Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology, #1)
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?

Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology, #1) Details

TitleCourting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 5th, 2019
PublisherHMH Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139780544991194
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Historical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult Fantasy, Romance, Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Teen, Science Fiction Fantasy

Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology, #1) Review

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Reading this with my lovely friend, Tammie! Did I get to reread the first trilogy that I loved before this one? No! Do I care? No! 😃So I wanted to smack Genevieve there at the end but I get to the last page and chills went down my spine!! Woot!! I was so excited to read this book because I loved the first books and Sybella and Beast!! Of course now I need to do a reread but that’s neither here nor there. Sybella is bad ass as well as Beast as well as all assassin girls! He is a big man, thickse Reading this with my lovely friend, Tammie! Did I get to reread the first trilogy that I loved before this one? No! Do I care? No! 😃So I wanted to smack Genevieve there at the end but I get to the last page and chills went down my spine!! Woot!! I was so excited to read this book because I loved the first books and Sybella and Beast!! Of course now I need to do a reread but that’s neither here nor there. Sybella is bad ass as well as Beast as well as all assassin girls! He is a big man, thickset and heavy. Either it has not registered that I have just mortally wounded his two friends or he is stupid, so certain he has a killing blow that he moves slowly, like an executioner at a beheading. In the time it takes for his sword to arc toward me, I retrieve the stiletto from my left sleeve. Ducking in low, I launch my entire body at him, aiming for his gullet. The move brings me up against his chest, my blade sinking deeply into the hollow of his throat. For one crystalline moment, we are pressed together in an embrace, his sword flailing uselessly behind me. I twist the stiletto, shoving it in deeper. **********************BeastHis physical presence has all the sublety of a small mountain, and as he draws closer, the tattered remains of the lingering souls retreat. He slips his arm around my waist and pulls me close—the only man in the kingdom who could survive taking such a liberty with his throat intact. I love them sooooo much!! This book is told in the POV’s of Sybella and Genevieve. Where I was more interested in Sybella’s parts, I was interested in what was going on with Genevieve and the mysterious prisoner. I did want to smack Genevieve at the end but that last page has me hoping for something awesome in the next book!! And I swear!! Sybella & Beast better not get hurt!!! Happy Reading! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾MY BLOGAMAZON REVIEW
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  • Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
    January 1, 1970
    Sybella. Beast. French Court. Enough said.
  • Nick
    January 1, 1970
    I need me a good historical fiction
  • Kitty
    January 1, 1970
    Do my eyes deceive me or ARE THERE GOING TO BE MORE BOOKS?! I NEED AIR (also, a time machine)
  • Candace Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    Sybella will always be amazing!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻
  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars!!I have loved the His Fair Assassin trilogy since the very gruesome, action packed beginning and as the series progressed, it only seemed to get better but not only was the writing better but but as the story grew, as the characters grew, so did the very heart of the story itself. I was so sad to say goodbye to all the wonderful daughters of Death. I felt like I grew with them. Became friends with them and most of all, I cared about them and wanted to see them all happy, in whatever wa 4.5 Stars!!I have loved the His Fair Assassin trilogy since the very gruesome, action packed beginning and as the series progressed, it only seemed to get better but not only was the writing better but but as the story grew, as the characters grew, so did the very heart of the story itself. I was so sad to say goodbye to all the wonderful daughters of Death. I felt like I grew with them. Became friends with them and most of all, I cared about them and wanted to see them all happy, in whatever way that meant for each of them. When I learned that the series wasn't over but would in fact, have two more books added in a spin-off, I was beyond thrilled. Courting Darkness was every bit as deliciously dark, enthralling and exciting as the first three books. With everything we have come to expect and love about LaFevers books, characters and her ability to weave a tale of gods and darkness and death that only she can do, it had me turning the pages and not wanting to put it down. Every bit as enchanting as the first three, Courting Darkness will have you on edge, eagerly turning pages wanting to both devour it and make it last forever. I can not wait for more!*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Ella
    January 1, 1970
    I AM HYPERVENTILATING. I HAVE TEARS IN MY EYES. I ALMOST SPAT OUT THE TEA I WAS DRINKING AS I CAME ACROSS THIS PAGE.OMG. ANOTHER FAIR ASSASSIN BOOK. ANOTHER...SYBELLA AND BEAST FAIR ASSASSIN BOOK. ACTUAL TEARS ARE ROLLING DOWN MY FACE AS I WRITE THIS, I'M SO ECSTATIC AND HAPPY. OH MY GOD. WHAT EVEN. I HAVE NO WORDS.PLEASE COME QUICKLY 2018, PLEASE, PLEASE, COME QUICKLY.*starts crying all over keyboard*
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  • Robin (Bridge Four)
    January 1, 1970
    This review was originally posted on Books of My HeartTwo Words: Assassin NunsCourting Darkness is the first book in a new duology featuring Sybella from the His Fair Assassin Series. It can be read without any prior knowledge of the previous series as Robin LaFevers brings you up to speed, but I think you miss some of the magic of the Daughters of St Mortain (God of Death) if you didn’t read the original series set in this world. The story is told from two alternating PoVs. Both are daughters This review was originally posted on Books of My HeartTwo Words: Assassin NunsCourting Darkness is the first book in a new duology featuring Sybella from the His Fair Assassin Series. It can be read without any prior knowledge of the previous series as Robin LaFevers brings you up to speed, but I think you miss some of the magic of the Daughters of St Mortain (God of Death) if you didn’t read the original series set in this world. The story is told from two alternating PoVs. Both are daughters of St Mortain, training in the convent in all the ways of death. Sybella’s Pov is with the happening close to Anne of Brittainy. Genevieve is the other PoV and she has been a sleeper in the French court for five years with not a word from the convent, just waiting for her time to be activated.Anne of Brittainy has been through a few possible engagements and one marriage by proxy to Maximillian of Austria trying to keep her dutchy intact. She might still be a young girl but she has played the game of politics for a long time. We pick back up with her as she is traveling to marry Charles VIII, King of France. This puts her in new dangerous territory as she will have far less direct power being married to a King. Anne will have to go head to head with Anne De Beaujeu, the current regent of France, who is going to make it difficult for Anne and Charles to get close to each other in her bid to hold onto the power she currently has. “Women like her are worse than the men they serve. They cling hardest to the very rules that cage them, ruthlessly ensuring that all other women are equally trapped.” Sybella’s book Dark Triumph was my favorite book of the original His Fair Assassins series. I was so excited to continue on with the Historic Fantasy revolving around Anne of