Dark Triumph by R.L. LaFevers
The Skinny: Sybella, one of Mortain’s daughters and the convent’s deadliest weapon, is sent back to her home in order to find the betrayers of the duchess of Brittany – those who are marked by St. Mortain. She also hopes that her father, the hated d’Albret, will be marked by the saint as well. Sybella receives word from the convent that there is a prisoner being held by her father and she is to save him and free him. In an unexpected turn of events, she is taken along with him as they travel to the duchess, finding herself further from accomplishing her mission – to be the one to kill her father.
BFF?: I remember not quite liking Sybella in Grave Mercy. She was a little too brash and forward for my tastes… I felt very timid around her and wasn’t quite sure about what to expect. Therefore, I was slightly nervous about a book from her POV. Why? I have no clue because lemme tell you…. she was AWESOME. While still brash and forward, getting to know her background made me realize these two traits were really more like willful (in a good way) and assertive. She’s a bad-ass mother who don’t take no crap off of nobody!
Readability: From the first page I was hooked. Literally, the first page. Dark Triumph kept me enthralled with every page, every sentence, every word, every letter. When I had to put it down, all I could think about was picking it back up and losing myself in the book! It was such a wonderful, wonderful read. While the historical/fantasy setting should have been a little unclear, the contemporary voice wasn’t. Definitely a good one for those of you who don’t quite feel comfortable with historical or fantasy books!
Crush Level: 10
What is this? A 10? Yes people, a 10. Beast – despite his name because I kind of hate it – was 10 worthy. He was not attractive to me – honestly, I kept imagining him as the dad from Brave. Can you imagine falling in love with this:
But truthfully…. I did! I did fall in love with him (figuratively speaking, of course). His personality was caring and considerate… gentle and loving. Throughout the book he takes chances, saving innocents and looking out for others, despite the risks to himself. He had a sense of humor and lightheartedness that totally defied his appearance, which I was completely glad about! I’m not really sure when I fell for him, but fall I did!
They are called something specific in the book, but I can’t remember. In short though, they reminded me of gypsy groups, which I totally love. These people worshipped a different god/saint, one who was left out of the main ones the people followed/worshipped/whatever. It was very interesting to see how these people were seen by others, how they interacted and overcame prejudices. Added a good bit to the book!
I’ve been obsess-watching this show Borgia (not to be confused with THE Borgias) and there are some awkward, uncomfortable brother-sister almost sexy scenes and… ew. Just ew. Not to get all spoilery but I just don’t understand how this is a good idea in a book. Like at all. It gives me the shudders.
You know how there’s always that character who you hate, but then you read that he does something that makes you HATE him? There was a scene that made me LOATHE Sybella’s dad d’Albret. Like my heart hurt, my blood boiled, and I couldn’t see straight due to this moment.
Commencement Speech: I need to take a moment to breathe before I write this part. Because it may be hard to write coherent words instead of omgomgomgomgilovethisbookomgomgomg! Okay… getting it together. Seriously, I love this book. I loved everything about it. I love its good parts and its bad. I love the easy scenes and the hard ones. While Grave Mercy wasn’t a light hearted romp in the grass, Dark Triumph was… well… dark. Sybella’s story is not easy. In fact, her life and past is pretty gruesome. Heartbreakingly gruesome. But, despite these things, she triumphs – wow, just got the meaning of the title! haha
Anyway… I feel in love with this book. It didn’t happen quickly or immediately… it came out of no where. That feeling was beautiful and wonderful and I can hardly describe it in words. It’s been a long time since I felt this over a book and hope it won’t be the last!
Yearbook Quote: “And just as love has two sides, so too does Death. While Ismae will serve as His mercy, I will not, for that is not how He fashioned me. Every death I have witnessed, every horror I have endured, has forged me to be who I am — Death’s justice.”
Superlatives – Most likely to give the Borgias a run for their inbreeding money
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