Book Review

Book Review: Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by Robin LaFevers

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy, historical fiction
Length: 416 pages
Author: Robin LaFeveres
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 2nd, 2013
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sybella’s duty as Death’s assassin in 15th-century France forces her return home to the personal hell that she had finally escaped. Love and romance, history and magic,vengeance and salvation converge in this thrilling sequel to Grave Mercy in the critically acclaimed, New York Times best-selling His Fair Assassin series, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Kristin Cashore, and Victoria Aveyard. 

The convent returns Sybella to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

Return to the world of the critically acclaimed His Fair Assassin series in this “romantic fantasy with a vengeance” and sequel to Grave Mercy that takes reader’s deep into the wicked world of corrupt politics, dangerous love, and hard-won vengeance.

DARK AND ENCHANTING.

I think this book was even better than the first. And definitely darker. And twisted. So twisted I didn’t think the facts being laid out was actually true, but it was, and it made my heart hurt.

Sybella was an even better heroine than Isame. She is so broken (with every right to be) and fierce. I wanted all the happiness for her and she kept continually trying to dodge it. JUST LET BEAST LOVE YOU. I will say, with their romance, it was heart-breakingly tender when Sybella got to choose who to love, and when to love. The author gave Sybella the choice and it exactly what Dark Triumph needed.

There was a little less BIG action, but a lot more stabbiness in this book. Sybella is a force to be reckoned with and the size of her heart…and her ability to kill are astounding. She was sneaky and striking.

One of my favorite sub-genres of fantasy is when they have a historical fiction aspect to them. I love the author’s note at the end that details what they took for liberties and what was true.

I’m excited for the third book and think this series has been great so far. It’s interesting and the romances are on fire and I am here for it.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy & historical fiction
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses, a very glossed over, no detail love scene
  • Trigger warnings: mentions of rape, attempted sexual assault, infanticide

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Book Review

Book Review: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy, Historical fantasy
Length: 576 pages
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 3rd, 2012
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?

 Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

HAVE MERCY.

Someone please tell me they got that reference.

I picked up this book based off of the hype for the new series, Courting Darkness. The hype train got to me, but it worked! I really had a great time reading this thought it was quick and endearing.

I loved the pacing and felt there was a steady amount of action. I thought there would be a bit more murder because the whole concept is that Ismae is an assassin for the god of Death. There was quite a bit, but I was missing a bit more stabbiness. This concept was great though. Reminded me a little of ToG (because of the assassin idea, but that’s it).

You can see who the traitor was from the first moment they stepped onto the page. Even with that being the case there were still a handful of twists that I didn’t see coming. I was kept on my toes and very worried about how the duchess would fare.

The romance between Gavriel and Ismae was SO GOOD. The romantic tension between them was driving me crazy. I loved Gavriel and thought he was a strong and steady presence. He was continually faithful to his family and was preciously tender, and fierce. Goodness, seriously, the best.

Ismae on the other hand was fine. As the main character I expected a little more from her, but she wasn’t spectacular. I thought it was great how trained she was because girl could hold her own. Other times she annoyed me a bit and her thoughts her repetitive.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy & historical fiction
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a few kisses, a love scene so vague I’m pretty sure nothing actually happened
  • Violence: domestic abuse, knives, poison, physical (it is a book about assassin’s so expect lots of death)
  • Trigger warnings: domestic abuse, sexual assault
Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Upcoming Releases I’m On the Fence About

Howdy readers!

Another Top 10 Tuesday coming your way! This one was tough for me. I had to really search out books I have considered to add to my TBR, but am still thinking it through.

The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses #1) by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

After Queen of Air and Darkness I am at a crossroads. Am I over CC? Am I over the Shadowhunter world? These are the questions that plague my book life.

Summary: From #1 New York Times bestseller Cassandra Clare and award-winner Wesley Chu comes the first book in a new series that follows High Warlock Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood as they tour the world after the Mortal War. The Red Scrolls of Magic is a Shadowhunters novel.