Brittiany. To say expectations were high is an understatement. I loved Sybella in Courting Darkness, she has come a long way from the broken, cynical girl she used to be before falling in love with Beast. To see how she is now, the one who can find good in a situation and protect those who are innocent, is a fantastic facet of her character to see. “You are not an apricot. You are a blade that has been brutally forged, painfully hammered, and wickedly honed. You are steel, not poison. You are deadly, not depraved. They are very different things, Sybella.” Sybella has also made an enemy of the regent as she tries to minimize the humiliation Anne goes through before and after marriage to the King of France. Sybella had people to protect from her brother, Peirre D’Albret, and making an enemy of a powerful woman could put them in even more danger.Genevieve reminded me a little of the old Sybella, in that she is adrift and alone, without a friend in the world. She hadn’t even finished her training at the covenant, before being placed as a sleeper in the French court and she feels lost, hoping and waiting for some word she is needed. Sybella had a way of making me like her even when she was trying to be a lone wolf, Genevieve’s character didn’t do that for me and so I found myself a little frustrated with her.Genevieve wants to love and trust so badly, but she pushes any away that try to get close to her, thinking it will just make her weak. She has a connection with Marrow, a prisoner, in the castle where she lives. As they build a friendship, I had high hopes it would lead to a deeper connection but every time it gets close, she smashes it. As we got closer to the end of the book there was a scene, I was hoping would never happen, but it did and it really hit me emotionally how much I was really upset that Genevieve carried out that part of her plan. I remind myself she is young and hasn’t been in the fold of the covenant for so long, that her intentions were good, but the consequences might be dire. “I had as many choices as you did. It is just that I have never seen shame in whoring nor understood the need to lie to oneself by dressing it up with silk and jewels.” The prisoner, Marrow, that she ends up traveling with, is completely likeable on the other hand. He often carried their chapters, as I really adored the man and his heart. I liked how honorable he was and you could tell he is a good man to the core. I look forward to seeing him in the next book and wonder if we might even get a PoV from him.Between the two PoVs, we get a really good indications of the strife and challenges happening in France at this time. It is also clear there are some big changes happening and plots afoot not only against Anne, but possibly against the King as well.I enjoyed this new book set in a world I once loved. I’m very curious to see how things play out now that everything has been set in motion and have high hopes for the conclusion. I’m not sure I liked it as much as the original trilogy, but that has a lot to do with being frustrated with Genevieve and not liking some stuff near the end of the book. Still overall it was a satisfying tale and a good sign that I was so emotionally invested in the story. I would still recommend starting with Grave Mercy as it sets up the world in this series so well.Narration: Angela Goethais is back as the voice of Sybella. She does a solid job capturing the complex emotion Sybella is feeling in her new role and surrounded by enemies. Suzy Jackson also gives a strong performance. I really enjoyed her in Skyward and continue to find her voice fills out the narration well. While Genevieve drove me a little nuts, it wasn’t due to Suzy.Listen to a clip:https://soundcloud.com/audiolibrary-a...
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  • Lea (drumsofautumn)
    January 1, 1970
    Fuck man!! I love this series so much and this one did not disappoint. I am so god damn excited for the sequel. LaFevers just DELIVERS!!!!! PRE-READ [Update May 2nd 2018] omg omg omg I peed my pants I LOVE THIS COVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it looks so bad ass omg omg omg omgggggggggg I cannot wait I absolutelyCANNOTWAIT[Update February 2nd 2018] I just saw that this got pushed back to February 2019 which suuucks BUT ALSO WE HAVE A TITLE COURTING DARKNESS I CAN'T BE MAD[October 8th 2017] I jus Fuck man!! I love this series so much and this one did not disappoint. I am so god damn excited for the sequel. LaFevers just DELIVERS!!!!! PRE-READ [Update May 2nd 2018] omg omg omg I peed my pants I LOVE THIS COVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it looks so bad ass omg omg omg omgggggggggg I cannot wait I absolutelyCANNOTWAIT[Update February 2nd 2018] I just saw that this got pushed back to February 2019 which suuucks BUT ALSO WE HAVE A TITLE COURTING DARKNESS I CAN'T BE MAD[October 8th 2017] I just can't believe that we are getting more book in this series and that we ARE FOLLOWING SYBELLAAAAA!!! DARK TRIUMPH WAS MY FAVOURITE♦ Booktube Channel ♦ Twitter ♦ Instagram ♦
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  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    4 Stars!! 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning… Before reading this- I re-read Grave Mercy and then finished off the series reading Dark Triumph and Mortal Heart. I think my favorite of the 3 was Mortal Heart, probably because it was the last in the series and everything just came together for me in that last installment. I will point out that if you have not read the first trilogy - I would not read this one until you do. I know the author says that you really dont need to read 4 Stars!! 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning… Before reading this- I re-read Grave Mercy and then finished off the series reading Dark Triumph and Mortal Heart. I think my favorite of the 3 was Mortal Heart, probably because it was the last in the series and everything just came together for me in that last installment. I will point out that if you have not read the first trilogy - I would not read this one until you do. I know the author says that you really dont need to read it first, but trust me - I literally just finished the trilogy and still found myself having to take a minute to remember certain things from the other books. This book is told from two POVs and follows Sybella (an OG from book 2 Dark Triumph) and a new Character Genevieve. I am going to just call her Gen. Gen is also a daughter of Mortain- which basically means she is another bad ass nun assassin hidden behind a sweet girl persona. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, Sybella agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Sybellas only hope is to find two fellow sisters of the convent, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.Gen was sent undercover years ago and struggles remembering what her end game is. She wonders why after all this time- why she was sent here and what she is supposed to be doing because she is ready to return safely to the convent. She finds solace in a prisoner she stumbles across whom which the guards have forgotten about. 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 everything come together only to fall apart?I really liked Courting Darkness!! I found the beginning to be a bit confusing and long winded- but I think maybe that was a little info dumping for those who have not read the trilogy. Once all that was done- the plot began to take shape and things started to pick up and get intense. There was not very much world building in this one- she covered that in the first books, thats why I feel to truly be able to appreciate this story, you need to read the trilogy.I really liked Sybellas role in this one. I liked seeing a little softer side to her hard personality. Gen was a pretty interesting new character, once I realized what she was and her purpose. After the half way point things really start happening and picking up. There are some really hard situations to read - I wanted to jump into the book a few times and punch a few people. My emotions were all over the place in some parts. Which is a good sign I was invested. I think my favorite thing about these is not only the writing but the french atmosphere. It is so rich and I love that about it. It makes all the politics and war talk a little more interesting since its sorta based off of something that really happened in history. LeFevers just puts her spin on it and its unique and awesome for someone like me who isn't into history. Overall I found this to be a really intriguing read and look forward to the second part of this Duology. I hope more people read the first series so that can truly give this one a chance. :P
