Friday, February 28, 2014

Book Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication date: April 2013
Pages: 400
Source: Library
For: Fun (and for assassin nuns)
Series: His Fair Assassin, Book 2

Summary from goodreads:
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...
Things I Liked:
I wholeheartedly love the setting and the plot of this book.  I love seeing a time and a place that doesn't often make it into historical fiction (or historical fantasy).  It was fun to watch the intrigues and the politics play out.  I was fascinated (and sickened a few times) by the things people did for power then (and I'm sure still do now).  Plus, I love seeing women who had power and could wield it well during a time when most women were simply easy targets or repressed.  Fun, if not light, stuff.

Things I Didn't Like:
This book was definitely quite dark.  Sybella is rather depressing character.  In fact, I found her belief that she is inherently evil, completely unlovable, and totally flawed to be a bit much at times.  It seemed like she often wouldn't even give herself any kind of break.  And yes, this is likely a very real result of the horrors she grew up in.  Still, at the end she does seem to give herself a break.  There were a lot of dark deeds and disturbing details that made the book less enjoyable, though more interesting I suppose.  I'll be interested to read about Annith and kind of hope she might be a bit more cheerful than Sybella was.

Start with Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Poison by Sara Poole

s-factor: !@
a few here and there

mrg-factor: XX
mostly obliquely referenced, but some disturbing details

v-factor: ->->->
there is quite a bit of assassinating and killing and what not

Overall rating: ****

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Sheesh! I haven't even read the first book in this series. One day.

    1. I think you really might like it, when you find the time :)

  2. RL LaFevers is one of my favorite authors (I adore her Nathaniel Fludd chapter books and Theodosia middle grade books), so I've jumped into this series with enthusiasm. I agree that this one is very dark in tone and feel, but the small moments of hope and the fascinating setting and rich detail made it a fast read for me. I'm also looking forward to Annith's story :)

    1. I haven't read any other books if hers, but if they hold the same great settings and details, I'm sold!


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