{Review} Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Dark Triumph
by Robin LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassin #2
Pages: 358
Release Date: April 2, 2013
by Houghton Mifflin

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Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. 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 to a 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?

Wow.  This book.  Wow.  This book was one big ball of feels.  OMG!  Ok.  Let me try to put my feelings into words.  It might not work.

This book was freaking amazing.  The action started from literally page one and after that I couldn’t stop reading, I couldn’t come up to breath until like page 250.  This was a thrilling, heartbreaking, adorable book…how can it be all those things?!  This book was a lot thinner than Grave Mercy because the setting and the world and the time period had already been explained in Grave Mercy so Robin LaFevers could just get right into the book.  But she still managed to connect the Sybella from Grave Mercy with the Sybella from this book.  The writing was really amazing and in-tune in the time period.  In other words, the characters weren’t talking like people do today.  They were talking like we imagine they would have in the 1500s.  And it was kind of annoying, but oh well.  I am so sick of the sentence “But of course.”  Ugh it drives me nuts!  But, one thing that I’ve noticed with LaFevers is she writes the most touching, beautiful love scenes.  Ever.  They’re so emotion filled and delicate.  When I reviewed Grave Mercy I put in a section from when Ismae and Duval are having a moment, and I just HAVE to do it for this book too.  It perfectly sums up all the emotion in Sybella, all the emotions between her and Beast, their personalities, and how much they love each other.

I knock once on the door, then open it.
The room is dark but for a trickle of moonlight coming in from the window onto the bed.  At my entrance, Beast starts to reach for his sword, then stops. “Sybella?”
I shut the door softly behind me.  “I have slept with five men, not dozens.  Three because I had to, one because I thought he could save me, and the fifth so I could get close enough to kill him.”
He says nothing, but watches m fingers as then unlace my chemise.
“I have never lain with a man out of love.” I meet his gaze steadily.  “I would like to do so at least once before I die.”
“You love me?”
“Yes, you great lummox.  I love you.”
He lets out a sigh.  “Sweet Camulos!  It’s about time.”
I cannot help it.  I laugh.  “What do you mean?”
“I have loved you since you first slapped that vile mud on my leg and ordered me to heal.
“As far back as that?”
“I was too stupid to know it, but yes.”
“When did you realize you felt that way?” I am embarrassed to ask such a pitiable question, but I yearn to know.
He tilts his head back in thought.  “When the abbess announced you were d’Albert’s daughter.”
I gape.  “That is when you decided you loved me?”
He lifts his hands, as if in surrender.  “There is no deciding about it.  It was just there.  A great, unlooked-for complication.  It is why I grew so angry, thinking the gods were having a rich jape at my expense.” He shakes his head in disbelief.
“So does that mean you will lie with me?” My voice sounds far more vulnerable than seductive.
He swings his legs over the side of the bed, his face growing serious.  “Sybella, with all that you have endured at the hands of men, you do not have to do this.  You do not have to give your body to earn my love.  It is already yours.”
“I know,” I whisper.  “But I would go to my death having truly loved at least once.”

There ya go.  Classic Sybella and Beast.  They then go on to do It but I don’t want to put that in here.  Lol. ;P
I loved how LaFevers built up the suspense and story by hinting at Sybella’s past, and also how she introduced the characters.  The story line was so fast paced for the first half of the book, then it kind of got into a slow spot, then picked up again right after that.  The fight scenes were very well described, if not pretty gory and violent.  And then the ending of this book.  OH MY FREAKING GOD!  It was so action-packed, emotion filled, and thrilling.  Perfectly wrapped up the book.

THE FEELS FROM LIKE PAGE 300 TO PAGE 400!  I COULDN’T TAKE IT!  OMG!  There were so many plot twists and turns and I was literally screaming “WHAT!?” every single time LaFevers tweaked the story.  I couldn’t freaking believe it!!!!!  I never saw them coming.  [SPOILER: First Beast knocks out Sybella so she can’t go back to d’Albert’s household (and seriously, what was the abbess thinking when she tried to send Sybella back!?), THEN WE FIND OUT THAT BEAST’S SISTER, ALYSE, HAD A KID WITH D’ALBERT AND HER NAME IS LOUISE, WHO SYBELLA TAKES CARE OF!  OMG THE FEELS!  And then, and then, as if that wasn't enough heartbreak for one story, WE FIND OUT THAT SYBELLA HAD A BABY AND THAT D’ALBERT, HER FREAKING DAD, KILLED IT!!!!!!!!!  *falls to floor* *sobs eyes out* *never be happy again*.  Thank you LaFevers, thank you.  My life will never be the same, I will never be happy again, all because of you.  And then it’s explained why Sybella was so messed up when she was mentioned in Grave Mercy because wow, a lot of shit happened to her.  Her brothers both try to sleep with her, one she lets to protect herself from the other brother (yes, messed up right) and her father is always abusing her and ugh.  Gosh. ]
One thing that I noticed a lot of in this book was raping.  Yes, LaFevers based a lot of her events and staging on sexual events.  Not kidding.  I have never read historical fiction where sex is a huge part of the book, but honestly I’m glad that LaFevers put that in the book because it probably did actually happen as often as she put it in the book.  It’s not a good thing, but it needed to be mentioned.