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  • Alaina
    January 1, 1970
    I have received this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.Now before I dive into this review, let me say that I had no idea that this was a spin off of His Fair Assassin series. Pretty sure I only ever read the first book of that series and just never found the time to actually read the rest of it. That being said, I was still pretty much pumped to dive into this book. So freaking pumped.. but then I just kind of got disappointed.In Courting Darkness you will fall in love with som I have received this ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.Now before I dive into this review, let me say that I had no idea that this was a spin off of His Fair Assassin series. Pretty sure I only ever read the first book of that series and just never found the time to actually read the rest of it. That being said, I was still pretty much pumped to dive into this book. So freaking pumped.. but then I just kind of got disappointed.In Courting Darkness you will fall in love with some characters and despise others. You might even plot a death or two - for me, it was many. After meeting Sybella and Genevieve - well, honestly.. I fell in love with them. These two girls were amazing and such bad asses in their own way. Maybe it's the assassin books that have my caught my eye lately.. but where can I sign up for these kind of convents?After meeting some of these characters, I definitely formed my ships. Even if they are slowly crushing my heart because they aren't together together - I still have faith that it will eventually. I also really enjoyed all of the backstabbing and bantering in this book. It's obvious that this would actually happen in real life (because let's face it.. what is politics without any of that anyways?). Plus the whole era of it all was just making me happy.However, the pacing is what got to me. It just threw me off and I know that it's probably because I was reading this ARC on my phone. Mostly because phones are very distracting when you have texting, phone calls, and apps like candy crush getting in the way. It eventually took me three days to finish this book (which trust me that's basically three years of my life wasted because it never takes me that long to get into a book). I will also blame work and it's distractions from distracting me from this book.In the end, I was so excited when I got accepted. Then I was even more excited to dive into this world. However, I just got a bit disappointed by it because it was just an okay book and ended in an okay way. Nothing really wowed me and that is why I'm sad. I will still like to read the second book but perhaps I should dive into the rest of His Fair Assassin series beforehand.
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  • Christina Kneidel
    January 1, 1970
    I am so sad that one of my most anticipated reads is only getting 3 stars.likes:✅ Sybella and Beast 💕✅ Genevieve (until that ending ::face palm::)✅ Sybella's blooming friendships, as well as her roasting the hell out of the Regent.dislikes:❎ too many bad guys (too many characters in general)❎ good guys can't catch a break❎ plot dragged out-----------------Below things are going to get spoiler-y so I am just going to hide the whole rant, if you have not read this book turn back now.(view spoiler) I am so sad that one of my most anticipated reads is only getting 3 stars.likes:✅ Sybella and Beast 💕✅ Genevieve (until that ending ::face palm::)✅ Sybella's blooming friendships, as well as her roasting the hell out of the Regent.dislikes:❎ too many bad guys (too many characters in general)❎ good guys can't catch a break❎ plot dragged out-----------------Below things are going to get spoiler-y so I am just going to hide the whole rant, if you have not read this book turn back now.(view spoiler)[To start things off, if you thought Sybella's family troubles were behind her -then you would be wrong. Her older brother has scores of doods, giving Sybella and her little sisters a hard time throughout this entire book. He is basically trying to kidnap them, rape em, and marry them off. He is also working with the regent (the king's sister) who is a straight cunt. This chick is evil and is out to fuck things up for Sybella, the queen/duchess, and anyone else who gets in her way.Because 2 villains weren't enough for this story, we also have other assholes mucking things up for our girls. For instance, the creep-duke guy Genevieve is living with, Genevieve's own sister in arms Margot, and of course the king of france himself turns out to be a dick because the queen/duchess can't get a fucking break. This book spends its entirety on the regent and other baddies treating Sybella and the duchess like shit. Sybella barely kills anyone ANDDDDD the Genevieve+Sybella meet that is dangled throughout the entire book... NEVER HAPPENS!!!!!!!Did I mention that for some god damn reason CRUNARD is still alive and somehow fucking escaped?!?!ALL I WANTED WAS SYBELLA TO KILL EVERYONE, AND THE QUEEN DUCHESS TO REIGN SUPREME, but we can't have nice things apparently!I also have no idea what the point of introducing Margot was, or her being a bitch and then just dying in child birth early on was... like why even give that girl pages in this book?Also, the amount of characters in this book, like even with the chart in the front I could not keep anyone fucking straight.Plus, why did the king of france end up having to be a creep as well? AND WHYYY did Genevieve tell the king about the convent without doing her homework first, like WHYYYYY?I love this world/series, so I will most definitely still read the next book. There better just be a lot more girl power stabby-stab or I am gonna be pissed. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Jessie_Book
    January 1, 1970
    I was told that I didn't need to read the previous trilogy to understand this one. That is just plainly not true. There is almost no world building in this book. The religions don't make sense. The characters supposedly have deep relationships even though they never talk to each other and when they do its mostly in reference to thing that happened in the previous trilogy. I kept feeling like this book was punishing me for not reading the precious trilogy. Like "oh you wanted to understand why th I was told that I didn't need to read the previous trilogy to understand this one. That is just plainly not true. There is almost no world building in this book. The religions don't make sense. The characters supposedly have deep relationships even though they never talk to each other and when they do its mostly in reference to thing that happened in the previous trilogy. I kept feeling like this book was punishing me for not reading the precious trilogy. Like "oh you wanted to understand why these things are happening and why people are doing them? WELL TOO BAD you didn't read the first trilogy"!!!!To make it all worse is that NOTHING happened in this book. The character go from one place to another squabbling with each other making mountains out of mole hills. And for a book about assassins there is not a lot of assassinating in it. In fact one of the characters says she made her first kill practically at the end of the book! Also just to really nit pick there are two different characters names Louise in this book. Isn't that one of the big no no's of writing? Maybe if you really like the first trilogy then you will like this book, others seemed to. But if you haven't I would give this book a hard pass.
