May 2, 2013

Review of Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by R.L. LaFevers



Sybella’s duty as Death’s assassin in 15th-century France forces her return home to the personal hell that she had finally escaped. Love and romance, history and magic, vengeance and salvation converge in this thrilling sequel to Grave Mercy.
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?

add to goodreadsDark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by R.L. LaFevers
Publication Date:  April 2013
Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Available for Purchase:

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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

MaryAnn NewI have to say, I loved Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers even more than book one, Grave Mercy!  It was darker and I felt as though it were more action packed.  I felt more nervous for the main character and her companions about getting busted than I did for the characters in the first book.  I felt as though I was more emotionally invested and felt so much hate and repulsion for the villain, Alain d’Albret.  I thought that my hate for him had peaked midway through the book, but when dark secrets are revealed, my loathing for him intensified.  He truly was like evil incarnate.

Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers is told in the voice of Sybella…and oh what a voice author, R.L. LavFevers has given her!  We bear witness to the strength of a strong and remarkable woman who is almost broken, but finds a strength deep inside of herself to seek vengeance upon the very man who has made her regret the life she was given.

Dark Triumph follows the journey of Sybella D’Albret, daughter of Alain d’Albret, a man who rules his people with an iron fist and a cold heart.  After escaping the pain and deceit in her home she is allowed the opportunity to train at the Convent as one of Death’s handmaidens…one who is skilled in the art of assassination.  After completing her training at the Convent, she is sent back to the very home she had escaped, with a promise from Abbess of Saint Mortain that she will be able to kill her father.

Unfortunately, much time passes and the marque that appears on those that she has been granted to kill never shows up on d’Albret.  She suffers through much pain and is constantly looking over her shoulder as she tries to do the missions the Convent sends to her, all to assist the Duchess.

But one mission changes everything for Sybella.  She is commissioned to rescue a captured knight and return him back to the Duchess.  The knight in questions happens to be none other than Benebic de Waroch, also known as Beast.  And all thanks to Beast, Sybella’s simple plan of breaking out this prisoner all goes to hell in a hand basket, and her plans change.  Whether it’s for the greater good or for the worse depends on Sybella.

OMG this book.  I loved it.  It was full of non-stop action, constant plot twists, characters that are both original and were addictively written, and a story that is pretty unforgettable.  If you’ve read book one, Grave Mercy, then you many find that Dark Triumph is more of a darker read.

It completely baffled my mind how much strength and courage that Sybella must have had deep inside her to be able to continue living under the same off as her psychotic father and unstable brothers.  I can’t even imagine having to endure all the she has had to go through both before she left the first time and after the return.  I have to say, I think she is my fav. Kick ass female character right now.  Only is she physically capable to take down any man that gets in her way, but mentally – she has to be pretty strong to survive what she has.  And holy crap the freaking crap she has had to put up with.  Those crazy ass brothers of her, and her insane father!

But with all this hate, there has to be some love, am I right?  And enter Beast.  Ohhhhh Beast… This character grows and grows on you until you just can’t get enough of him!  The fact that Beast is constantly being referred to as an ugly ogre does not deter me from falling head of heels for this giant hero.  For although he may be lacking in the looks department, he more than makes up for it with his patience, his kindness, and his heart.  A perfect example of how looks are not everything and that what makes the love bloom is not what is on the outside, but what is inside of someone.  Even though Sybella tells him time and time again that he is ugly, I feel bad for him each and every time even though it doesn’t affect him!  He still smiles and cracks jokes.  And because of the way in which Beast acts when he is told that he is unbelievable ugly, he is instantly hotter and sexier than most characters in books I’ve read.

Although there are a whole slew of characters in this book, the way in which the author presents them makes it easy to follow, and not all difficult to figure out who is who from where.  And it’s pretty epic that characters from book one make a reappearance in this installment.

Not only are the characters pretty awesome, but the story that lies within these pages is unbelievable.  As I’ve said before, the twists and turns in this book made it all that more addictive.  The fact that I felt so nervous for our champions for fear that they would be found and captured had my heart racing, and had me on the edge of my seat.  Whatever emotion that you can think of, I’m pretty sure that it can be found and felt in this book.

Fans of Grave Mercy will completely devour Dark Triump by R.L. LaFevers.  A story mixed with history and a bit of paranormal makes Dark Triumph an instant hit and a book that will leave readers everywhere breathless and anticipating book three, Mortal Heart.  I  know I, for one, can’t wait to get my hands on this one and dive back into this amazing world created by an amazing author.

About the Author:



R.L. LaFevers (Robin Lorraine when she’s in really big trouble) grew up surrounded by shelves of old dusty books and a passel of brothers. She has also spent a large portion of her life being told she was making up things that weren’t there, which only proves she was destined to write fiction. She is the author of over fourteen books for young readers, including THEODOSIA AND THE SERPENTS OF CHAOS, (Houghton Mifflin, 2007) which received starred reviews and was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Booksense Summer Pick, and nominated for the Malice Domestic’s Agatha Award, and the NATHANIEL FLUDD, BEASTOLOGIST series. Her first young adult novel, GRAVE MERCY, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Spring of 2012. She currently lives with her husband and a demonic cat in Southern California and spends her days gazing longingly at ancient artifacts or wallowing in old forgotten texts.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Ashley

    Eeep Beast! I keep hearing this book is even better than the first! I need to check it out! I love how you said it’s even more action-packed. Great review!

  2. It was soooo good Ashley!! You so need to read this. I’m curious to see what you think and Beast! OMG I lurved him in this book!

  3. Cristina

    I still haven’t gottena round to reading Grave Mercy yet but I already bought book 2 and I’m so relieved that you thought it was even better than the first one! Can’t wait to read this series.

  4. Natalie Aguirre

    I was already excited for this. Now you’ve got me dying for the library to get it in. Thanks for the great review.

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