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


From Goodreads: 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.

Lately I have been very reluctant to get involved in trilogies.  The first in a series tends to be awesome, the second disappointing, and the third goes either way.  Grave Mercy (GM), which I read last year, ended up being a favorite that stuck with me.  I was eagerly waiting the second in the trilogy, Dark Triumph. I’m so happy that it lived up to the first one. 

While Dark Triumph continues the events of GM, we get the story from a different set of characters.  My favorites from GM are back, in which it is always nice to see them progress. However in Dark Triumph we really get to learn about the characters who were secondary in GM, Beast and Sybella.    

My only complaint with GM had been the lack of assassinations.  If you are going to have a book about assassin nuns, shouldn’t there be more death?  No such worries in this one.  There are plenty of fight scenes where Sybella is kicking butt and killing lots of deserving people.  However, I wouldn’t categorize it as a particularly violent book.  I didn’t find any of the scenes to be particularly graphic, but they did get the point across.  I looked at this book as more of an insight into what made Sybella so dark and twisty. 

I thought her character development was really well done.  By the end I thought we really understood where Sybella came from and where she was going.  I also felt we got to know Beast a little more, although I think more could have been done with him. Ultimately this was Sybella’s story, and she was the star. 

I don’t usually like historical fiction, but I am enjoying it with this series.  Although the author admits to taking some historic liberties, it really made me want to get more information about what really happened.  I don’t know if it’s because this is an area of historic fiction that I’ve never really read about until now, but I have been absolutely transfixed with the history behind the story.

The pacing of this book is superb.  I would definitely categorize this as a page turner. The story just moved, and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. It wasn’t even the romance aspect that really got the story moving.  It was Sybella’s quest. Learning more about her on each page made the story progress so well.

Overall, I was really happy with this book, and I don’t hesitate to say it’s one of the better books I have read so far this year.  

4.5 out of 5 footballs


  1. Yay! This is the rating I gave Dark Triumph as well. I thought it was much stronger than Grave Mercy, though I did love that one too. Sybella's story is so much darker, and I just love her relationship with Beast. Also, all the killing!

  2. Yay! I'm glad to hear that Dark triumph was awesome. I loved Grave Mercy (I'm not a huge fan of historicals usually either), but have been a little skeptical of Dark Triumph because, like you said... second books tend to be kinda lacking.

  3. Oh sweet! I've been a bit wary of trilogies too, second book syndrome and all that, so am super relieved that this is great. I LOVED Grave Mercy, and more assassinations can only be a good thing :D

  4. Glad to hear from you on this book as I was considering buy it...but waited to see how good a review it got by you guys. Thanks for the tip!

  5. ilove to see the tiralogies i read all them and then they are great books