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  • Kira
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the His Fair Assassin trilogy. Maybe my expectations were too high for this especially since one of the main characters is Sybella. Her book was my favorite of the three. The POV switched between Sybella and Genevieve. The parts with Sybella were great despite much of the focus being on political maneuverings of the time.Unfortunately I found this book to be lacking in a few ways. There wasn’t a well defined plot. The Duchess of Brittany was marrying the King of France. There was a lot o I loved the His Fair Assassin trilogy. Maybe my expectations were too high for this especially since one of the main characters is Sybella. Her book was my favorite of the three. The POV switched between Sybella and Genevieve. The parts with Sybella were great despite much of the focus being on political maneuverings of the time.Unfortunately I found this book to be lacking in a few ways. There wasn’t a well defined plot. The Duchess of Brittany was marrying the King of France. There was a lot of upheaval because the duchess’s station in life was changing and she was losing some power. Sybella had to assist her and help to make the transition as smooth as possible. Other than that Sybella was focused on keeping her sisters safe. There was a lot going on but no main goal to achieve.If this book had only been from Sybella’s POV, I would have loved it especially if it meant there would have been more time to focus on her personal issues. Roughly half of the book was about Genevieve who is another of Mortain’s daughters. She’d been placed in the French court and essentially abandoned by the convent. Genevieve was unbearable. At first, I had some sympathy for her situation, but the more I learned about her the less I liked her. After a while, I really began to dread it when her name would appear at the top of a new chapter. She was selfish, judgmental, and cold. Her lack of empathy for others bothered me greatly. Her treatment of Maraud made me hate her. Last but not least, she was a shitty spy. Her resources for obtaining information were limited, and she had a habit of making opinions and decisions based on unreliable information. What she did at the end proved that she was a hypocrite and an idiot. I’ll read the next one for Sybella and Beast, but I’m not broken-hearted that I have to wait another year to get it. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me this in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Cee (The Mistress Case)
    January 1, 1970
    WHY HAVE I ONLY HEARD OF THIS NOW?!!!
  • Maja - BibliophiliaDK ✨
    January 1, 1970
    I DON'T LIKE SAYING THIS... BUT I AM SLIGHTLY DISAPPOINTED✨ Popsugar Reading Challenge 2019✨ ✨✨A book that's published in 2019✨✨When I read the 'His Fair Assassin'-series I absolutely loved it! I loved the historical setting paired with fantasy settings as well as the league of female assassins raised in a convent. I mean, come on, how awesome does that sound! So when I learned that the world and the story was going to be continued in a duology I was so excited. Perhaps a little excited, because I DON'T LIKE SAYING THIS... BUT I AM SLIGHTLY DISAPPOINTED✨ Popsugar Reading Challenge 2019✨ ✨✨A book that's published in 2019✨✨When I read the 'His Fair Assassin'-series I absolutely loved it! I loved the historical setting paired with fantasy settings as well as the league of female assassins raised in a convent. I mean, come on, how awesome does that sound! So when I learned that the world and the story was going to be continued in a duology I was so excited. Perhaps a little excited, because I was somewhat let down by this book. Not that it was bad, not at all, it just wasn't all that I had imagined it to be... "How thin is the line between self-defense and willful murder?" THE GOOD STUFFThe universe: Even if the story was slightly disappointing it was still a nice treat to get back to Britanny in the late 15th century and to revisit the initiates of the convent of Mortain. I love the mix of history and fiction, it is done so seamlessly and expertly. Beast and Sybella: These two just take adorable to a whole new level! Love their love and their devotion, and I love that we get to revisit them and their story. Beast has an ugly face and Sybella thinks she has an ugly soul, but they still complete each other. Now, that's true love right there. "Even a duchess - a soon-to-be queen - must beg for scraps at her own table" Genevieve's story: Genevieve was sent to the French court when she was 12 and has waited 5 years to hear from the convent who sent her there. Without any word from them she has started questioning her mission and her part in the greater scheme of things. I found that really interesting. And I really loved her relationship with Maraud, it was very naked and real.THE NOT SO GOOD STUFFGenevieve: While I may have liked Genevieve's story I was not all that fond of her as a character. She felt sort of bland, I had a hard time identifying with her, and I didn't really understand her motivation for many of the things she did.Two books in one?: Sybella and Genevieve's stories run parallel in this book. Half the chapters are narrated by Sybella and the other half by Genevieve. And usually I don't mind parallel stories, as long as they interact in some way. Here it mostly felt like two different books - a Sybella book and a Genevieve - mashed into one book. It might sound strange, but it actually kind of bothered me...FOLLOW MY BLOG FOR MORE BOOK GOODNESS
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  • Minx
    January 1, 1970
    I was a huge fan of the His Fair Assassin trilogy, so when I learned that there was going to be a spinoff duology, well, to say that I was thrilled would be an understatement. Courting Darkness picks up after the events from Mortal Heart and features both Sybella and Beast, two of my favorite characters! Sybella and her fellow handmaidens of Death are trying to come to terms with a world that does not include the presence that has always guided them. Now they are having to make difficult choices I was a huge fan of the His Fair Assassin trilogy, so when I learned that there was going to be a spinoff duology, well, to say that I was thrilled would be an understatement. Courting Darkness picks up after the events from Mortal Heart and features both Sybella and Beast, two of my favorite characters! Sybella and her fellow handmaidens of Death are trying to come to terms with a world that does not include the presence that has always guided them. Now they are having to make difficult choices when before it had always been made for them. It is a rather stressful transition for them, created a lot of insecurities, but also ultimately made them stronger.There was a building upon the previous storyline with the political environment and the struggles with the French. Sybella has been acting as lady in waiting for the duchess of Brittany and overseeing her transition to Queen of France as well as serving in the capacity of a handmaiden of sorts. There was also the addition of a new to us, but not really new to the trade, assassin nun who has been cooling her heels for years away from the French court and is now ready to take matters into her own hands. I can’t say that I was a big fan of her character, honestly, but she was interesting. The story is told alternating between these two storylines but with a common thread between them. There is plenty to love with this sizable story! It is fast paced and is truly a feast for the imagination.It has been said that Courting Darkness can be read without having to have read any of the previous books in this world and that is true-ish. There are enough details and background in this story that you will not feel lost or that you are missing out. What this story will lack, I think, will be the punch that is delivered with having known the history behind the characters as well as the true sacrifices that had taken place up to that point. There was much that I loved in this story with amazing moments between the characters and there were parts that also left me reeling. Overall, Courting Darkness was an emotional read and I cannot wait to read this story’s continuation in book two!This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Find this review and more at The Genre Minx Book Reviews
