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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Dark Triumph: 2 (His Fair Assassin)
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on 1 October 2013
I liked the whole book and how it interlaced with Grave Mercy.

It was a little gory in detail and the main characters back story I felt was dragged out a little.
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on 10 September 2017
After finishing and loving the first book in this series – despite not particularly enjoying historical fiction – I was super excited about finally reading the second book. And boy was that excitement justified! This book was really well-written, full of fantastic and loveable characters and just a brilliant story that had me hooked from start to finish. I loved this book to pieces and I cannot wait to finally get my hands on the third book book in this series to see where this story will take me next!

One of the things that I really loved about this book was that it was from Sybella’s point of view. The switching character POVs really helped to make this book different from the first. Plus, I think I just personally love Sybella more so I appreciated reading a whole novel from her perspective. I also loved that the plot always had something happening – even when there wasn’t that much action going on. Robin does a brilliant job of keeping the reader attached to the words on the page. I loved all the action bits too and how it all came together in the end. Everything just slotted together so perfectly and I honestly cannot wait to find out what will happen next – because of course there was a cliffhanger.

I am someone who loves strong characters and character-driven stories and that is one of the main reasons that I absolutely love this series. Robin LaFevers is brilliant at writing incredible characters that are well thought-out, believeable and hard not to love. My favourite, of course, is Sybella. She is a fiesty, full-on, hardcore assassion that I just loved so much. She was both strong and weak, kind and fierce, trapped and free and she was just a wonderful character to read about. And alongside her was the famous and fantastic, Beast. I have to admit that I would never be with anyone like Beast but I adored him so much. He was stubborn and agressive but also loyal, loving and gentle. He was caring and protective, and I thought he was perfect for Sybella. They worked so well together, side-by-side through it all which made the book that much better.

It should, I hope, be oobvious by now that I really loved this book. It is a fiesty story that is full of action, deceipt and powerful women – what’s not to love! Even with a historical backdrop, I have fallen head over heels in love with this series and that is no mean feat. Robin LaFevers writes beautifully and has a brilliant way of really bringing characters to life. I could imagine everything so well and vividly too. So if you’re after a new series that is definitely worth reading and will hook you completely, you should definitely read this series!
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on 11 January 2014
This is the second book in the His Fair Assassin series and let me say that it is a VAST improvement on the first. It is darker and twistier and just all around BETTER.

This book is the story of Sybella, another handmaiden of Death and friend to Ismae, the heroine of the first book. She is an undercover agent at her father's court, which is slowly bringing her to madness. She finds an escape when she is told by the convent to free a knight and help him to the duchess's court.

A lot of other stuff happens just as in the first book, but I don't want to give too much away.

At first, the book was a little slow, but as soon as Sybella frees Beast, the story picks up and just keeps on going at a fast clip. The pacing was a lot better, there were no places when it started to drag, unlike Grave Mercy.

I also felt a whole lot less ambivalent about Sybella and Beast than I did Ismae and Duval. They had a lot more presence. And their combined back stories were so awfully tragic, especially Sybella's, but they didn't feel forced. It worked with their characters.

The world building was, again, excellent, but the historical inaccuracies remain. They bugged me less this time around, but still pulled me out of the story.

All in all, a better offering. This one I WOULD recommend, and I am looking forward to the third book!
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on 3 May 2015
Absolutely loved this. Read it in two sittings (think I gulped down the previous book Grave Mercy in a similar amount of time.) this is much more a personal novel about the characters rather that being set against a political back drop. Sybella, broken, damaged and half mad was saved by the convent of Mortrain but the abbess wants a particular kind of repayment and sends Sybella back into the very hell she came from in a coldly, calculated move to gain prestige for the convent. As events unfold we learn why Sybella was so damaged. Her rescue of the Beast of Waroch will have you wanting to cheer. Brilliant stuff, fantasy that manages to be highly entertaining and richly imagined with no self indulgence. Can't wait for Mortal Heart, the third book.
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on 13 October 2014
For me, this installment was better than Grave Mercy and it had the things Grave Mercy didn't, but ultimately I did come down on the 4 star pro side of Grave Mercy.

While off to a slow start, nothing much happens except for glimpses of Sybella's tragic past, as well as answering lots of the questions Ismae had about her character from the first book, which is always a good thing!

In the beginning I thought this was going to be worse than Grave Mercy, there was so much that didn't make sense, there was nothing much happening and there where missed opportunities, I mean the villain seemed pretty much untouchable, frustratingly so!

But fear not, once Sybella escapes, the book takes a turn that will ensure it surpasses Grave Mercy entirely.

Sybella is not only very different to Ismae but also a different kind of character than you usually read about. She revels in killing, doesn't hesitate to do it and she's tortured. You see how her and her entire family have suffered at the villains hands and it was just so well done, and inspired such strong emotions towards the villain and for Sybella.

I liked watching the characters, grow and develop, I mean, I started off not really liking nor understanding Julian and by the end of the book I had an entirely different opinion of him, I actually liked him. Sybella's character development was also incredible to read about.

While the romance in this book was just as cliched as in Grave Mercy, the protective bloke kind of cliche, it was still incredibly sweet and a different kind of romance to what we saw in Grave Mercy and it was less eye rolling.

Dark Triumph is not only better than Grave Mercy, but it's also a lot darker, and the darkness to this book was incredibly well done, and helped to create some very interesting characters. While surpassing Grave Mercy, it still has a couple of flaws, like, as I said, the beginning was very slow to get off the ground. We're left with questions, but I'm feeling very excited and intrigued about Mortal Heart.
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on 21 February 2015
Grave Mercy was off the charts of awesome but Dark Triumph was just ... essential.

