on April 2, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: Amazon Vine
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.
Grave Mercy was an unexpected gem for me last year. I went into it with some hesitation, but promptly devoured it and then added it to my favorites of 2012 list. I was so blown away by the world that took fantastical elements and added them into a historical setting. The idea is genius and so readable. I’m not the biggest historical fan, so I was just absolutely thrilled with the execution of Grave Mercy and I’ve been anxiously awaiting Dark Triumph ever since.
Dark Triumph is a companion novel that takes place right after the first book, but with a different main character. I was the tiniest bit sad when I found that out. I adored Ismae and Duval. Their romance was sooo swoonworthy and Ismae’s growth was fabulous. I guess that leaves little room for another story from her point of view, right? I was excited to get to know Sybella better and to learn more about her mysterious past.
Sybella wasn’t as easily likable as Ismae for me. She is very rough around the edges and harsh. She has an excellent reason to be. With her upbringing and family it’s a wonder she was even half as well adjusted and nice as she was. She does kick a lot of ass and has less qualms about it than Ismae, which I really liked.
There were just a few things that kept me from OMGLOVING this one like I did the first book. The biggest thing was the romance. It doesn’t show up until you’re well into the story and then it shows up suddenly and without much warning. One minute they were disdainfully helping each other and the next Sybella was utterly in love. It moved way too quickly for me and without much logic behind it. After the warm and fuzzy swoon fest in Grave Mercy I was pretty disappointed with this romantic story line. There’s also a lot of angsting about things that obviously aren’t going to matter on Sybella’s part. I definitely think that some of her emo worrying could have been removed from the story and it wold have been better.
All of that being said I still really enjoyed Dark Triumph. It has all of the same political intrigue and incredible fantasy elements as the first book. I was pulled right into the story from the very first chapter. These are sweeping epic fantasies and I really can’t recommend them enough.