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  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    I have to admit that I am disappointed for this continuation of this series.Here are some of my thoughts:• So first – the unpleasant part – Gen is the worst protagonist so far out of the 4 that has been shown so far. Maybe it is a disservice to let her share this book with Sybella – but I don’t think so – Sybella fucking saved this book. I find Gen’s story initially interesting – and I find her initially kindhearted and smart. Later on though, I find her contradictory and unlikable. Here, I’ll g I have to admit that I am disappointed for this continuation of this series.Here are some of my thoughts:• So first – the unpleasant part – Gen is the worst protagonist so far out of the 4 that has been shown so far. Maybe it is a disservice to let her share this book with Sybella – but I don’t think so – Sybella fucking saved this book. I find Gen’s story initially interesting – and I find her initially kindhearted and smart. Later on though, I find her contradictory and unlikable. Here, I’ll go into details:• 1) (view spoiler)[If your convent serves Death but also serves the duchess – in what world is it alright to sleep with the duchess’ husband/king? Like girl, your whole purpose is serving your convent and fighting the most insights for your convent in their battle against the French. And she thought sleeping with the king will save her convent?? I meannnn sure, but again, it seemed so un-thought-out and not exactly purpose-ful. Especially you’ll think she’ll try to contact her convent first (or even visit there. If she can escape from the house she was serving, she could’ve easily found passage back to her country, I’m sure. Maybe she’ll think she’ll be abandoning her post – but how is she not abandoning her post already by escaping that household and again, sleeping with the king?? Like, it’s just uncalled for IMO. And you think sleeping with the king will bring your convent back together?? Like don’t you need to talk to them, ask for what the conditions are, see if everyone is alright, see if they have a plan already, etc. etc. On one hand, I can excuse her b/c she is confused as hell and it really is the convent’s fault for abandoning her for 5 years and being so careless w/ her – but again, her actions seemed not the best. (hide spoiler)]• 2) (view spoiler)[ She said her highest point of her career is sleeping with the king. I meannnn that doesn’t scream women empowerment, does it? I mean I guess she meant it that she had the most powerful man in France under her fingertips, but wow what a shitty message. And I get it in a way b/c her family were prostitutes and wanted a better life for her and she did make a point about being a prostitute is not a bad thing exactly. And I guess to her family, sleeping with the king of France sounds like a step-up times a millions. And here, she’s making her own decision so I guess that’s good too. I can appreciate that she doesn’t feel shame that her family comes from whores and it’s surprisingly positive? (I don’t know what I agree or don’t agree – but I respect her points and I see what she’s trying to say) But it still feels wrong that she traded her body to the king esp. since it’s not like she enjoyed it, and she had another guy she was falling for. Look, I know that the other Death’s handmaidens have slept with people to achieve their mission (although in Sybella’s case, it was obvious unfair for her and traumatizes her), so I don’t wanna be a hypocrite. But again, it wasn’t even Gen’s mission – she pulled this mission out of her ass. I get that she was confused and lost – but can you make a worse fucking plan, especially sleeping with the fucking king who just married your duchess – what the fuck. Also, again, what I said in point 1, you better check your facts before you ask for something b/c it literally seems presumptuous for you to just “save the convent” when you literally don’t know what happened exactly. Also, did she not realize the convent has quite a bit of assassins – SMART assassins and plotters at that – so what makes her thing that they wouldn’t already have a plan for the convent disbanding? Also, even if the convent is gone, couldn’t they all still technically “practice” their religion and serve Death/their country? I think so. AND, this whole thing is even worst w/ point #3. (hide spoiler)]• 3) (view spoiler)[So even though Gen’s plan was clear since she escaped. I honestly didn’t think she’ll ever take it THIS far. I don’t even wanna root for her and Wolf (forgot his real name and too lazy to look up) but I do like him. I thought she’ll either get her shit together or she’ll bump into Sybella before this ever happened. It just made her story kinda irredeemable for me – b/c it’s a stupid plan and inconsiderate one too. But it did happen - So she slept w/ the king and it literally didn’t help her any. In fact, she made the situation worst. Like literally punch me rn I hate her stupid ass plan so much. I knew it was stupid from the beginning. Also wow what a fucking shitty, angsty way to end the book. It’s such a slap in the face. It’s even worst cuz literally Sybella just found out who she was and gonna confront her and tell her to help her with the mission. And lo behold – again, your mission literally is contradictory to helping Sybella’s mission – which is to help the duchess. I can’t with her. (hide spoiler)]• So I still really like Sybella still. I don’t think I ‘ve loved her more or less after reading this book – I love her just the same. However, I do think the developments b/w her relationship w/ Beast has gotten even better (and I’ve already liked them in Book 2). Their scenes together are definitely the best.• I appreciate seeing Sybella stand up for the innocents. She has been so kind and supportive towards females in this book. (view spoiler)[I do question her not telling the Queen about all the King’s mistresses. I guess it’s not like the Queen can do too much about it – but it’s also like – you have respected your Queen/Duchess for this long and treated her as strong – but by not worrying her about this – do you respect her strength afterall? Other than this, I think she has been supportive towards women and has been a badass female (hide spoiler)]• It was disconcerting to see how weak the duchess have been made her after her engagement and then marriage to the king. I suppose that’s realistic b/c people do, unfortunately, tend to look past the woman and see the husband instead, even women of power. However, I really hope that next book, she shows uppppp and bring some power into this situation. If she’s going to be the female with the highest “position,” I’m expecting some serious power moves with her against the king next book b/c although I like the way she held herself at times, I hated how the king and regent shitted on her. She is so kind and is strong, but she deserves better.I don’t even know what to rate this rn. I love this series as a whole, and I love Sybella. I love Beast. I love certain aspects of female empowerment. I just hated Gen’s story so much. It started off interesting – but it turned into such a disaster. I don’t even know what to rate this. Ugh. If it was just Sybella, I’ll give it 3-4 stars. For Gen, 1 star. I’ll put 2 stars for now (maybe 1.5). Look, I still lvoe this series and I'll continue to read the next book to see how stuff pans out, and I especially wanna see how Sybella's story goes. However, please bring on the redemption arcs b/c this was book just a lot of waiting, a lot of bitches in politics, and a lot of not good plans. Please let have some things go right in the next book b/c this was just one disaster after another. I think that's why it made the 1st 3 books easier to swallow b/c even though those 3 protagonists went through a lot of shit, their story still concluded and their mission was solidified to reach that conclusion - thus, a more enjoyable book. Things that you might want to know (WARNING: Spoilers below)Happy/satisfying ending? (view spoiler)[No, cliffhanger major major. Not the last book (hide spoiler)]Love triangle? Angst level? Other things to note? (view spoiler)[All is well w/ S & B.For Gen, she has a main love interest – but she sleeps with another guy later on in the book (not that they were committed – but there were def feelings there) (hide spoiler)]Tears-worthy? (view spoiler)[No (hide spoiler)]Humor? (view spoiler)[Not really (hide spoiler)]Favorite scenes? (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)]
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  • Tammie
