For What It's Worth

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Review: Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by Robin LaFevers



9943270Sybella 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. ~ Goodreads

Review:

These are my tweets/quotes and Goodreads updates while I was reading Dark Triumph:

"We are not allies,......we merely share each other's secrets, which is an entirely different thing." #DarkTriumph

Goodreads 10% update: "R.L. LaFevers' writing is so beautiful. SO BEAUTIFUL."

This book is disturbing. I love it. #DarkTriumph

Goodreads 35% update: "This book is so intense. Much more so than Grave Mercy. <3 it so far."

Man.....poor Sybella deserves a happy ending. I may be meeting the love interest soon. Hope he is as awesome as she is. #DarkTriumph

"I am in desperate need of killing something" #DarkTriumph

This book goes to some very dark places. #DarkTriumph

".....for I do not care if I kill them. Indeed, I pray that I will." #DarkTriumph

"I wish to crawl back into my younger self and hand her this knowledge, this small spark of light, & see how it would shift her perceptions of all the darkness around her." #DarkTriumph


Ismae & Duval! #DarkTriumph

"Have you finished confessing all your darkest sins to me?" #DarkTriumph

***

Dark Triumph is so much darker than Grave Mercy (my review) . I knew going in that Sybella was going to be a very different kind of heroine, abrasive even, but I was not prepared for the outpouring of sympathy I had for her and all she's endured. It was worse than I had imagined.

Her love interest, The Beast, is just as violent and bloodthirsty as Sybella, yet holds a light within that wraps her in a blanket of hope. A sentiment that she hasn't dared believed in a very long time. I thought the "L" word popped up before the relationship was cemented but that's a minor complaint to what is otherwise a wonderful romance. There is none of the lusty glances and giggling of most YA romances. These two have been through too much for that. Their bond is forged over mutual respect, heartbreaking losses and the power of redemption. It's also just one small aspect of the story, not the most important or overpowering one, considering all the political danger and intrigue surrounding them.

When I say this is dark I mean it. I'm not even alluding to all the blood and gore (of which there is a lot & I love me some decapitations & spilled entrails! lol). LaFevers touches on a few taboo topics & themes that will probably make a few readers squirm but I think it was handled well. If you ever watched Game of Thrones, Spartacus etc you can handle it but I would definitely recommend this for older teens or read this first if you're a parent so you can discuss it later.

There is something about the way that R.L. LaFevers writing that pulls me in in spite of myself. I say that because I usually hate long descriptive prose, political posturing, deceptions and reading about history yet I cannot get enough of any of those things when reading this series. I could easily read another 100 pages or more.

My only complaints with this book would be the aforementioned premature (in my opinion) use of the the word love & a bit of repetition that carried over from Grave Mercy, otherwise it was a beautiful sequel that was able to seamlessly blend in the characters and plot from the previous novel. I adored how Ismae and Sybella's friendship was not forsaken in favor of the romance. This is definitely one of the few series that is a must read for me.

Author: website | Twitter
Source: Amazon Vine for my honest review
Buy the book! Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin Trilogy) Release date: April 2nd, 2013

28 comments:

  1. You talked me into it. I am going to put this series on my TBR list.

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  2. OMG I love this review. I love that they've been through too much for the mushy poo. FAB. Makes me want this all the more.

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    1. It's such a different kind of relationship. It's almost adult and not YA and I don't mean with the sex or graphic nature but the level of maturity and what they have to overcome.

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  3. I liked Grave Mercy but I wasn't IN LOVE with it like so many others. I didn't really have a desire to read this book but I love that it's even darker. I really wanted Grave Mercy to be darker so I'm glad this sequel steps it up. It sounds so intense!

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    1. I just enjoy her writing. It's kind of slow and I understand what you mean about GM but this is much darker. I also loved how she kept Ismae in the picture. It didn't feel like ...oh here's Ismae dropping in either. It's a very important relationship in Sybella's life.

