by Robin LaFevers
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Rating: 4 Stars
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 was looking forward to Dark Triumph for quite some time after the awesomeness that was its predecessor, Grave Mercy. As with all sequels, I was hesitant. Could it really live up to the previous book? Well, it's hard to compare them because, while they are in the same world, they are more companion novels rather than sequels and are vastly different from each other.
Grave Mercy was a book filled with tough characters, political intrigue and secrets. On the other hand, Dark Triumph is a heart-wrenching, raw personal story. While I admit that I was looking forward to a kick-butt character and more politics, I was not disappointed with this story in the slightest.
The small glimpse we get of Sybella in Grave Mercy intrigued me. She was mysterious and feral. I expected this book to be about lots of death dealt by her. Instead, this is her journey of growth. Although her phsyical strength doesn't take precedence in this book, her emotional resilience does, making her just as tough in a different sense.
Sybella has been through hell and back. Simple as that. And, while different from my expectation, I was honored to learn about her story. And believe me when I say it's a hard one to read. She has been through so much that it is no wonder she was that way. All the pain, abuse and heartbreak was bound to make her somewhat insane. But I loved to see how she overcame. Most would give in, become complacent, or go all out insane. Sybella was not without damage and was emotionally crippled, but she did overcome. She's a fighter through and through. While she may not show much physical toughness in this book, she's most definitely tenacious in her own right.
But she wouldn't be where she was without Beast. Personally, I adored him. Not only was he a bit of a lighthearted, comic relief, it was refreshing to see a love interest who wasn't considered handsome. For Sybella, it's hard to love. She has been through far too much for that. But I loved seeing how they truly got to know each other and that, although the men in her life thus far had proven cruel and messed up, not all men were like that. It also showed that everyone needs help. You can't always do things on your own. You need someone, whether a friend, family or love interest, beside you to help you get through the tough times and that is precisely what Beast did.
This book is raw and unflinching. Whereas in Grave Mercy the political intrigue and plot took center stage, Dark Triumph stands out through its phenomenal character growth and emotional roller-coaster ride. I can't say that all those who enjoyed Grave Mercy will love Dark Triumph, but I will say give it a try. The plot-line is still moving forward and the world LaFevers created is as vivid as ever.
If you've read Grave Mercy, are you looking forward to Dark Triumph? If you've already read it, did you like it? Let me know in the comments below!
All the best ♥