Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers Review

Hi Everyone!

Today I am reviewing a book of many layers. 

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Source: NetGalley. 
Rating: 4.5/5 WONDERFUL STARS 

Layer One: Delight

Dark and delightful, Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers continues the story started by its precursor Grave Mercy, this time with Sybella as the lead. Dark Triumph travels deeper in the harsh realities in a complex historical world.

Layer Two: Bravery

In brief, Grave Mercy was the story of a courageous commoner who becomes a nun assassin who learns the power of mercy.
Dark Triumph changes the prose with a different, just as courageous, female assassin who is born apart of a royal family of villains with evil plans against a benevolent duchess and her protectors. Sybella is the daughter of the terrifying and bloodthirsty D’Albret.

Layer Three: Excitement 

The beginning and ending are the best parts of Sybella’s story. The beginning shares Sybella’s life as a daughter of a stanch villain and brings together many eccentric characters. The end brings an mind-altering, action-packed conclusion. 

Layer Four: Distinguished Love 

One character, Sybella’s half-brother Julian marked each of his pages most of all. He has a distinguished, unsettling love. I am embarrassed to say Julian is a favorite character of mine. He will never be a person I would want to befriend, but his actions are curious. He provides is a character who is inherently bad, who internally rightness his horrendous actions by reasoning them out of love. In the confines of my mind, I feel sorry for him. Sorry he spent his past stuck in a love gone sour. Sorry he flung himself far away from good brotherhood.

I have a distinguished love for Sybella and Beast of Waroch as I love them as independent characters, not as a couple. Their romance never sparkled passion like Duval and Ismae’s did in Grave Mercy. Sybella and the Beast’s romance simply felt adrift, lacking heartfelt thunder.

Sybella is everything I look for in a superb heroine. She comes up with the most creative ideas, is very levelheaded, strong when she could, understandably, be broken, and compassionate. I connect to her love of her sisters, as I love my sister. Sybella’s multi-layered secret of a memory is startling and surprising and caused me to care even more about her then I did at the beginning.

Beast is brave, self-less, jovial, and leads with a firm hand and understanding. He is the perfect dinner guest. Truly cares for a family member long dead. 

Layer Five: Death

The fifth layer of is full of questions I personally wondered since reading this book. 

Should death be out of mercy or vengeance? Should a hero die? Should a daughter kill a ghastly father? Is it possible that a heroic death brings redemption? What is a heroic death, really?  

Layer Six: Triumph

Dark Triumph is not an easy book to read. It is gripping and dark. It will startle you. It is worth reading because so much work was put in it. All the layers make this book a challenge to review, because it is so good, so delightful, I do not know what words can end this review to give this book the justice it deserves. Read it. Cherish it. Ignore its imperfections. Dark Triumph has lingered in my mind, and I hope that you will take the chance to let it linger in yours too. 

Thanks for reading!


  1. Sybella and Julian completely broke my heart, as did her entire story. This entire story was just too gorgeous and painful at the same time. I can't wait to read the last one.
    And I loved Beast SO SO much! He's such a wonderful hero.
    Great review, Rachel!

  2. I didn't love Grave Mercy but I did enjoy it and this one sounds more like my cup of tea! I love how dark and intense it sounds! Plus I already know that Robin is a great writer. So happy you enjoyed it! I liked how this review was presented! :)

  3. AHHHHH RACHEL!!!! I need to read this series! I can't believe I haven't yet with the way everyone raves about it, I fail at life. This book sounds amazing, and I'm so, so glad it seems to live up to the awesomeness that is book one. I love when sequels do that and don't fall into second book syndrome. SO EXCITED!

  4. Ooh brilliant review, Rachel! Everything you've said here makes me want to pick this up as soon as I can, even though I had some mixed thoughts on the first book. I'm really curious about Beast and Julian and Sybella... everyone really! I'm really glad you enjoyed this. :)

  5. I'm picking up this book today, so we'll have to compare notes when I'm done Rachel. I love this style of review! :)

    1. Thanks Rachel! Its fun playing around with different review formats! Can't wait to talk about DT with you!

  6. I really loved Beast so I found this romance much more satisfying than the one in GM-I think I loved seeing two supremely broken people still have the courage for love. Enjoyed this review format and the way it made me reflect on my reading experience again.

  7. First, I have to say that I love the way you've reviewed it, Rachel! Second, oh my gosh, if possible you've made me even more excited about reading this! AHHHHH. :D

  8. I never read Grave Mercy but now you've made me regret that! I guess I should get to it before this sequel is out!



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