November 25, 2014

Review of Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

 Release Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books
Page Count: 385
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA/Fantasy
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...
 I've had Dark Triumph on my shelf as long as I did Grave Mercy and seeing as how I found some shortcomings in Grave Mercy I started Dark Triumph with low-ish expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see Robin LaFevers improve upon Grave Mercy and release a much stronger sequel.

Brittany continues to be the setting of this trilogy with Dark Triumph staying there like Grave Mercy. All the aspects of the settings and world building I liked from Grave Mercy continued onto here and even expanded a bit. Some new towns were introduced which played perfectly with the new characters and plot that was added as well. Just as Brittany's fate seemed to be getting better it is faced with new problems and some solutions throughout this novel. I don't see myself getting bored of Brittany any time soon and eagerly await to see what happens to it in the third book. Robin LaFevers continues with her near-perfect execution of this part of the novel and it can be clearly seen from the start to finish.

Dark Triumph featured two new main characters, Sybella who was one of Ismae's friends at the convent and Beast who is a knight in Brittany. Sybella wasn't as interesting as Ismae but it was a interesting touch to make her assigned to her family and be ready to assassinate her father. She has gone through as much as Ismae with a horrible father and a brother who is in love with her. So it's completely understandable why she is wild in the first book and the way she acts in this one. Ismae does make several appearances in Dark Triumph and gets to "reunite" with her friend. As for Beast I can say that he is now my favorite character (sorry Ismae) and I love how his relationship with Sybella grows throughout the book. Even though he is in a near death-state and not much better later on he does everything he can to help Brittany. I don't want to spoil to much about him but if you don't like him when you read about him then we're not friends. Ismae, Duval, the duchess, and the majority of the characters from the first book are back but there are several deaths as well including one at the end that made me super happy (no spoilers). The plot was dramatically improved and I'd say virtually all my complaints from before are gone. The two romances in Dark Triumph are both written realistically and will not get you bored. With the problems in the plot and some of the characters fixed Dark Triumph gets its missing star back (yay!).

Definitely pick this up and give it a try even if you weren't a big fan of the first one. However, if you don't like Dark Triumph either then the third book probably won't change anything. As for me, I'll be on Amazon buying Mortal Heart and eagerly awaiting the package.

5/5 - Really good book

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