My favourite thing about this series is the attention to detail. The historical elements are so effortless and genuine that it's impossible to not feel as if you're in that era, in that exact situation. It's one of those books that you see happening rather than read. The writing is just perfect. I couldn't ask for anything more in a historical novel.

But not only the writing and the scenes and tone of history, but the characters are everything. I never, in a million years, thought Sybella could live up to Ismae. It was just impossible that I could fall for her as much as I did for Ismae, but boy was I wrong. Sybella stabbed my heart out right in the beginning and she's owned it ever since. She's just so brave and broken and feral that it's hard to ignore her and even harder not to sympathise. I was riveted to see what she was capable of and where she would draw the line.

I especially loved the way Sybella was with Beast (my darling Beast). Beast and Sybella are far from the perfect couple. They are both tortured by their pasts, living in a world of war, and starved for affection. But God are they perfect together. I was dying for them to kiss, glance longingly at each other, anything. I was needy for Beast/Sybella. BUT the romance and chemistry is very much an undertone. It's nothing to the main plot of conflict and tension and mortal peril. But it's still adorable and makes me want to squeal at every romantic scene.

This book more than lives up to its predecessor. Dark Triumph is a ruthless, blood-soaked book of determination, love, and the lengths people will go to for the people, and the duchy, that they love. Recommended to the highest degree.
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on 9 May 2015
I loved Grave Mercy when I listened to the audiobook verison last year. I was hoping that Dark Triumph would become available in the UK as well but so far, I've not seen it and this was the reason for not reading this sooner. In the end, I just decided to read it because I just couldn't wait any longer and I'm so glad I finally did because Sybella & Beast's story is amazing!

At the age of fourteen Sybella arrived at the doorsteps of St Mortain half mad after escaping the evil clutches of her family. In return for taking her in and training her to become a deadly assassin, Sybella now owes a debt to the convent and it's time to put her training to work where she will carry out assignments in Mortain's name. But when the convent return her back to the one place she hates - her family's home, it's there Sybella finds an unexpected ally and starts questioning all she's been trained to do.

Dark Triumph is a fantastic addition to the His Fair Assassin's series. Although you could probably read this as a stand alone because it's not the same characters from the first story, but I'd highly recommend you don't because you'll miss out on the beauty of this story from the beginning.

I wasn't sure how I would get on with Sybella because from what I read of her in Grave Mercy she came across quite mad and unpredictable, but as soon as I started her story in Dark Triumph all my worries went away because Sybella is completely likeable. She's had the worst things done to her by her family because of how mean her father is and always hides it away from people. The fact that even her closest friends don't know who she really is, is a hint of how private Sybella is. What I loved about her though was even though she had this terrible past, she doesn't let it drag her down now. She's determined to achieve her goals for the greater good and will do whatever it takes to get the job done.

The romance part of the story is really loved - I think even a little more than Grave Mercy just because this had so many little moments along the way of the story which made it feel like there was much more romance in it. Sybella and Beast's relationship starts off slowly but you can see from the start something is there. They make a great duo!

As for the plot of the story, I did like that it wasn't so political based and more about Sybella's story but then I loved that the plot thickens and thickens at every turn. It'll be exciting to see what comes next and how this series will come to and end. And hopefully I'll get a chance to read it soon!
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on 19 September 2013
This book (and the first in the series) really captured my attention. I liked the way the focus changes to a different main character for each book, whilst still keeping strong links to the prior story. The magic is fairly subtle and seems is supportive rather than being the reason for the book existing. The main female characters are well described and fun. Some of the supporting casts seem a bit two-dimensional, but that doesn’t detract from what is just a great read of murder, intrigue and assassination!
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on 19 May 2015
Brilliant, totally different and very exciting without being horribly gory. Three books, stand alone, but may i recommend starting with the first book; His Fair Assasin; Grave Mercy, as you'll enjoy following the 3 wonderful women's entwined, touching and griping story more.
Wordery delivered the books together and superfast, even to the outer islands!
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on 30 April 2013
Sybella, one of the daughters of Death, has only been seen as a tool to be used by the convent of St Mortain, since she was taken in by them and they brought her back from the brink of madness. Now, after years of training to be the best assassin she can be, Sybella has been ordered back to the life that almost drove her mad with grief and despair, with the only hope she has to cling to is that the abbess has promised that she will be able to assassinate the man who raised her d,Albret. After months of fearing that d,Albret will discover her secret, Sybella has finally received orders from the convent, but instead of allowing her to kill him, she has been ordered to rescue the fearsome knight, Beast, from torture and certain death. Is Sybella able to do this without d,Albret finding out and without losing her heart.

Dark Triumph is the second novel in the His Fair Assassin series, which is very good although I felt not as enjoyable as Grave mercy. This may be because it is very dark and deals with some serious issues, however, that being said I could not stop reading as I had to find out what was going to happen next.

Sybella is a very strong character as she has been through so much and yet she is still a sane and confidant. I also liked that we got to see characters that we met in the last book especially Ismae and Duval as it really links the two books together. However, even though I really like Sybella and Beast, I did not enjoy the romance as much as the last book, because, the moment they met you knew they were going to end up together.

Dark Triumph is a really good historical fantasy book but I feel it is more of a New Adult book than the last one and I therefore would not recommend it to younger readers. However, I would recommend Dark Triumph to people who liked the first book, Grave Mercy.
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