When Sybella arrived at the doorstep of St Mortain half mad with grief and despair the convent were only too happy to offer her refuge – but at a price. The sisters of this convent serve Death, and with Sybella naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, she could become one of their most dangerous weapons.
But her assassin’s skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to the life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. But when Sybella discovers an unexpected ally she discovers that a daughter of Death may find something other than vengeance to live for…
March 2012…. That’s when I read the first book in the His Fair Assassin series, Grave Mercy. I should know better. I really, really should. I still may go back and read Grave Mercy, but honestly, I wasn’t quite as lost as I thought I would be. A helpful little birdy (aka Book Bender) told me about a helpful little site called Recaptains that jogged my memory just enough to get me back on track. Even without that nudge though, I think I would have been fine.
I realized half way through Dark Triumph that my usual hesitation with historical fiction wasn’t there. I was engrossed in this story from the beginning. Sybella’s story was heart wrenching. The more that was revealed, the more I felt for her. It’s been a long time since I’ve been introduced to a character that needed a HEA more than Sybella. She feared more than anything that those who loved her would find out the truth about her heritage. The layers of her secrets were revealed to readers as they were revealed to others in the story. And yes, there were tears. Tears for Sybella and for other characters as well. Those revelations and the way that those who loved her reacted just made me love and respect them more.
This book definitely served as a turning point. In Grave Mercy readers learned through Ismae that things weren’t exactly as they seemed and Mortain may have a different agenda than the convent that worshipped him. There were characters that I ended up respecting and characters that I ended up despising. Some of both came as a surprise. One thing that I know for sure is that I can’t wait as long to read Mortal Heart as I did to read Dark Triumph. Not only because I don’t want to feel like I’m missing integral parts of the story, but because I want to keep the connection between the characters as strong as they are now. Plus, I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here. There are still a few characters who deserve justice and I can’t wait to see exactly how it’s delivered.