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
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!