Reading Teen

Two "young adult" moms and their teens chat about books together!

Dark Triumph

Dark Triumph - Robin LaFevers FYI, Dark Triumph begins about 5 chapters before the end of Grave Mercy, overlapping from Sybella's point of view. I'd suggest re-reading the last 5-10 chapters of GM just as a refresher, which I ended up doing.At a Glance:Dark Triumph, the sequel/companion to Grave Mercy, is one of the few books that actually lives up to its predecessor. Every moment is filled with emotion, and every page leaves you aching to read further. Sybella's plight is full of tension, with moments of despair, moments of suspense, and moments of triumph. Dark Triumph is heartbreaking and beautiful, and is easily one of my favorite books of the year.Cover:I like everything about the cover, except for the model's face. Is it just me, or does she look about 30? But I'm glad they showed her with her knives.Intense Action:While Grave Mercy focused a lot on politics and world-building, Dark Triumph focused on action. And a lot of it. There were many fighting scenes, and Sybella is both ruthless and cunning. I absolutely loved that she was the one rescuing the damsel knight-in-distress. There were moments that required stealth and moments that were all-out battles, and LaFevers is a master at writing both. My heart was racing, my jaw was clenched, and I went chapters without taking a breath.An "Ugly" Romance:I have never in my life read a book where the love interest is repeatedly described as ugly, or ogreish. I thought I might have an issue with this, but I absolutely fell in love with the Beast of Waroch, and so, of course, did Demoiselle Sybella. The building romance between them was so endearing that it hurt! While it didn't quite have the same tension and build that Ismae and Duval's romance did, it was gratifying in a completely different way. Heroine of Death:Like Ismae, Sybella is a daughter of Mortain, the god of Death. While Ismae often dreaded her role as handmaiden of Death, Sybella revels in it. She loves her job, and loves that she's good at it. That doesn't mean she doesn't struggle with it at times. And that's not the only thing she struggles with. Sybella has had a horrible life. She has been terrorized by her father, and others in her family, her entire life, and it has wreaked havoc on her emotionally. I love the way that she faces her fears head-on, always fighting for those she loves, and those who are weak. She's a fantastic character, and her growth throughout the book is fantastic, and the way bits of her life are revealed as the book goes on, adds so much intensity and emotion to the story.An Atrocious Villain:I'm not quite sure I've ever hated a villain or a father as much as I hated Sybella's father. He is a monster. A sick, sadistic, psycho. I wanted terrible, terrible things to happen to him. This just shows me how fantastic LaFevers is at writing, to make me feel ALL THE THINGS.Cliffhanger? Like Grave Mercy, Dark Triumph had it's own story arc and wrapped up well, while leaving the larger story open for the next book, and the next Assassin. The next book is about Annith, and I can NOT wait!!Will I buy/keep it?YES! I will buy it, and probably try to get my hands on the audio as well!Book Doppelgangers:The Seven Kingdoms Series (Graceling/Fire/Bitterblue) by Kristin Cashore, The Seven Realms Series (The Demon King etc) by Cinda Williams-Chima, Poison Study by Maria V.

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