YA Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Title: Dark Triumph
Series: His Fair Assassin #2
Author: Robin LaFevers
Author Info: Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Facebook
Pub Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Format: ARC
Pages: 484
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes and Noble


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. Naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, the convent views Sybella 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. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. 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?

This heart-pounding sequel to Grave Mercy serves betrayal, treachery, and danger in equal measure, bringing readers back to fifteenth century Brittany and will keep them on the edge of their seats.


This is one of those books that I’m not sure how to put into words how much I loved it. Grave Mercy was really good but Dark Triumph was to me amazing.
When we were introduced to Sybella in Grave Mercy I was never very sure if I liked her or not. I thought this person is probably crazy but Ismae had seemed like she trusted her and it made me too. This sounds weird since they are book characters but that is seriously what I thought. Sybella is by no means naive even though she is really a novice assassin. Her tortured life has seen to that and we start off the books with only bits and pieces of what has happened in the past. When things are finally revealed it went beyond even my worst assumptions. She is amazingly strong and hardened and yet she wants to protect the innocent. It didn’t take me long to warm to her character.

Beast was such a great match up for Sybella and I didn’t care that they kept calling him ugly it didn’t even register on my radar because he is such a great character. I love the way that he is able to banter with Sybella so easily. Plus he just ignores any of her attempts to sway him from having any interest in her. I loved him for it, how could she not too. For a girl who has been so mistreated Beast is like a lifeline, but he is not so far from her own nature that it would make the match unbelievable. They both enjoy battle lust and therefore it’s something that gives them common ground. They can fight side by side or exchange ideas on battle tactics. This is the kind of girl that Beast needs for the lifestyle he leads, rather than someone that waits at home from him. Plus with Sybella being so exposed to the ugliness that beautiful things can hide she easily sees Beast gentle eyes and demeanor even though he is scarred and “ugly”.
We have a lot of great side characters. Yannic, the loyal gargoyle, had his moments of stealing the show even though he couldn’t even talk. We also have the reappearance of Ismae which at first kind of took me off guard. It was weird not being in Ismae’s head when she was interacting with Sybella. It was nice though to see the two cross paths. You are looking at things from Sybella’s eyes now so it gives it a different take. There is also Julian who for some reason I had a soft spot for, even thought that seemed wrong but I felt like he really cared about Sybella and that their twisted world is what caused the strangeness in their relationship.
This story had more adventure then Grave Mercy. Where Grave Mercy is set more in the political aspects and the court intrigue this novel is more about being on the field and in the front lines. Sybella and Beast not only spend time in the Lion’s Den but also must cross the countryside to meet up with the Duchess.  They also often find themselves engaged in different types of battles as they go along.
My heart really went out to Sybella in this book and I cannot wait to read Annith’s tale next. Robin created such a wonderful world that it’s easy for me to get lost in. After reading the book I had to take a minute to collect myself and remember that there is no one out to kill me and I don’t live in Brittany.