Author: Robin LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassin #2
I stalked ebay for months trying to buy this book before April. For those of you who don't know this is the sequel to Grave Mercy, and I adored that book. I'm a really impatient person when it comes to waiting on books, especially sequels. So when this arrived in the mail I was stroking the cover for a full two days!
While Grave Mercy followed Ismae, Dark Triumph follows her friend Sybella from the convent. In Grave Mercy we see very little of Sybella and when we do she's either wild or withdrawn. I didn't really understand her character...until I read Dark Triumph. And the puzzle started coming together. As I am reviewing this book before it is officially published, I will not release names on who the knight or Sybella's father is (and I'd hate to ruin the element of surprise here for everyone else).
On her first mission, the convent has sent Sybella back to her family. But Sybella would rather travel to the depths of hell than return to her relatives, especially her father. Sybella's dad, with no conscious and every intention of inflicting harm upon everyone, has made life unbearable for Sybella, her siblings, his six deceased wives and the servants. Despite his ruthlessness, daddy has a huge following and has every intention of stealing the crown and the kingdom from the young duchess. Amidst all this treachery, Sybella is assigned the task of freeing a knight loyal to the duchess locked in her father's tower. Sybella's plan of attack is simple yet desperate as she no longer has the will to live; free the prisoner and kill her father, which very well may end in her death. But her plan does not go as planned. Sybella finds herself escorting the injured knight back to the duchess and her deranged father still remains alive. Once with the duchess (and Ismae and Duval...Yay!) and the knight safely back home, Sybella contemplates disappearing forever so she can finally be free from her father and from the Convent who will undoubtedly send her back to her family. But Sybella realizes she has much to lose if she leaves. For the knight whom she rescued may have her heart, if he can accept all her secrets from her past...and there's some pretty shocking ones! Does the daughter of Death have the strength to live, free from her father and the Convent? Will the knight accept Sybella for who she is? And does someone get rid of dear old dad?
What I LIKED about this book
Sybella made so much more sense to me. She is a tragic character throughout most of this book and Grave Mercy. The secrets we learn about her are appalling. Although she is never afraid of death, Sybella goes from a girl wishing she was dead to having so very much to live for, even after her dark past. And her relationship with the knight? Very swoon worthy if I do say so myself!
I also enjoyed having Ismae and Duval in the book. I really wanted more of them after Grave Mercy but I'm glad this book focused on Sybella. I found I enjoyed her more than Ismae (which I never saw happening in a million years).
What I DISLIKED about this book
The first two thirds of the book was extremely slow moving. And it really didn't pick up until the romance between Sybella and the knight finally evolved. And right around that time Sybella gave up a whole slew of secrets. Shocking, mind blowing secrets. I'd say more, but I doubt you want me to. I felt everything happened in the last third of the book and I would have liked some of Sybella's secrets spilled earlier.
Overall I'm going to award Dark Triumph 4.5 out of 5 stars. You have to read this if you liked Grave Mercy. Just try and push through the first half of the book, and the ending will not disappoint, I promise. I will say this book is a bit more risque than Grave Mercy. I mean there is some very adult content including violence, rape and some sexually suggestive scenes. I wouldn't recommend this book to young readers because of this. Dark Triumph officially hits book stands everywhere April 2nd. I command you to go forth and read it!