I first read and reviewed Dark Triumph in March 2013. Dark Triumph isn't a book that one necessarily ENJOYS. It's a dark, exposing-ugly-sins historical novel in Robin LaFevers' His Fair Assassin series. (Grave Mercy, which I also recently reread, is the first in the series.)
Both books are dark. Though reading Dark Triumph makes Grave Mercy appear to be light and fluffy. Both books star assassin nuns. Young women trained at a convent who serve Death as a master, who carry out their master's orders, who kill in other words.
Sybella is the heroine in Dark Triumph. Her story is dark, ugly, desperate. She's a strong heroine. She doesn't hold onto hope so much as vengeance. Her will to live comes from a desire--a need--to kill those that have harmed her. The people that have hurt her most are her very own family: her father and brothers. (Readers learn of the events that led her to the convent.) Her father is Lord D'Albret. (A few details are historically accurate--the names of two of his daughters, Charlotte and Louise, for example, but almost everything is fictional. One should not take LaFevers' depiction as fact.)
Dark as it was, as ugly as it was, I enjoyed Sybella as a character. Her story was beautifully told. I especially loved the romance. I loved, loved, loved "The Beast" of Waroch. Their romance was not typical, it was unique and strong and tender and oh-so-right.
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews