Dark Triumph: His Fair Assassins, Book II by Robin LaFeversDark Triumph: His Fair Assassins, Book II by Robin LaFevers

Dark Triumph: His Fair Assassins, Book II

byRobin LaFevers

Paperback | April 1, 2014

Pricing and Purchase Info

$13.58 online 
$13.99 list price
Earn 68 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


New York Times BestsellerSpring 2013 Kids' Indie Next List 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 . Sybella arrives at the convent's doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge-but at a price. The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reasonto live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?
Robin LaFevers , author of the New York Times best-selling His Fair Assassin books, was raised on fairy tales, Bulfinch's mythology, and nineteenth-century poetry. It is not surprising that she grew up to be a hopeless romantic. She was lucky enough to find her one true love, and is living happily ever after with him in California. Vi...
Title:Dark Triumph: His Fair Assassins, Book IIFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.12 inPublished:April 1, 2014Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0544227204

ISBN - 13:9780544227200


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Series A great continuation from the first book, really nice to find out about Sybella and her history.
Date published: 2018-06-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read The second book of His Fair Assassins series was an enjoyable read. It is interesting to learn Sybella’s background and how it shaped who she is. Looking forward to reading the third book.
Date published: 2018-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Now one of my fave series!! OMG I thought I loved the first book, but this one was so so freaking good! I fell in love with the story and the narration and Sybella and Beast and OMG
Date published: 2018-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OMG I did not think I would love it as much as I loved the first...boy was I wrong!
Date published: 2018-01-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Decent Each book in the trilogy is slightly worse than the one before so this wasn't as good as Grave Mercy, but I would still recommend it.
Date published: 2017-07-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A bit of a letdown compared to the first The romance was a let down and the plot was not good as the first but was still interesting and kept me reading the novel.
Date published: 2017-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Story I loved this book, I love the whole trilogy! Such an interesting story, unlike anything else I have read.
Date published: 2017-05-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good I don't love this book as much as I love Grave Mercy but this book is still good in it's own way as long as I'm not comparing it to the first in the series. The darkness and disturbing aspects of this book is what made me appreciate this book, an entirely different feel to this book than with Grave Mercy. Sybella is a great heroine, very dark and damaged, nothing that I've seen in other young adult novels. Beast is a strange love interest, not the pretty boy we've all read about in other novels. Nonetheless does LaFevers make him swoon worthy which pretty much makes you forget that he's ugly even though LaFevers makes sure to mention it as often as possible. D'Albret is also a wonderfully written character, he's the character you love to hate and you get a good taste of him in Grave Mercy but here he is 10x viler, eviler, crueler and you love to hate him even more. A good second instalment to the series.
Date published: 2017-02-04
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Heart Can't Take this Anymore THIS WAS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOD!
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible sequel! Oh my gosh. I didn't think I would love the sequel as much as or even more than I loved Grave Mercy. Dark Triumph focuses on Sybella's personal journey and her back story. Man is it tragic. Sybella has gone through a lot and has had to put up with the horrors of her family. She deals with her tragedy the only way she knows how: by provoking others and being snarky, as evident in Grave Mercy. In this novel, we truly get to see behind her mask and see the true depth of Sybella's character. We learn the reasons for her actions and to understand her better. I personally wasn't a fan of her when I read Grave Mercy, because she was so unnecessarily snarky. However, once I read Dark Triumph, I definitely took that all back. She's such an incredibly badass character who'll do anything for the ones she loves, even putting herself back in to the horror that she so vehemently opposes. I really love Beast too. He's a giant of a man who's not very pretty. He's ugly, in fact, as Sybella so often calls him. However, he's kind and loyal. He helps Sybella on her personal journey to forgiveness and it's beautiful to see their relationship unfold. Once again, I highly enjoy the setting that the His Fair Assassin series takes place in. I tend to be more interested in the historical fiction that takes place in any time before the Industrial Revolution. It also doesn't hurt that there's touches of fantasy in there. Grave Mercy introduced us to the political atmosphere of the world in the series, while Dark Triumph gives us a more personal account of living in that world and the people affected by the war. The way that Robin Lafevers writes this book really made me feel for Sybella. I cried, I sobbed, I glowed. I truly felt like I was with her the entire journey as I watched her encounter horrors and regain her faith. Dark Triumph is truly incredible and I can't wait to pick myself up a copy as well as start Mortal Heart, of which I have won an ARC copy of!
Date published: 2014-12-16

