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Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin Trilogy) Hardcover – April 2, 2013

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Frequently Bought Together

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin Trilogy) + Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin Trilogy) + Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book I (His Fair Assassin Trilogy)
Price for all three: $40.12

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Product Details

  • Series: His Fair Assassin Trilogy (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547628382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547628387
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (273 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Exclusive Deleted Scene with Introduction from Robin LaFevers:

There has always been a lot of mystery surrounding the character Sybella ever since she first showed up on the pages of Grave Mercy. She was so guarded and secretive that it even took me a while to get to know her.

In order to understand Sybella well enough to tell her story, I had to go back to the beginning and see her arrive at the convent where she trained to be an assassin. I had to see what sort of pain and baggage she brought with her, even though I knew there would be no place for it in the finished book.

This ‘lost chapter’ from Dark Triumph is Sybella’s introduction to the convent, a much more rough and tumultuous beginning than Ismae experienced in Grave Mercy...

Dark Triumph – Deleted Scene

When the cart stops moving, I open my eyes and see the boat; suddenly, I know exactly what is happening. The hedge priest has tricked Old Nonne and is not taking me to safety as he promised. Instead, he has delivered me to one of the night rowers, one of the desolate, bound sailors who must carry away the forsaken souls whom God and the church have deemed unworthy.

“No!” I scream, certain there has been a mistake. It is my father who has committed evil, not I. My mind is sluggish and thick, like a heavy fog, and those memories disappear beneath the weight of it. But I am certain I do not want to get in that boat and be ferried across the Passage de L’Enfer to where I will have to reside in hell.

I throw off the heavy weight of the blankets that hold me down, and sit up. The world tilts alarmingly and my stomach heaves, trying to cast out whatever potion they have been pouring down my throat. Even so, I lurch to my feet, but before I can climb out of the cart the hedge priest and the sailor are there. With callused hands they hold me still and try to soothe me with their deep, clumsy voices. “It’s no use,” the old sailor grumbles at last. “We’ll have to tie her up or she’ll tip us all over.”

The hedge priest gives a curt nod, and as if by sorcery the sailor produces rough hempen ropes, which he uses to bind my wrists and feet. I thrash and call for help. “Hush her, before she calls every busybody around.”

Mumbling an apology, the hedge priest places a scrap of filthy cloth in my mouth and binds it around the lower half of my face. I panic, not able to draw a full breath. The entire world tilts dizzily as the sailor takes my feet and the hedge priest my shoulders and I am lifted into the boat. They place me on the damp wooden hull, where the smell of salt and old fish fills my senses. I fear I will gag, and if so I will surely suffocate. I concentrate all my will on trying to calm myself and think.

I feel a gliding motion as the boat slips out from between jagged rocks and into the dark blue water. We move soundlessly through the waves, as if Death Himself has silenced our movements so none will know of our passage.

My heart thuds against the wooden hull under my breast and I twist and flex my hands until my wrists are raw, but the cords hold tight. After a while, my heart calms somewhat, matching itself to the steady sounds of the slap of the water and the creak of the oars. 

A while later—I have no idea if it is moments or hours—there is a crunch followed by a jarring sensation as the boat runs up against a rocky shore. A voice calls out—a woman’s voice, for of course, as the priests have warned us all, hell is filled with women. “What have you brought us, Father Guillame?”

Continue reading the deleted scene

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-In this sequel to Grave Mercy (Houghton Harcourt, 2012), Sybella leaves the convent where she has learned her assassin's skills and returns to Brittany, where she must endure her father's unspeakable cruelty and the incestuous love of her half brother. Determined to undermine D'Albret at every turn and stay loyal to Duchess Anne, she carries out covert operations and looks for opportunities to use her skills and bring evildoers to justice. She helps to foil a plot to capture Anne and frees the Beast of Waroch, the duchess's most loyal and fierce champion, from D'Albret's prison, all the while waiting for an opening to kill her father. When the knight knocks her out and takes her along with him, her cover is blown and she despairs that no one will be able to stop D'Albret's reign of terror. As with the first book, LaFevers has filled the pages of her novel with adventure, and the pace is electrifyingly fast. The characters are well drawn, and even the secondary figures have dimension. Sybella's quick-thinking and fearless approach to terrifying personal and political situations renders her an incredibly strong protagonist with whom readers will identify. The love that develops between her and Beast provides a model of a healthy relationship built on mutual trust and understanding. Realistic details of 15th-century Breton life abound, providing an overall clear and accurate picture of the times. There is much talk about St. Mortain as the Lord of Death, which some may find disturbing, but these topics are handled well and the story will leave readers eager for the series' finale.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence, RIα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Customer Reviews

I loved the story of Ismae and Duval but Sybella and Beast TRUMPS it.
The beauty in LaFevers' writing is how she can make a character like Sybella redeemable.
For those of you who looked forward to the second in the series - don't wait!
Lucia A. Leber

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Liviania VINE VOICE on February 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
GRAVE MERCY was one of my favorite books of 2012 so DARK TRIUMPH, the second book in the His Fair Assassin trilogy, had a lot to live up to. Robin LaFevers does not try to repeat GRAVE MERCY, giving Sybella her own story.

