Monday, April 15, 2013

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers (His Fair Assassin book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read the first book on the trilogy, Dark Triumph, Stop! I don't want to ruin one of my favorite series for you.

Some readers may find it helpful to reread the last ten chapters of Grave Mercy.The events that transpire at the end of that book overlap and are told from a different point of view in Dark Triumph.

"Vengeance is divine."

Brittany 1489

Told from Sybella’s point of view, Dark Triumph picks up just before she goes out on the north tower to warn Ismae that d’Albret has set a trap to ensnare Anne, the Duchess of Brittany. Seeing that her warning was heeded and the duchess escaped, Sybella begins watching the small contingent of guards being slaughtered. Her attention is drawn to a beast of a man, the last one standing to fight against d’Albret’s legion of men. Knowing that his death is imminent, she wishes for her own. Sybella is startled when her half-brother Julian discovers her. She tells him the duchess escaped. They both know d’Albret will be furious and leave to prepare for his arrival.
Sybella escaped from her father’s household three years earlier and arrived at the convent of Saint Mortain. Now the abbess has sent her on a mission, back to the personal hell she once fled. She is to look to see of d’Albret is marqued for death. D’Albret is her cruel and murdering father. Believing she has been at the convent of Saint Brigantia, he is openly distrusting of her return. Julian keeps her secrets but at a terrible price. He forced an incestuous relationship upon her. Only the knowledge of being a handmaiden of death and the task of killing her father gets her through the days.
With each cruel act and murder, Sybella is desolate to find that d’Albret has yet to be marqued. When word arrives from the abbess, she is dismayed to learn that her father’s death has not been ordered. Instead, she is to determine if Baron de Waroch is d’Albret’s prisoner. If he is, she must rescue him if the duchess has any chance of keeping her throne. Angry over not being ordered to kill her father and his plans to use her to seduce men on order to obtain information, she heads to dinner. Signaled by d’Albret, Sybella sits with her intended target. Looking across the room, she sees that Jillian is not happy. Later, she meets up for her rendezvous. Before she can decide how to get away, Julian has slain the man because Sybella is his.
When her attendants talk about ghosts in the tower, Sybella suspects this is where d’Albret is keeping his prisoner. Devising a plan, she makes two trips to scout out the situation. Unfortunately, she is caught on the second trip by Julian. A bit suspicious, nonetheless he takes her to see the “ghost” she is looking for. Distressed at the sight of the prisoner, Sybella is horrified to learn d’Albret plans to use him to send a message to the duchess. He is to be hanged, drawn and quartered before being delivered to her. Julian questions Sybella on how she got into the tower and she realizes that he is more involved with their father than she ever imagined.
The following day at the midday meal, d’Albret announces that the next day he will send the duchess his message. Sybella knows that time is up. Sneaking into the tower that night, Sybella is surprised to find the jailor more than willing to help her get the prisoner to safety. In bad shape and a giant of a man, she has no way to carry him out. Playing on his sense of duty to the duchess, Sybella calls on his “battle lust” to get him moving. Once outside, she sees that time is running out if she hopes to dispatch d’Albret that night as well. Goading him one last time to make it to the awaiting cart, the prisoner swings at Sybella and she is knocked unconscious.
Blinking awake in the daylight, Sybella finds herself in the cart with the Baron and his jailing traveling in the countryside. Her chance to kill d’Albret is gone. Why did the jailor help Sybella? How will d’Albret retaliate for her betrayal? Will he ever be marqued for death? Why did the abbess send Sybella back to her personal hell? Can she ever escape from Julian’s “love”? What happens when Sybella finds herself growing to care for the Baron? And can Sybella find herself worthy for love?
Book three, Mortal Heart is due out in the spring of 2014. This time the story will focus on Annith, who escapes the confines of the convent to strike out on her own.

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