Read from the Book

Chapter OneNantes, Brittany 1489   I did not arrive at the convent of Saint Mortain some green stripling. By the time I was sent there, my death count numbered three, and I had had two lovers besides. Even so, there were some things they were able to teach me: Sister Serafina the art of poison, Sister Thomine how to wield a blade, and Sister Arnette where best to strike with it, laying out all the vulnerable points on a mans body like an astronomer charting the stars.   If only they had taught me how to watch innocents die as well as they taught me how to kill, I would be far better prepared for this nightmare into which Ive been thrust.   I pause at the foot of the winding steps to see if I am being watched. The scullery woman scrubbing the marble hall, the sleepy page dozing against the doorwayeither one of them could be a spy. Even if neither has been assigned to watch me, someone is always willing to tattle in the hopes of earning a few crumbs of favor.   Caution prevails and I decide to use the south stairs and then double back through the lower hall to approach the north tower from that side. I am very careful to step precisely where the maid has just washed, and I hear her mutter a curse under her breath. Good. Now I can be certain she has seen me and will not forget if she is questioned.   In the lower hall, there are few servants about. Those who have not been driven out are busy with their duties or have gone to ground like clever, prudent rats.   When at last I reach the north wing of the palace, it is empty. Quickening my pace, I hurry toward the north tower, but I am so busy looking behind me that I nearly stumble over a small figure sitting at the base of the stairs.   I bite back an oath of annoyance and glare down to see it is a child. A young girl. What are you doing here? I snap. My nerves are already tightly strung, and this new worry does them little good. Where is your mother?   The girl looks up at me with eyes like damp violets, and true fear clutches at my gut. Has no one thought to warn her how dangerous it is for a pretty child to wander these halls alone? I want to reach down and shake hershake her motherand shout at her that she is not safe here, not on these steps, not in this castle. I force myself to take a deep breath instead.   Mama is dead, the child says, her voice high and quivery.   I glance to the stairs, where my first duty lies, but I cannot leave this child here. What is your name?   Odette, she says, uncertain whether to be frightened of me or not.   Well, Odette, this is no place to play. I nearly stepped on you. Have you no one to look after you?   My sister. But when she is working, I am to hide like a little mouse.   At least her sister is no fool. But this is not a good place to hide, is it? Look how easily I found you!   For the first time, the girl gives me a shy smile, and in that moment, she reminds me so much of my youngest sister, Louise, that I cannot breathe. Thinking quickly, I take her hand and lead her back to the main hallway.   Hurry, hurry, hurry nips at my heels like a braying hound.   See that door? She nods, watching me uncertainly. Go through that door, then down the stairs. The chapel is there, and it is a most excellent hiding place. And since dAlbret and his men never visit the chapel, she will be safe enough. Who is your sister?   Tilde.   Very well. I will tell Tilde where you are so she may come and get you when her work is done.   Thank you, Odette says, then skips off down the hall. I long to escort her there myself, but I already risk being too late for what I must do.   I turn back around and take the stairs two at a time. The thick wooden door on the landing has a new latch, stiff with disuse. I lift it slowly to be certain it will not creak out an alarm.   As I step into the cold winter sunshine, a bitter wind whips at my hair, tearing it from the net that holds it in place. All my caution has cost me precious time, and I pray that I have not been brought up here only to see those I love slaughtered.   I hurry to the crenellated wall and look down into the field below. A small party of mounted knights waits patiently while an even smaller party confers with that braying ass Marshal Rieux. I recognize the duchess immediately, her dainty figure poised on her gray palfrey. She looks impossibly small, far too small to carry the fate of our kingdom on her slender shoulders. That she has managed to hold off a French invasion for this long is impressive; that she has done so in spite of being betrayed by a full half of her councilors is close to a miracle.   Behind her and to the right is Ismae, sister of my heart and, possibly, my blood, if what the nuns at the convent told us is true. My pulse begins to race, but whether in joy that I am not too late or in panic at what I know is coming, I cannot tell.   Keeping my gaze fixed on Ismae, I gather up all my fear and dread and hurl them at her, like stones in a catapult.   She does not so much as glance in my direction.   From deep in the bowels of the castle, off toward the east, comes a faint rumble as the portcullis is raised. This time when I cast my warning, I fling my arms out as well, as if I am shooing away a flock of ducks. I hopepraythat some bond still exists between us that will allow her to sense me.   But her eyes remain fixed on the duchess in front of her, and I nearly scream in frustration. Flee, my mind cries. It is a trap. Then, just as I fear I must throw myself from the battlements to gain her attention, Ismae looks up. Flee, I beg, then sweep my arms out once more.   It works. She looks away from me to the eastern gate, then turns to shout something to the soldier next to her, and I grow limp with relief.   The small party on the field springs to life, shouting orders and calling to one another. Ismae points again, this time to the west. Good. She has seen the second arm of the trap. Now I must only hope that my warning has not come too late.   Once Marshal Rieux and his men realize what is happening, they wheel their mounts around and gallop back to the city. The duchess and her party move to fall into a new formation but have not yet left the field.   Flee! The word beats frantically against my breast, but I dare not utter it, afraid that even though I stand on this isolated tower someone from the castle might hear. I lean forward, gripping the cold, rough stone of the battlements so hard that it bites into my gloveless fingers.   The first line of dAlbrets troops rides into my sight, my half brother ierre in the vanguard. Then, just when I am certain it is too late, the duchesss party splits in two, and a paltry dozen of the duchesss men turn their mounts to meet the coming onslaught. Twelve against two hundred. Hollow laughter at the futility of their actions escapes my throat but is snatched up by the wind before anyone can hear it.   As the duchess and two others gallop away, Ismae hesitates. I bite my lip to keep from shouting. She cannot think she can help the doomed knights? Their cause is hopeless, and not even our skills can help the twelve who so valiantly ride to their deaths.   