I can’t wait for Mortal Heart, book three, so I can find out what happens with poor Annith.
I received this in exchange for an honest review.