This post contains a review and a bookish manicure.
Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by Robin LaFevers
Published: April 2, 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Rating: 4 stars
From the blurb: 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.
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...
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFever is the sequel to Grave Mercy, set in Brittany. This time the story is told from Sybella’s perspective, a fellow sister of Ismae’s from the Abbey of St Mortain. Sybella is living in Alain D’Albret’s castle, along with his sons Julian and Pierre. She awaiting instructions from the abbey, but they never seem to be the order she wants, that is to kill D’Albret. Instead she must rescue Benebic de Waroch, better known as The Beast.
I enjoyed Grave Mercy, but right from the start of Dark Triumph I knew I was going to like it even more. Lady Sybella is a much stronger character than Ismae, she’s more knowledgeable, decisive, and experienced. Another reason is all the set up happened in book one, so we were able to dive right into her story, without all the information about the abbey and what the Sisters of St Mortain do.
Early on in her story Sybella reveals information about her family and hints at horrible events that have occurred over the course of her life. Knowing these things allows the reader to see her in a new light. She’s rash, brave, and cold because she has to be. But she’s also fiercely loyal and protective, preferring to put herself in danger rather than any of her loved ones. Her interactions with Benebic were entertaining - in any another story they would have been frustrating, but because of her history, it’s obvious that she feels as though she doesn't deserve to be loved, and her behaviour towards him reflects this.
LaFevers really knows how to set a scene, these story felt tense all the way through, I couldn't stop worrying about Sybella due to the constant threat of D’Albret’s revenge, couple with the approaching French troops.
Dark Triumph is a perfect sequel, no time is wasted and the story moved at a good pace, covering more ground and information, following characters I’d already come to love. The final book in the trilogy, Mortal Heart, is due out later this year, and I for one cannot wait!
I love the cover for these books and seeing as I did a mani for Grave Mercy, I figured I’d do one for Dark Triumph, too!
On all fingers excluding my ring nail I used 2 coats of Natio Aura.
Once dry I used 2 coats of Ulta3 Get Teal to do a Ruffian look on each nail – I wanted the gold to mimic Sybella’s hood. I also used 2 coats of Ulta3 Get Teal on my ring nail.
I used acrylic paint to do the design from the fabric of her dress as well as her blade.