    January 1, 1970
    When Sybella accompanies the Duchess to France, she expects trouble, but she isn’t expecting a deadly trap. Surrounded by enemies both known and unknown, Sybella searches for the undercover assassins from the convent of St. Mortain who were placed in the French court years ago.Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she no longer knows who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. When she discovers a hidden prisoner who may be of importance, she takes matters into her own hand When Sybella accompanies the Duchess to France, she expects trouble, but she isn’t expecting a deadly trap. Surrounded by enemies both known and unknown, Sybella searches for the undercover assassins from the convent of St. Mortain who were placed in the French court years ago.Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she no longer knows who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. When she discovers a hidden prisoner who may be of importance, she takes matters into her own hands.As these two worlds collide, the fate of the Duchess, Brittany, and everything Sybella and Genevieve have come to love hangs in the balance. I loved LaFevers' His Fair Assassin trilogy so when I heard she was writing a duology that would continue the story but with some new characters, I was really looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately I did not love this as much as I loved His Fair Assassin. There were some good things about this book. Sybella and Beast being at the top of the list, but I found the character of Genevieve pretty unlikable. Her chapters would have been a complete slog if not for the fact that Maraud was in them. This author has a way of making me fall in love with the leading men in every one of her books and this one was no exception. He was the best new character in the whole story. Unfortunately there were somethings that happened concerning him made me both angry and sad.This is a historical fantasy set in the 1400s just after the events of the Mad War. As in the previous trilogy, Anne, the duchess of Brittany is a major character in this book. It was interesting to read about her marriage to the King of France, and all the court intrigue involved, even though there was certainly a lot of creative license involved in the writing of the historical figures. This and the previous books did get me interested enough to research the Mad War, Anne, the King of France and all the other people who were alive then and that was great reading itself.I wanted to love this, I really did, but overall it felt a bit lackluster compared to the previous books. I will however read the second book in the duology to see where the story goes for the characters that I do like so much, and being that the end of this book puts so many people in jeopardy I really need to find out what happens next! A note on the content: There is some sexual content in this book that I feel is too mature for young teens. Review also posted at Writings of a Reader
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  • Maggie ☘ (Wonderland-Reader)
    January 1, 1970
    So excited for the continuation of His fair Assassin series! Especially since this one will be about my favourite characters Sybella and Beast!! The cover si also great, though very differnt in theme from the first three.
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    You are a blade that has been brutally forged, painfully hammered, and wickedly honed. You are steel, not poison. You are deadly, not depraved. Well this was just FANTASTIC! I completely loved the His Fair Assassin trilogy and I am so glad Robin LaFevers is giving us more stories in this world. This book picks up right after Mortal Heart and follows Sybella who travels with the Duchess (soon to be Queen) to her new home at the French Court. At the same time we also learn of Genevieve and Margot You are a blade that has been brutally forged, painfully hammered, and wickedly honed. You are steel, not poison. You are deadly, not depraved. Well this was just FANTASTIC! I completely loved the His Fair Assassin trilogy and I am so glad Robin LaFevers is giving us more stories in this world. This book picks up right after Mortal Heart and follows Sybella who travels with the Duchess (soon to be Queen) to her new home at the French Court. At the same time we also learn of Genevieve and Margot- two spies from the convent who have been in place at the French court for years, waiting for the convent to give them orders. I was unsure about the addition of Genevieve in this book, because honestly I just wanted an entire book of Sybella and Beast! However, within moments of meeting Genevieve I was already captivated by her personality and story. Her relationship with Margot was strained and disheartening, especially considering at this point we already have had 3 main female characters that strive for good and to do work to honor Mortain (and just kick ass in general). When this story starts Genevieve and Margot have already grown distant to each other but you really feel for Genevieve who wants more out of life than a baby or a marriage. She wants to serve her God and the convent that sheltered her and gave her a purpose and has no one to confide in since Margot seems to have turned her back on their mission. Once she decides to take her life into her own hands, things start getting really interesting. I literally could not put this book down for two days and I'm already impatient for the next book in the series. I give it a full 5/5 stars!
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS WAS GOING TO BE A THING???I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE
  • Athena Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Why Genevieve Why😭Why madame why 😭WHY MRS LaFEVERS WHY 😭😭😭Ok, now with that outburst over and out of my system --No, my mind is still blown. First off - it is absolutely imperative to read the trilogy first, it is ridiculous to think otherwise. Courting Darkness picks up mere weeks after Mortal Heart ended, and you will miss ALL of the everything without the trilogy.We now follow Sybella and Beast to France for Anne of Brittany's wedding, and man is it a nest of VIPERS! The intrigue, the fightin Why Genevieve Why😭Why madame why 😭WHY MRS LaFEVERS WHY 😭😭😭Ok, now with that outburst over and out of my system --No, my mind is still blown. First off - it is absolutely imperative to read the trilogy first, it is ridiculous to think otherwise. Courting Darkness picks up mere weeks after Mortal Heart ended, and you will miss ALL of the everything without the trilogy.We now follow Sybella and Beast to France for Anne of Brittany's wedding, and man is it a nest of VIPERS! The intrigue, the fighting, the plotting, there was a lot in this book. But the plot also slowed down - and it was a LONG book - and not much actually happened to advance the story. It is a 500 page exposition for the second novel almost, and really picked up in the final third - hence my 4* rating. Book 2 pretty much has to be either nonstop action or 800 pages long to tie this up now😳I am used to each of these books having a sense of closure, but this ending ripped my heart out in so many ways. I know it is a duology but there is absolutely NO sense of closure for anyone, and it is so terribly devious that I am about to be waiting, hooked lined and SUNK until the conclusion. Everyone knows I love the HFA books and this is truly no exception. Sybella and Beast carried this book on their imperfect, amazing backs, and I literally want nothing more in the literary world than to see them married, or at least side by side forever. They are both endlessly brave heroes and deserve nothing less. Their scenes are so beautiful!Gen is not a bad character but she did less for me - probably because I am used to a certain formula being used with the women that wasn't used. I was expecting one thing and had my heart clobbered, so, thanks RLLF. The introduction of the prisoner, though, I wonder what role he will play!Ok ok ok I am not reviewing. I am rambling. I just finished the book and just can't believe it. Honestly if you are reading this and haven't read the trilogy, do yourself the favor and go read it first. It's worth it. If you like reading duologies together, I would wait and read this closer to the second installment. Also someone draw me some Beast fan art👑
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  • Jessica | Booked J
    January 1, 1970