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  4. Oh my word! I cannot wait to read this one! I loved Grave Mercy so much and I am looking forward to the darker side of this book.

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    1. You'll have to let me know what you think. I didn't read any other reviews yet so I'm interested o see what other people thought about a few things.

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  5. So excited about this one. I wondered if Sybella and The Beast would get together at the end of the last book!

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    1. I really love them together. It's such a beautiful relationship and so different from most YA relationships.

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  6. I loved Grave Mercy and cannot wait until this comes out! Awesome review! =D

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  7. I am weary as I read some neg reviews about book1 that just made it feel like it was not a good fit..still it sound so good

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    1. The writing style is slow - that usually bugs and bores me but for some reason I love it.

      I have a few friends that didn't even finish it. (the first book)

      This book has a quicker pace in my opinion.

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  8. Wow, cool! Considering that you really liked Grave mercy I'm impressed that this is even better. I'm so jealous you got a review copy!

    Unrelated question - do you use Grooveshark instead of spotify or do you just have it up there so you can post your playlist?

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  9. I loved this one so much! Definitely darker than GM, but just such an intense book!

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    1. I didn't know you read it! I think I liked it more than GM even though I did love that one two. They're different but work well together.

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  10. Ohh, I can't wait to read my copy! I'm not going to read the review just yet, but I'm so happy to see that you loved it,Karen. :)

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    1. I really did. I think even more than Grave Mercy.

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  11. I really enjoyed the first one so much. I'm so bummed I missed this one for review. The romance doesn't sound too bad even if it was a bit early. Sounds like it still keeps with the first one and I love the way you say it seamlessly blends. I swear I was surprised at how quickly I read that first book, sounds like this one could be the same. SOLD! :D

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    1. The romance isn't early - in fact it's a nice slow build. Definitely one of the better ones I've ever read. I just thought that the word love was used prematurely. It's a nitpick really - nothing major or annoying.

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  12. I read Grave Mercy and really liked it but it missed just a little something for me. I really hope that this book adds in that extra special touch. I feel that these books could compete with Tamora Pierce's Tortall world if done right.

    Thanks for the great review! I suggest checking out Pierce's books if you haven't read any of her work yet.

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    1. I loved GM but I know what you mean. This book delves deeper and is much darker so it might be what you were looking for in GM.

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  13. This might be a YA series that I could read since it seems to be more mature in nature! I really don't mind dark at all and since I read so much romance quick "l" doesn't bug me either. I re-read your review of GM and yep this will land on my limited YA shelf!

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    1. I will say it's a slower kind of book. Lots of politics and world building which is usually a turn off for me but I get caught up in this author's writing.

      The romance wasn't quick - in fact it was a beautiful, slow build up but the word love came up a little too soon imo. Hard to explain without you reading it or me spoiling things. lol

      If you give it a try, let me know what you think.

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  14. I can't wait to read this one. I get turned off by the slowness of some world building, but really enjoyed the first one, so I hope this one will draw me in!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

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    1. It is so slow! lol I can't believe how much I like this series even with all the world building. I usually check out pretty quick with those kinds of books but for some reason I like the way LaFevers writes so it works for me.

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  15. Oh man--I am starting this soon so I only skimmed the beginning of your review. SO excited! Darker sounds good to me, too.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  16. This is so exciting! I am so happy you liked this one so much, Karen, because I know you tell it likes it is. I'm looking forward to returning to the story and maybe a bit anxious of the disturbing things you mention, but I will hopefully be okay with it. I was so surprised and impressed that Robin LaFevers was able to draw me into the story, as well, because I wasn't expecting the political stuff to be readable either. I am also very pleased that we get to see Ismae and Duval at some point!!

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    1. I hate political games and history but I think the nun assassin thing outweighs it lol

      it's probably the only series of it's kind that holds my interest. I hope you like it too. There is quite a bit of Duval and especially Ismae. More than I was expecting.

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