Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2)Dark Triumph
(His Fair Assassin #2)
by Robin LaFevers
YA Historical Urban Fantasy
Hardcover385 Pages
April 2nd 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children


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 Review

I really enjoyed Grave Mercy and will be reading the third book, Mortal Heart, soon, so I was looking forward to continuing to read in this setting as I began Dark Triumph. The historical setting is just so vivid in these books! I love the political machinations and intrigue, the ruthlessness of the time (in some ways), the way the romance is portrayed and that none of it is instantaneous and is also challenged and tested. Dark Triumph was definitely not an exception.

I loved Sybella from the beginning. Her intelligence, ability to remain clear-headed under almost any situation, her fierce desire to protect the innocent and especially her sisters (this seems to be a ongoing theme of these assassins - the protection of the innocent). I really felt for her and what she had experienced and had to continue to face. I also loved Beast. He was such a unique character and brought some well needed humor (liking knocking Sybella out - cracks me up every time, especially with his explanation). I loved how fierce he was and how he was a little bit of a contradiction, as in him being such a large man and fierce soldier and yet so gentle with Sybella's heart and willing to lay it all out for her.

I didn't like all the innuendo, the scenes that took it beyond innuendo, the violence, and all of it so personal. I really wish it would have been cleaner in this regard. Not so repulsive in some ways and bloody. Maybe that was some of the point, I suppose.

There was so much going on in this story! I got to see another side of the head of the Convent and of Death. The lady I liked even less and Death even more. I loved the Duchess, Duval, and Ismae even more and it was nice to see them make an appearance. I really love how these stories seem to weave around each other. They are so well written with such deep characters. The darkness surrounding Sybella was so devastating and such a contrast to the peaceful moments. It was a desperate, but also beautiful tale. It had another intense plot that kept me on edge the entire way through.

If you enjoyed Grave Mercy or dark, Gothic tales where good is a small light battling against an ever-expanding and great evil then I would recommend Dark Triumph.

Content: Innuendo, sexual scenes, rape, murder, bloody violence. 

Source: Library

What do you think of this new paperback cover? Do you like it better than the original?
Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, #2)
I actually like the original better. I think it portrays the dark ages setting and overall feel of the story better. I also think it looks more secretive, which I think also fits better. Do you agree? Disagree?

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