    I was sent an eARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not change my view in any shape or form. Review also found here at Booked J. First of all, Robin LaFevers is one of my auto-buy authors and I just now realized my reviews of the His Fair Assassin books are MISSING. What?! Those were some of the first books I reviewed after my massive hiatus a few years back. Damn. Second, I'd always hoped that she'd release a book like Courting Darkness. Aka, a compan I was sent an eARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not change my view in any shape or form. Review also found here at Booked J. First of all, Robin LaFevers is one of my auto-buy authors and I just now realized my reviews of the His Fair Assassin books are MISSING. What?! Those were some of the first books I reviewed after my massive hiatus a few years back. Damn. Second, I'd always hoped that she'd release a book like Courting Darkness. Aka, a companion novel or series. So, this book was IT for me. I was ready to throw down my kidneys for it and sell them in order to be approved for a galley.Good news for my kidneys: I didn't have to. When I got approved for this, I'm almost certain I spent a good portion of that day squealing loudly. If you guys heard something inexplicable on November 15th, 2018, that was just me signing onto NetGalley and seeing I'd been approved. I'd apologize but, you know, don't want to. I think receiving an ARC of Robin LaFevers is a pretty good reason for, putting it bluntly, completely losing your shit.I really wanted to reread the His Fair Assassin books before diving into Courting Darkness but (a) I don't own them and my library doesn't have them anymore, ugh! and (b) Time was a total nag about this book. Time was basically like, wow, Jessica, you cannot reread those books before the release of Courting Darkness. Sad.That being said: I ADORED Courting Darkness. Like, a lot. A LOT, A LOT. I feel like we're being so spoiled with good books this year and this is definitely one of the many.It's just so brilliantly high paced and as action packed and intriguing as the books it is a companion to. In summary? Robin LaFevers marry me. It's great. I adored being able to revisit this world and seeing Sybella in particular. Am I Sybella's number one stan? YEP. I'm not sorry.I mean, I'm sorry, because I'm babbling and not reviewing, when I should be reviewing. So, like, half sorry I guess? Whatever. Back on track, Jessica. Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh, I can't really say much without spoiling the book because my feelings are all (incoherent screaming) and the plotlines were just so, so engrossing, I couldn't put Courting Darkness down.It left me wondering: did I consume this book or did it consume me?This was just an experience. One that was equally quick to devour and the slowest of burns. It's such an odd way of wording it, but it's all I can come up with?LaFevers continues to impress me and will likely always do so. I wish I had a physical copy of this novel (it's so beautiful!) and the original series, but I'm confident that one day I will own it. That being said, I need the sequel now. I can't wait to continue this planned duology. If you're a fan of His Fair Assassin, you're going to adore Courting Darkness.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATJDSVNJDFNVJNBJKSNJDVNDJBNDNDMFBNGDJBNK MORE SYBELLA AND BEAST HOLD ME
  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. Bit conflicted on this one. It set the next book up beautifully but it took almost 500 pages to do it. I love these characters though and I think the next book will be much better.
  • Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
    January 1, 1970
    OK, so here goes.I absolutely loved the His Fair Assassins trilogy. I thought Grave Mercy was good, but not life changing, Dark Triumph was absolutely amazing and Sybella was my total hero. I bawled after this book. And I really loved Mortal Heart just for how unexpected it was. So when I saw Robin LaFevers was returning to this world, I knew I had to get my hands on Courting Darkness.We've been told that this is a standalone duology in this world and that you don't need to read the previous boo OK, so here goes.I absolutely loved the His Fair Assassins trilogy. I thought Grave Mercy was good, but not life changing, Dark Triumph was absolutely amazing and Sybella was my total hero. I bawled after this book. And I really loved Mortal Heart just for how unexpected it was. So when I saw Robin LaFevers was returning to this world, I knew I had to get my hands on Courting Darkness.We've been told that this is a standalone duology in this world and that you don't need to read the previous books to read the duology. I have to disagree.Like I mentioned previously, Sybella is an amazing character and I love to see that she is front in center in this next installment. Her love story with Beast is one of the best parts of Dark Triumph. But if you don't have that history, Courting loses a lot of its punch. Courting Darkness takes place right after Mortal Heart ends in the timeline, so everything that has been building up in the first three books continues in this installment. Characters from the first three books fill up the pages, the political intrigue picks up right where we stopped, and the way even the assassins work isn't dwelled on. I believe that it should be called the fourth book in the series.I worry that new followers will not be grabbed by the story because they don't know Sybella and Beast like we do. And Courting Darkness is well worth the read, but the history counts. We are introduced to another new important character, who has been seemingly abandoned by the convent. Slowly, as this book is a slow burn, we realize her importance. But do not expect for Sybella to meet her in this book.So this is the issue-- I loved this book, but the way it was presented does it a disservice to both old fans of the series and new ones as well. It also definitely felt more like the first half of a long book rather than a book in its own right.While I will for sure pick up the next book, I urge others to start with Grave Mercy and work their way through all the books prior to Courting Darkness. It's worth the journey but it's a longer one than you were expecting to take.
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    Courting Darkness is a spin off book from the His Fair Assassin series, it’s been mentioned that you do not need to read the trilogy before starting this, but I’m going to disagree and say that you should read the trilogy first. There are things going on that you may feel lost and confused about.The book is told in dual POV that goes back and forth between Sybella and Genevieve.Courting Darkness picks up where Mortal Heart left off and we are following Sybella and Beast. Sybella and her fellow H Courting Darkness is a spin off book from the His Fair Assassin series, it’s been mentioned that you do not need to read the trilogy before starting this, but I’m going to disagree and say that you should read the trilogy first. There are things going on that you may feel lost and confused about.The book is told in dual POV that goes back and forth between Sybella and Genevieve.Courting Darkness picks up where Mortal Heart left off and we are following Sybella and Beast. Sybella and her fellow Handmaidens of Death are trying to come to terms with a world that no longer has the presence of Mortain and the mark that guided them, now they need to make choices that they see as being difficult since their training did not prepare them for this.I was thrilled to see that Sybella and Beast were going to be back, they have an amazing dynamic bond.We are also introduced to Genevieve, who is an initiate of Mortain. She has been undercover for 5 years in the French court and is starting to feel that the convent has forgotten about her and her mission. I did not care much for Genevieve, she seems to go through the story with blinders on and just wants to do things her way, with no consideration for others and the consequences her choices could lead to.There is a lot of political intrigue that takes place in the book, which some may find boring and or confusing since there are several houses that are part of the book.This book is a slow burn since there is no real interaction between Sybella and Genevieve until the end, which seems to be a build up for the second book.I do plan on picking up the second book in the duology since I love Sybella and I want to see if Genevieve smartens up.