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

I actually haven’t read any of the Truthwitch book series, but there seems to be a lot of hype around this one. So now I’m trying to decide if I should add the series to my TBR.

Summary: Fans of Susan Dennard’s New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.

Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers

This is about to come out, but I’ve never read anything by this author. Her previous series (and this one) have a summary that seems up my alley, but is it worth it? Because I think I’ll have to read the others first…

Summary: Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about? 


Enchantée by Gita Trelease

LOVE historical fiction, but also really picky about historical fiction.

Summary: Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Bookstagram has made me want this, but am I just in it for the gorgeous cover? Maybe.

Summary: Eragon meets And I Darken in this thrilling new fantasy debut that follows a fallen princess as she ignites a rebellion to bring back the magical elemental crows that were taken from her people.

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

TW: Depression

Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

I liked her first series The Crown’s Game, but have heard mixed things about this book. It might make its way to my TBR eventually. We’ll see.

Summary: A thrilling new fantasy series full of magic and betrayal—from Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of the Crown’s Game series.

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark.

So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart forever.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Thrillers for me can go either way. I have a handful I loved and a handful that were just eh. This cover is super creepy though. Tell me, will I be freaked out!?

Summary: Promising to be the debut novel of the season The Silent Patientis a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive…

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…. 

Rebel (Legend #4) by Marie Lu

Do I want more!? I’m so nervous about continuation of series when they were originally finished!

Update: I literally added this to my TBR this morning. The author’s Insta post convinced me. I want a real, solid happy ending with my loves Day and June.

Summary: Eden Wing is a brilliant student. He’s about to graduate a year early from Ross University of the Sciences, with honors, and already has an internship lined up back in the Republic. But most people don’t introduce Eden this way. Instead, they say, “This is Eden, Daniel Wing’s younger brother.”

Ten years ago, Eden’s brother Daniel was known as Day, the boy from the streets who led a revolution that saved the Republic of America. His name was spray-painted on walls, his profile splashed on both rebel pamphlets and wanted posters. He went from being a hunted criminal to a national hero in less than a year.

Day has spent the past decade piecing together his memory of his time in the Republic, pretending to enjoy life in Antarctica’s capital, Ross City , and quietly hiding out from the world—even if it’s meant giving up June, the great love of his life. As long as he can keep his little brother safe, that’s all that matters . . .

But Eden isn’t safe. As the two brothers struggle to accept who they’ve each become, they grow more distant from one another than they’ve ever been. Eden finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into Ross City’s dark side, until even his legendary brother can’t save him. At least not on his own.

When June suddenly steps back into Day’s life, rekindling the flames of their romance, the pair team up to do whatever it takes to rescue Eden. But like the rest of the world, they may have underestimated Eden—what he’s capable of, where his loyalties lie, and how hard he’s willing to fight for what he believes.

With unmatched suspense and her signature cinematic storytelling, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu plunges readers back into the unforgettable world of Legend—for the most thrilling adventure yet. A truly grand finale.

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Jay Kristoff

Will this compete with the glorious Illuminae series I LOVED? Will this instead be a DNF like Nevernight? Only time will tell.

Summary: From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Shadow Me (Shatter Me #4.5) by Tahereh Mafi

I really really….really don’t like reading novellas unless they are necessary to the story and not some fluff piece or background story that I’m cool not knowing.

Is this necessary? Do I need to read this before Defy Me? I DON’T KNOW.

Summary: Fan favorite character Kenji Kishimoto narrates t his gripping companion novella to Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, set during the explosive events in Restore Me!

Juliette is still reeling from Warner’s betrayal, and Kenji is trying to balance his friendship with her with his responsibilities as a leader of the resistance against the Reestablishment. Things get even more interesting when an unexpected person from Omega Point’s past surfaces.

The ending of Restore Me left readers gasping, and this novella full of Kenji’s signature sass and big heart is the perfect story to tide fans over until Defy Me, the shocking fifth book in the Shatter Me series, hits shelves in April 2019.

Which ones should I add to my TBR? Because really, I need some help. Lets talk in the comments!