for Dark Triumph
by Robin LaFevers
In the second volume of the "His Fair Assassin" series (featuring young women trained in a convent to serve Death by killing according to his will), Sybella moves to the forefront while Ismae of Grave Mercy (Houghton Mifflin, 2012) plays a minor role. Sybella lives on the constant edge of danger in her father d'Albret's household, masquerading as a loyal daughter while hoping to see Death's marque upon him. Her father is evil, but she looks for the marquee in vain. She is able to eliminate some of d'Albret's allies, but her situation becomes even more threatening when she must deal with her brother Julian's unwanted sexual attention. While following an order from the abbess to free the Beast, a prisoner held in the dungeon, Sybella is transported away from d'Albret's household despite her vow to stay until she has killed her father. Then she falls in love with the wounded Beast, the only person who understands the passion Sybella brings to killing and who mirrors it with his own, and faces her own horrifying past. A historical fantasy set in fifteenth-century Brittany mines the political intrigue of the time and place, providing a rich backdrop against which a gripping story of personal turmoil and courage plays out. (Age 14 and older)
CCBC Choices 2014. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2014. Used with permission.