Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

darktriumph1Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2)
By Robin LaFevers

Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Average Rating: 4.17

The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her home to the life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of death himself, he must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

five star

I didn’t think I would even pick up this book, now look at me, I’m rating this five stars.

I’m so surprised! I’m probably going to say that a lot throughout this review, but I am! I never thought I would read this, I thought this journey ended with Grave Mercy (GM). Alas it didn’t because I finished the trilogy! My favourite is still Grave Mercy but the next two books did meet the expectations of the first as I think every book got a rating of five stars on my Goodreads!

Sybella is the main character in Dark Triumph (DT). I love love love her backstory and the whole plot of the novel. LaFevers dedicated such a tragic, empowering story about Sybella. As the puzzle pieces came together, readers are faced with a painful realization that this character is more than what meets the eye. I thought only plot twists occurred in novels, but apparently, character twists exists now too! There were some crucial twists about Sybella that happened in DT. I never saw them coming. They were so out of the ordinary that it just enhanced my reading experience! It’s in this book where certain names are given to the women of the His Fair Assassin trilogy. I love Sybella obssession with killing people and that has to do with her “name”. Just to catch your interest, Sybella is Death’s Justice while Ismae is Death’s Mercy. When this idea was introduced, I knew I needed to read the third book, Mortal Heart to find out what Annith’s purpose would be.

Now Sybella gets a love interest which is a man we met in GM, the Beast of Waroch. Book nerds, I promise you more ugly from Beast. 😛 This relationship is so different from normal YA novels. Usually both the female and male characters are described as beautiful and sexy. If you’re looking for that here, then find some other book. Sybella is described as beautiful but in a deadly way and I mean that in the literal sense. This woman loves violence, she loves to kill and she finds happiness in it. I love that! I love how animalistic she is but she has her soft and vulnerable moments. Sybella has been through betrayal and pain and she has been degraded for so long as a woman, as a daughter and as a sister. Beast, on the other hand, is said to be ugly and has the resemblance of a beast. Like Sybella, he loves to cause violence…in the name of peace. Oh, the irony. Both has such strong morals and personalities that are so similar, they are perfect for each other. It’s even better when their pasts are intertwined as well.

We did get appearances from Ismae and Gavriel which were amazing! I loved seeing their relationship from Sybella’s eyes. Despite, the new character focus in Book 2, Sybella’s story is connected to Ismae’s and the major conflict is continued through DT. Sybella’s role in the Duchess reign and the war is just different than Ismae’s. It kind of made me think about how everyone has their own importance but all play an important part; they are all connected someway, somehow.

The plot moved at a steady pace, with lots of fighting and women kicking-ass (okay, and men too. Trust me, I didn’t forget you guys *smirk*) I mentioned character twists but there was also many plot twists as well. Some I predicted, others I really didn’t. Holy, this book kept me guessing. The upcoming war and the uncertainties of who were allies and who were enemies developed in DT and like I said before, continued to play a significant role in the trilogy. Plot was complex and again, original. Very impressive writing by Robin LaFevers.

Like GM, DT’s ending was open-ended but readers can infer that Sybella got her HEA. I found the way the book ended was so artistic and nostalgic. It was like the ending of the typical Rom-Com movie (rain/water, yes? Am I hearing The Notebook anybody?) and I loved it because it contrasted to Sybella and Beast’s personalities.

Dark Triumph has both a dark and light feel to it which will pull readers into the mysterious world of His Fair Assassin. With lots of twists and turns, readers can guarantee an enjoyable reading experience.

I recommend reading this series to fans of strong heroines, of fighting and killing, and of romantic stories threaded through a world of destruction.

Keep calm and read on,


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