By: Robin LaFevers
Published: April 2, 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Source: Netgalley ARC from Publisher (THANKS!)
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.MY REVIEW:
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...
Oh. My. Goodness! This book was everything I look for in a favorite story! Action, Love, Tears, Heartbreak, Sacrifice. I was blown away by the greatness of Sybella's story.
We first meet Sybella at the convent in book one, Grave Mercy. She seems wild and uncontrollable at first impression, but we know very little of her. The other girls Ismae and Annith grow close to her, and are surprised and worried when she never returns from an assignment. For those who haven't read this series yet, I will refrain from saying any more regarding where she was and what she was doing.
Dark Triumph follows Sybella after the 3 years of her time at the convent. As an assassin, she is trained to kill those who bear the marque of Mortain and she has been placed in a position to exact revenge on those who have abused and harmed her her entire life, even those who have taken advantage of her in the name of love. But when the convent reaches out to her again with a new mission, she fears accomplishing it will put her position she has established in the household she lives in danger of being figured out and her chance at revenge will be lost.
Meanwhile Brittany is still at war with the French and Count D'Albret is still trying to force the duchess into an alliance through marriage, if even by force. We still see glimpses of Ismae and Duval from book one. A host of new characters come into the story. The only character that is still a vague mystery as to what is going on with her, is Annith. Though I know book three follows her story.
The love interest in this story was not your normal, handsome, knight in shining armor. In fact, he isn't even described as being attractive, which if I'm honest was a bit of a letdown and sometimes a distraction. For as beautiful as Sybella is, it seemed wrong to have her hero be someone that, as she describes him, "is still as big and ugly as an ogre". Hmm....so he's a huge dude, as in tall and muscular, not fat. But his face is only mildly attractive and that's only when he smiles. He definitely has a charm about him, and he's is incredibly loyal. So sue me for being shallow, I like my heroes to be good-looking in some way. He could've still had the scars to give him flawed character, but I would've connected more with their love story if he had not been described as an ogre.
If you are a fan of historical fantasy than you will surely enjoy this series! The heroins are strong, courageous women.
It is a raw and uncomfortable realization that Beast is partly behind this newfound will to live. Not for him, but because he reminded me of what life has to offer. He lives life so joyously - it is impossible not to want that joy for oneself.
But Beast leads not only be example but my making the men hungry to see themselves as Beast sees them.
"We will meet again on the other side of this, for what is between us is not finished by half."
Hate cannot be fought with hate. Evil cannot be conquered by darkness. Only love has the power to conquer them both.
Two things define him - his honor and his loyalty - and he is being asked to abandon one of them.
Truly, we are the gods' own children, forged in the fire of our tortured pasts, but also blessed with unimaginable gifts.
Final Rating - 4.5 stars!!