Flee. This time I do utter the word aloud, but just like my laughter, it is caught up by the cold, bitter wind and carried high above, where no one can hear it. Not the one it is meant to warn, nor those who would punish me for the betrayal.   But perhaps something has carried my warning to Ismae all the same, for she finally wheels her mount around and gallops after the duchess. The iron band squeezing my lungs eases somewhat, for while it is hard enough to watch these men meet their deaths, I could not bear to watch Ismae die.   Or worse, be captured.   If that happened, I would kill her myself rather than leave her to dAlbret, for he will grant her no mercy. Not after she ruined his plans in Gurande and nearly gutted him like a fish. He has had many days to hone his vengeance to a razor-sharp edge.   It is folly for me to linger. I should leave now while there is no chance of being discovered, but I cannot turn away. Like the rushing water of a swollen river, dAlbrets forces swarm the duchesss guard. The resounding clash is like thunder as armor crashes into armor, pikes break through shields, and swords meet.   I am astounded at the ferocity of the duchesss men. They all fight as if they are all possessed by the spirit of Saint Camulos himself, slashing through their attackers much as farmers scythe through stalks of grain. By some miracle, they hold the oncoming line, and their efforts delay dAlbrets forces long enough for the duchesss party to reach the safety of the trees. DAlbrets greater number of men will be less of an advantage if they all must duck and dodge branches and bracken.   From the east, a trumpet sounds. I frown and look that way, fearing dAlbret has thought to arrange for a third mounted force. But no, the black and white banner of the Rennes garrison stands in stark relief against the crisp blue sky as an additional dozen men ride into the melee. When the duchess and the others finally disappear over the horizon, I allow myself to draw my first full breath.   But even with the infusion of new troops, it is a crushing defeat. The duchesss guards have no chance, not against so many. My hand itches for a weapon, but the knives I carry will do no good from this distance. A crossbow would work, but they are nigh unto impossible to conceal, and so I watch helplessly.   DAlbret had only ever planned for a trapa quick in-and-out, thrust and parry, and then return with the prize. Once he realizes the quarry has escaped and he no longer has the element of surprise, he gives the signal for his soldiers to fall back behind the castle walls. Better to cut his losses than waste any more men in this failed gambit.   The battle below is nearly over. Only one soldier continues to fight, a great big ox of a man who doesnt have the sense to die quickly like the others. His helm has been knocked from his head, and three arrows pierce his armor, which is dented in a dozen places. His chain mail is torn, and the cuts beneath it bleed profusely, but still he fights with a nearly inhuman strength, stumbling ever forward into the mass of his enemies. It is all right, I long to tell him. Your young duchess is safe. You may die in peace, and then you will be safe as well.    His head jerks up from the blow he has just taken, and across the distance our eyes meet. I wonder what color they are and how quickly they will film over once Death claims him.   Then one of dAlbrets men lunges forward and cuts the knights horse out from under him. A long, despairing bellow escapes him as he goes down, and like ants swarming a scrap of meat, his enemies are upon him. The mans death cry reaches all the way up to the tower and wraps itself around my heart, calling for me to join it.   A fierce wave of longing surges through me, and I am jealous of that knight and the oblivion that claims him. He is free now, just like the gathering vultures who circle overhead. How easily they come and go, how far above danger they fly. I am not sure I can return to my own cage, a cage built of lies and suspicions and fear. A cage so full of darkness and shadow it may as well be death.   I lean forward, pushing my body out past the battlements. The wind plucks at my cloak, buffets me, as if it would carry me off in flight, just like the birds or the knights soul. Let go, it cries. I will take you far, far away. I want to laugh at the exhilarating feeling. I will catch you, it whistles seductively.   Would it hurt? I wonder, staring down at the jagged rocks below. Would I feel the moment of my landing? I close my eyes and imagine hurtling through space, rushing down, down, down, to my death.   Would it even work? At the convent, the sisters of Mortain were as stingy with their knowledge of our deathly skills and abilities as a miser is with his coin. I do not fully understand all the powers Death has bestowed upon me. Besides, Death has already rejected me twice. What if He did so a third time and I had to spend the rest of my life broken and helpless, forever at the mercy of those around me? That thought has me shuddering violently, and I take a step away from the wall.   Sybella?   Fresh panic flares in my breast, and my hand reaches for the cross nestled among the folds of my skirt, for it is no ordinary crucifix but a cunningly disguised knife designed for me by the convent. Even as I turn around, I widen my eyes as if excited and curve the corners of my mouth up in a brazen smile.   Julian stands in the doorway. What are you doing out here? he asks.   I let my eyes sparkle with pleasureas if Im glad to see him rather than dismayedthen turn back around to the battlement to compose myself. I shove all my true thoughts and feelings deep inside, for while Julian is the kindest of them all, he is no fool. And he has always been skilled at reading me. Watching the rout. I am careful to make my voice purr with excitement. At least he did not find me until after I warned Ismae.   He joins me at the wall, so close that our elbows touch, and casts me a look of wry admiration. You wanted to watch?   I roll my eyes in disdain. It matters not. The bird slipped the net.   Julian tears his gaze away from me and looks out onto the field for the first time. The duchess got away?   Im afraid so.   He glances quickly back at me, but I keep the look of contempt plastered to my face like a shield. He will not be happy, Julian says.   No, he will not. And the rest of us will pay the price. I look at him as if just now noticing he is not dressed for battle. Why are you not on the field with the others?   I was ordered to stay behind.   A brief spasm of fear clutches my heart. Is dAlbret having me watched so very closely, then?   Julian offers me his arm. We need to get back to the hall before he does.   I dimple at him and cozy up to his arm, letting it almost but not quite brush against my breast. It is the one power I have over himdoling out favors just often enough that he does not need to grab for them.   As we reach the tower door, Julian glances back over his shoulder at the battlement then turns his unreadable gaze on me. I will not tell anyone that you were up here, he says.   I shrug, as if it is of no difference to me. Even so, I fear he will make me pay for this kindness of his.   Already I regret not jumping while I had the chance.