This cast is freaking awesome.  I must admit, I can’t decide if I like Ismae or Sybella better.  Ismae was hurt just like Sybella, but I feel like Sybella endured more and was stronger than Ismae.  Sybella was such a flawed character, and her need to kill and to hurt was completely understandable after what happened to her.  She was a very strong character, with spunk, spirit, and confidence.  It’s really hard to explain her because she’s such a complicated character.  Then you have Beast, who Sybella has called many names, some of them being great ox, ogre, maggoty carcass, ugly oaf, mountain, infernal oaf, and great lummox.  Yep, there’s Sybella for ya.  Anyway, beast was unlike any love interest I’ve ever read about, and definitely completely different from Duval.  Beast was big, scarred, I guess ugly, and not some pretty boy just walking around being sexy.  Honestly he is perfect for Sybella.  I can’t really find the words to describe them together other than perfect.  One thing that I loved about the romance was the banter going back and forhte between the two.  They were taking jabs at each other the whole time, insulting and calling names, but they still loved each other *dreamy sigh*.  Then you have one of the best villains, I think, in YA.  Evil d’Albert.  Wow, that guy is freaking nuts.  And, after reading LaFevers afterword, apparently he actually lived.  I don’t know if he was like he was in the book in real life, but if he was I feel bad for anyone he came into contact with.  He was a really great villain, very evil haha, and just so many shades of wrong.  [SPOILER: And since he died at the end of the book, I have no idea what LaFevers is going to do with the third book.  I figured that the ending of this book would go something like Sybella goes back to the castle, tries to kill d’Albert, fails, he escapes, she escapes because Beast saves her, and then there is a huge cliffhanger at the end.  But to be honest I think the ending that actually happened was more fitting because d’Albert was Sybella’s father, so I think it was a better ending than if Annith (who will be the main character in the third book ) had killed him in the third book. ]

I really can’t decide which book I like better, Grave Mercy or Dark TriumphDark Triumph was much more emotional and heartwrenching than Grave Mercy, but Grave Mercy had a sexier love interest and better build and action.  Oh well.  How about this?  THEY’RE BOTH FREAKING AMAZING!

5 pink flowers.


Besides, he is one of the few things that has ever loved me and survived.

"For one, he is a miller, not a peasant.  And two" - Beast gives me a grin as infectious as the plague - "I can kill without getting off my horse."

Beast nods in agreement, then grins.  "I've never met a lady who enjoys her work as much as I enjoy mine."
"My work?"
"Killing.  Assassin-ing."
"What are you implying?"
He looks puzzled at the anger in my voice. "That you are very good at what you do.  It was a compliment, nothing more."

"They drugged me," he says with mild outrage.
"Because you were too stupid to lie still and let your body heal."
"You didn't drug me," he points out.
"Because I had to get your maggoty carcass from one end of the country to the other.  Once we arrived, trust me, I would have drugged you too."

"Sleep now," he says.  "Else I will have to clout you again."

"But you can be sure of one thing.  I will not die until d'Albert is defeated."

"I was wondering, since I have kissed you three times now, if you might turn into a handsome prince."
At the sight of his quick, easy grin, I feel my heart dance in my chest.
"Alas, you are still stuck with a toad, my lady."
"Ah, but it turns out I am quite fond of toads."

What did you guys think of this book?  Leave your thoughts in a comment and we'll have a discussion! :)


  1. I haven't decided if I want to continue this series. I enjoyed the first book enough, but I don't know, lol I'm that way sometimes. But I've been hearing awesome things about this sequel! Glad you enjoyed it!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

    1. OMG YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK! If you liked Grave Mercy then I think you'll LOVE this one because I think it's actually a bit better than Grave Mercy.
      But that's just my opinion! I hope you pick up this book though! :)

  2. this is a great review! I love the way you're doing your reviews now. :) I read Grave Mercy last summer and I really liked it, but I can't remember much of it so I'm re-reading it. Then I'll pick up a copy of this one because youve definitely convinced me to read it. lol :)

    1. Haha thanks! I read Grave Mercy last summer too and I couldn't remember what happened in it when I started this one but I didn't want to re-read Grave Mercy because it's so BIG! But anyway haha yes this book is a lot different but just as amazing!


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