Sunday, February 23, 2014
Vengence is Hers: Dark Triumph
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013
*Since this is the second book in a series, some spoilers lie ahead about book 1 - you've been warned!*
Political intrigue and a fight for freedom from a wide variety of demons continues in Dark Triumph, the second installment of Robin LaFevers' His Fair Assassin series. While the first book followed Isame, this novel follows the story of Sybella, her sister by Death and the convent of Saint Mortain. Where we only got glimpses into her dark past before, this book is dedicated to revealing her truths and her journey.
Lady Sybella's life has been one of secrets, lies, and deceit since the day she was born, and the only refuge thing remotely close to refuge she's ever experienced was her few friendships within the convent walls. But for the past six months, she might as well have been assigned to live in Hell itself as she's the abbess sent back to the home she was so desperate to escape three years ago. Though she's been trained as a daughter of Death and molded into a dangerous weapon, that may not be enough as she must face various men who have driven her to madness. Will Death give His daughter a reason to live, or is she as much a monster as the men whose lives she takes?
This book took me a little longer to get into than its predecessor, but that doesn't say much because I still finished it in three days. Unlike Ismae whose history was one of the first things established, Sybella is much more guarded. This makes complete sense as you get to know her - she has no reason to trust anyone, including readers, so when she does open up, it makes it that much stronger and the revalations more powerful. I felt so strongly for the horrors of her past and the various aspects of life and Death that plague her now, and I was rooting for her to find answers, but more than that, peace.
Just as Sybella was first introduced to readers in book one, many other characters are back. The Abbess is back and more twisted and awful than ever (it's been a long time since I've hated a character so much - she's pure evil in my opinion!), and light comes to Sybella's life in the form of Beast. I had a huge crush on this soldier who is reapeatedly described as an ogre or ugly - though his physical appearance may be bad, his soul is pure and good. The romance between he and Sybella was slow simmering and perfect - they are in many ways two sides of the same coin. Both take lives and serve their gods, and that brings them an understanding. She is able to see his inner beauty while he is able to see that Sybella is stronger than she gives herself credit for and while much darkness has covered her life, she is still good.
Simply put, if you liked Grave Mercy, you will not be disappointed in Dark Triumph. The third book is due out later this year and you can bet I'll be getting my hands on it as soon as humanly possible.
Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!