Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers is a sequel to Grave Mercy but so much more. Dark Triumph is Sybella’s story and because Sybella is a much different character than Ismae, Dark Triumph is a much different book than Grave Mercy. I loved the adventuring across the countryside, the daring escapes and battles, and the added darkness that Sybella’s past brings to every decision she makes. I also enjoyed the romance plotline much much more since I absolutely adore the guy Sybella falls for >.>. There will be some spoilers if you haven’t read Grave Mercy, but these are chronological companion books, so most of Ismae’s story isn’t even brought up.
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers (His Fair Assassins #2)
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on April 2nd, 2013
Genres: Historical Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 385 pages
How I got my copy: Purchased
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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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...
- Dark Triumph is action-packed! My main complaint with Grave Mercy was that the court intrigue bored me; Dark Triumph does not suffer from this problem! There is sneaking across the countryside and battling off the French along with Sybella doing her awesome assassination thing :D. Dark Triumph felt much more like a fantasy adventure story than Grave Mercy, for which I was obviously grateful ;-).
- Beast might be my favorite character from Grave Mercy and we get to know him much more in Dark Triumph. He is such a great anti-hero in that he is described as horrendously scarred and ugly, but has such a wonderful heart. His lightness contrasts Sybella’s darkness wonderfully and it amuses me that his ugliness also contracts Sybella’s beauty. He is a great foil is really what it comes down to.
- I love broken heroines so Sybella was totally my girl! She has a lot of crap going on in her head from the abuse of her childhood, but she has also found so much strength through being a daughter of St. Mortain. She is the kind of character that I really wish I could be friends with because she is just that great and because I want to give her a hug and try to make her feel better more often than not.
- I listened to the audiobook of Dark Triumph and am thrilled to report that the narration is fantabulous! If you are a fan of audiobooks, this is definitely how I recommend reading Dark Triumph.
- My favorite part of this series is of course the fantasy elements and I was really excited to finally learn more about the other old gods/new saints in Dark Triumph. We get to briefly see a convent for the saint of the sea and her daughters are definitely not completely human. Spin-off series please?
- Sybella has gone through some really really bad stuff, so Dark Triumph could be a bit triggery. Nothing explicit happens “on screen,” but some pretty twisted stuff about Sybella’s family is referenced.
- While I completely understand where she is coming from, there are times when Sybella just got too angsty for me about what she should do and what she has done.
- Towards the end of Dark Triumph, Sybella becomes pretty convinced that she can defeat the evil she is fighting with love and has a fair amount of internal monologue about love being the answer. I could have lived without that sentiment being so heavily emphasized.
Dark Triumph is an excellent sequel and a book I might actually recommend as a standalone for fans of darker fantasy with some romance and lots of killing. Dark Triumph is different enough from Grave Mercy that I can see fans of book one being disappointed, but I quite enjoyed the increased action and adventure ;-). Also, the audiobook narration was spot on and I highly recommend it!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
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