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  • Nicole N. (A Myriad of Books)
    January 1, 1970
    His Fair Assassin trilogy is a series that got better with each book. I can’t help but scream “Assassin nuns!” when people say they want to read something “different.” When the author announced there would be two more books in the series, I was excited. While Courting Darkness was good, there were a variety of things I didn’t care for in the book, which left me wondering if I should pretend the series is really just a trilogy.I picked up this ARC from my local indie bookstore, where they have a His Fair Assassin trilogy is a series that got better with each book. I can’t help but scream “Assassin nuns!” when people say they want to read something “different.” When the author announced there would be two more books in the series, I was excited. While Courting Darkness was good, there were a variety of things I didn’t care for in the book, which left me wondering if I should pretend the series is really just a trilogy.I picked up this ARC from my local indie bookstore, where they have a “buy a book, get a book” (normally an ARC) thing going on. I had hoped to review it before its release date but unfortunately, time slipped away from me.I’ve read a few books this year with slow plots, and it’s a real struggle to continue reading. With that being said, as slow as the plot in Courting Darkness was I was often eager to return to this world, but was also torn between wanting to DNF this book. Sybella’s initial book, Dark Triumph, is my favorite in this series, so I was excited that this book is about her. I enjoy her as a character (more about that below) and what she’s done to survive and be where she is. I also loved the court politics and political intrigue, which I think LaFevers is great at, especially how she interwove both Sybella and Genevieve’s story. The fact that we’re introduced to another daughter of Saint Mortain will make the final book quite interesting, considering the events of this book.Oh boy, do I just love Sybella. I like Genevieve, too, but after the events of the latter half of the book, I’m intrigued enough to read the next book and see how LaFevers handles it all. It was fun reuniting with these characters from the previous series and how confident they remain in the duchess Anne and their loyalty to their country. I enjoyed getting to know Genevieve and I genuinely like her as a character. I really think she and Sybella are on equal grounds in terms of how they think and plan situations. I also liked the introduction of a new character who later became a possible romantic interest for Gen. I love how confident she is, too, and goes after exactly what she wants and doesn’t mind waiting for it.This story is told in both Sybella and Gen’s POV. I found them both to be incredibly mature in ways I as a seventeen-year-old certainly wouldn’t have been. While I don’t mind multiple POVs, I thought the chapters were very short, which made me unable to connect to the characters on a better level. I felt like once you became really interested in the chapter, it ended, sweeping you off to the other character. I definitely think longer chapters would have fixed this problem.LaFevers is a fantastic writer, and I really think that’s what kept me invested in the story. If you enjoy court politics and political intrigue novels, pick up this book. I believe LaFevers mentioned that you can read this book without reading the first three books in the series, and while I think that’s true (as she does a great job giving details of what happened in the previous books), I also think you’ll be missing out on a lot of important stuff. LaFever is such a precise and detailed writer, reading was simply a joy despite the problems I had with the book.Blog || Instagram || Twitter
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  • B.A. Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    I loved what was delivered, but be aware that even at 512 pages, you’re only receiving 75% of a story. This takes you right up to the climax point and provides absolutely no resolution to anything. The last 25% of the story was hacked off, I suspect due to unnecessary length and also to create a cliff-hanger that will force readers (who aren't too frustrated) to pick up the next book. Quite frankly, I like a well-developed, well-edited, and complete story, and that is what inspires me to read th I loved what was delivered, but be aware that even at 512 pages, you’re only receiving 75% of a story. This takes you right up to the climax point and provides absolutely no resolution to anything. The last 25% of the story was hacked off, I suspect due to unnecessary length and also to create a cliff-hanger that will force readers (who aren't too frustrated) to pick up the next book. Quite frankly, I like a well-developed, well-edited, and complete story, and that is what inspires me to read the next book that an author writes.Now, that all being said, I absolutely adored the His Fair Assassin Series, and this partial story is equally well done. My only complaint is that everything is too drawn out and drags on for far too long. I would rather have had a bit of the excess cut away, so that there would have been time and room for the final expected elements of any story. This effectively stops right at ACT III. In fact, the final sentence would be what I consider to be the start of ACT III, so there is effectively no finale. Beyond that, the writing is strong, the characters are oh so distinct and lovable, and it even brings back some of your favorite characters from the previous trilogy, with Sybella staring as one of the two major POVs for the novel. Now, do I recommend that you read this despite it not being a complete story? Absolutely. Did I enjoy it up to the point where it abruptly ended? Absolutely. And am I still disappointed to have received only a partial novel, when the 3 previous works I’ve read by this author wrapped up so well? Absolutely. This book releases on February 5, 2019. I highly recommend that you read it, especially if you love the His Fair Assassin trilogy, but since this is a duology, you should consider your own personal reading preferences. If you struggle with issues of story structure or hate cliff-hangers that arrive before there is any real resolution (I actually love cliff-hangers. They are deliciously torturous, but first I want and deserve a bit of resolution and satisfaction), then it would be in your best interests as a reader to just wait another year until book two is published and read them both together. I think this was likely one very long novel, and instead of editing it down to fit publishing standards, it was chopped up into two parts. Thank you to Netgalley for providing an ARC for my early review. This would be 5 stars if there had been any amount of resolution to any of the major plotlines of the story. Only one minor subplot involving Sybella’s siblings was resolved, and it was a subplot that honestly drug on far too long and was not really that interesting or necessary to the story. If that whole thread had been cut out, then we probably would have received a more fast-paced and complete story. Honestly, the more I think about it, the more I wish someone had killed a few more darlings, because this could have been a far stronger novel if it had pushed the action forward with more determination. I didn't necessarily mind that it drug on and meandered about, because I enjoy the characters and world so much that I had limitless patience while reading. However, I do think I may have loved it even more, and even potentially excused the lack of ending, if some of the unnecessary scenes had been cut away to allow the story to move forward at a better pace. I believe that readers like, want, and deserve a bit of payout, especially after reading 512 pages. When you spend all that time, desperate to know how all the major issues of the story are resolved, it's disappointing and frustrating when none of them are, not even in the most minor ways, which is why I've settled on 3 stars, even though some part of me wanted to be able to give it at least 4. Book 50 read in 2019Pages: 512
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