I generally have to take a break between books in the same series. I don’t know why, it’s just one of those weird things I have. But in this case, I was ready to jump into the second book in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. The only downside in doing so? Now I have to wait for the third book to become available at my library. This book was so good, but it took a really dark turn with some twists that felt very Game of Thrones. Some of the scenes are truly brutal, but others are really beautiful, so it evened out.
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was another book I received from Netgalley, the second in the His Fair Assassin trilogy.
The book centers around one of the other assassins marked by Death, Sybella, who’s story intertwines with that of Ismae and the political happenings from the first one. When I started this book, I expected it to be much like the first one, fairly darkish with a lot of politics and some action. However, Sybella’s story and the feel of her character was very different from Ismae’s. In fact, I was surprised at how much darker this one was. While Ismae’s story was sad, it was relatively tame compared to Sybella, who experienced even worse abuse at the hands of her family members. I hadn’t expected the book to be as blatant about the themes as it was, and Dark Triumph felt like a very different reading experience than the first one.
However, I think the author still kept with the theme, and I think the darkness of Sybella gave her the contrast that was needed to keep the characters apart while still keeping them in the same world and part of the same sisterhood. If anything, the writing may have been stronger for this one. I loved the characters, and Sybella’s romantic story was beautifully done. The politics were prevalent, but not overpowering, and the subtleties of the mystery of Mortain’s convent were shown throughout the book without yet bringing it to the forefront, leaving the reader wanting more.
One last kudos I’d like to give to this book: the author does the theme of forgiveness in a way that makes one question the concept as a whole. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but when Sybella faces one of the tragedies she’s had to endure in her life, the way she does it is a little bit unexpected and handled beautifully as part of the narrative.
I’m on hold to rent the last book in the trilogy from the local library, and I hope the people before me read fast, because I’m excited to see what the final book as to offer.