Sybella is a very different person from Ismae. She's more wild and vicious. At the same time, she is more self contained, careful not to let others close, because she grew up in a home full of betrayal. She can trust herself and herself alone. She never trusted the abbess and knows she was right not to when she's sent back to her home in order to spy. Her father, d'Albret, is a monster and she longs for the order to kill him. In the meantime she enjoys assassinating his underlings.

DARK TRIUMPH begins with Sybella warning Ismae and the duchess, risking the exposure of her true loyalties. It is not an inviting beginning for new readers. Who the characters are, their relationships to each other, who is important and why is not explained. The religion of LaFevers alternate Brittany is not explained either, thus new readers must puzzle out who Mortain is and how is handmaidens work for themselves. I even found myself wishing for a small refresher on the world since it's been awhile since I last read GRAVE MERCY.

I soon fell back into the swing of things. The scope of DARK TRIUMPH is smaller. Sybella's focus is moving past her family's history rather than the duchess and the future of Brittany. She cares about what happens, but it isn't her priority. I loved the politics of GRAVE MERCY and yet, I didn't miss them. LaFevers progresses the overarching plot of the trilogy, but she doesn't force Sybella places she doesn't belong.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ashleigh VINE VOICE on February 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
See more of my reviews sooner on The YA Kitten!

As much as I liked Grave Mercy when I read it last year, it was hardly perfect. Pacing issues and a heroine I don't much care for in hindsight are my two most noteworthy problems with it, but neither of those are anywhere to be found Dark Triumph. LaFevers kick it out a couple dozen notches and shows everyone how writing a sequel is done. It's so good that I'm scared the next book in the series will disappoint me!

Ismae's story in Grave Mercy began with her wedding and escape to the convent, which made the pacing drag a little as we saw her grow up, but Sybella's story cuts right to the chase and reveals a part of her background we never learned in the previous book: she's the daughter of D'Albret, the man trying to force Duchess Anne to marry him. Over the course of the novel, bits and pieces of what living in his household was like for her. Close to the end, we come to learn exactly what had Sybella so wild and distraught when she first arrived at the convent and met Ismae. It's... pretty bad. I don't blame her a bit.

Sybella is also a more engaging narrator. Whereas Ismae is very devout and subdued, Sybella is angry, jaded, and often wonders if St. Mortain exists at all. Her voice is more natural, there's hardly any noticeable flubs in the prose (no blood singing in triumph or whatever, thank goodness), and it's difficult not to cheer her on when she has to deal with a very twisted family. There's her monstrous, occasionally-flat-but-still-terrifying father, one brother who is in love with her and rather messed up, another brother who is even MORE messed up, and two younger sisters she'd do anything to protect.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Owens on April 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Originally posted 4/14/13 at Melissa's Bookshelf.

I know I am in the minority with this series, but I am just not as into these books as everyone else seems to be. I want to love them. I mean, who wouldn't want to love books about assassin nuns? The premise behind this series screamed to me and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book after I read Grave Mercy last Fall. But sadly, Dark Triumph fell flat for me. I wish I had written a review of Grave Mercy so that I could remember all of my thoughts after reading it, but I do know that I enjoyed that book more than its sequel.

I'll start by saying that Dark Triumph started off very slowly for me. So slowly, in fact, that I didn't find myself getting into the story until probably close to halfway into the book. Not only that, but I had no problem putting it down when I had to do something else or go to bed or whatnot. I'm not sure if the slow pace is due to the high level of detail LaFevers provides in her story-telling, or that events simply weren't happening fast enough to keep me interested, or perhaps it was a combination of the two. Like Grave Mercy, this book is written in the first person present tense, this time from Sybella's perspective. I generally don't care for first person present tense storytelling, though it has worked for me a few times, most noticeably with The Hunger Games trilogy. Well, I can't way it worked for me in Dark Triumph. I can't pinpoint what it was about it -- perhaps an awkwardness at times? Regardless, I found myself distracted by the fact that the book was written in the first person present tense, so that took away from my enjoyment of the story. Other than my issue with the point of view and tense, I do like LaFevers' writing style and her use of imagery and description.
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