Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2)
Author: Robin LaFevers
Published by Houghton Mifflin in April 2013
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 take on it:
I was a little apprehensive about this book. I had loved the first one which was Ismae’s story. This book, I knew, was about Sybella, who appears briefly in Grave Mercy and I was not sure I liked her character very much. However, I had loved the first one so much so I knew I had to keep going. The beginning of Dark Triumph starts out near where Ismae’s story leaves off. Sybella is a character I had to get used to. She is a darker character and you soon find out why … she has a dark and troubled past. You quickly learn about the assignment she has been given by the convent and the toll it has taken on her. Our past and present continually shapes who we are and Sybella’s has shaped her into is a survivor even if she has to show a rough exterior to be such. This story takes you into her thoughts so that you can see her true feelings. Seeing things from her point of view and being able to witness the thoughts that she cannot share helped me grow to like her. Characters change and grow over the course of their story, at least that is what we hope to see, and Sybella’s character is really well written! If you can start a book not loving the main character and end it loving her then the author has done a good job! Like Ismae, Sybella gets to decide for herself who her powers and strengths will make her. I also got to reunite with some of the characters I loved from the first book! By the time I was 100 pages in I found myself trying to read and fold laundry at the same time, which I don’t recommend for the sake of a good job on the laundry! Basically I carted it around the house with me trying to multi task while reading because I was enjoying it so much.
In her notes author Robin LaFevers talks about how she enjoyed going into a more personal creativity with Dark Triumph, after having set the stage of the those times in Brittany with such accurate political moves and real characters “taken directly from history.” That is another thing that I enjoy about these books is that there is fact mixed with fiction.
I’ll leave you with a favorite quote from the book:
” It was the most foolish, jape-fisted bit of buffoonery I have ever seen, and I am impressed in spite of that.”