Thursday, April 04, 2013

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

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. The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, 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. 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?

I read Grave Mercy not long ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Dark Triumph is the second book in the trilogy, and picks up right where Grave Mercy lets off. Instead of following Ismae, though, we follow Sybella. The two could not be more different, and I loved seeing the world through Sybella's eyes.

Even though we weren't with Sybella in her life before the convent, we can guess just how horrific it was based on the kind of people she grew up with. I thought LaFevers did an excellent job of  slowly revealing her history to us, and by the end I felt I knew her well and could understand why she came to the convent half-mad.

The romance was well done, slowly building in a believable way. I loved watching the relationship build between Sybella and Beast, but the transition from friendship to love happened a little too suddenly. I can see the signs that they like each other, and are even attracted to each other, but the leap to 'love' was a bit too quick. Still, I like them as a couple, and think they are good for each other.

I also enjoyed seeing the abbess through Sybella's perspective. She's so different with her than she is with Ismae, and it's clear her reasons are personal. I have a pretty good guess as to why, but I won't spoil that for you. :)

My favorite part of the story is watching Sybella come to terms with Mortain, the god of Death. Unlike Ismae, she has doubts as to his existence. With the childhood she had, I think this is quite normal. She comes into her faith in a roundabout way, which I found realistic and believable.

I'm really looking forward to the last book in the trilogy, which will follow Annith. The only bad thing is I have to wait until next year...


Anne M Leone said...

Ohhh, good to hear you enjoyed this! I've been looking forward to it! Some of the problems you cite are problems I had with Grave Mercy, too. But I DID read the entire book in almost one day and then start it all over again. So I'm sure I'll enjoy this one, too! ;)

Kelly Hashway said...

The book sounds good but I'm really not a fan of this cover.

Jessie Harrell said...

Could you read this book without having read Grave Mercy first? This one sounds more intriguing to me than the first. Or will I enjoy the first one too?

Tabitha said...

Anne - yes, these books have such incredible pacing that you can't put them down don't they? :)

Kelly - I'm not a fan of the cover either, and the summaries for both books don't make them sound very enticing. But they're both really good.

Jessie - you might be able to read this one without reading Grave Mercy first, but it will make more sense if you do. The summary for Grave Mercy doesn't sound very interesting, but it's a good book. The beginning is slow, but once you get into it you won't be able to put it down. :)

Logan E. Turner said...

I was in love with Beast in Grave Mercy, so he is giving me more impetus to read this than Sybella. I love the world here and can't wait to read this one!