Editorial Reviews

* LaFevers is that wonderful sort of storyteller who so completely meshes events, descriptions, and characters that readers get lost in the world she's concocted. It's a place where history mingles with mystery and love is never expected." - Booklist, starred review * "The prose's beauty inspires immediate re-reads of many a sentence, but its forward momentum is irresistible. An intricate, masterful page-turner about politics, treachery, religion, love and healing." - Kirkus, starred review * "Brimming with powerful emotions, thrilling sword fights, and accurate period detail, this tightly plotted tale will enthrall readers of romantic historical fantasy." - Publishers Weekly, starred review "Personal where Grave Mercy was political and comprehensive, this story focuses tightly on Sybella as she seeks vengeance upon the many men who have wronged her. . . . Her romantic relationship with the imprisoned warrior unfolds with a sweet tenderness that romance fans will relish." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Romantic fantasy with a vengence. . . LaFevers offers a pungent mix of inner torment, costume drama, and dagger-, sword-, poison-, and garrote-play." - Horn Book "An expertly crafted novel, with deep characters and an interesting plot that is, at the same time, fantastic, yet realistic. LaFevers has agazin used great artistry to create an excellent tale for both young adult and adult audiences." - VOYA, 4Q 4P S * "As with the first book, LaFevers has filled the pages of her novel with adventure, and the pace is electrifyingly fast. The characters are well drawn, and even the secondary figures have dimension. Sybella's quick-thinking and fearless approach to terrifying personal and political situations renders her an incredibly strong protagonist with whom readers will identify." - School Library Journal, starred review "