Courting Darkness (Untitled 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 (Untitled Duology, #1) Details

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

Courting Darkness (Untitled Duology, #1) Review

  • Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
    January 1, 1970
    Sybella. Beast. French Court. Enough said.
  • Candace Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    Sybella will always be amazing!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻
  • Kitty
    January 1, 1970
    Do my eyes deceive me or ARE THERE GOING TO BE MORE BOOKS?! I NEED AIR (also, a time machine)
  • 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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  • Cee (The Mistress Case)
    January 1, 1970
    WHY HAVE I ONLY HEARD OF THIS NOW?!!!
  • Maggie ☘ (Reader in Wonderland)
    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.
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATJDSVNJDFNVJNBJKSNJDVNDJBNDNDMFBNGDJBNK MORE SYBELLA AND BEAST HOLD ME
  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS WAS GOING TO BE A THING???I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE
  • Minx -The Genre Minx Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    I received a digital ARC of this novel courtesy of NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group in exchange for a honest and voluntary review. Will post full review closer to publication date of February 05, 2019.WHOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!
  • Nora
    January 1, 1970
    WHHAATT??? There's more? Sign me up!
  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    yes, ASSASSIN NUNS!I missed you so much, Sybella.
  • Lea (drumsofautumn)
    January 1, 1970
    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 absolutelyCANNOTWAITUpdate 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 MADOctober 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 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 absolutelyCANNOTWAITUpdate 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 MADOctober 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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  • Vee ♔Under Mountain Books♔
    January 1, 1970
    Just give it to me. NOW.
  • Perla The IB Teen Book Blogger
    January 1, 1970
    It's been a good long while since I've read a fantasy novel that is researched so well, the time period (which sits in between the Dark Ages and the Renaissance) comes to life with the gorgeous language LaFevers uses, I feel that I have stepped into history where there absolutely are assassin nuns sired by Death. Having the narrative come back to Sybella is a dream, she had so much story left to tell. When you last saw her and Beast they were off to accompany the duchess Anne to marry the King o It's been a good long while since I've read a fantasy novel that is researched so well, the time period (which sits in between the Dark Ages and the Renaissance) comes to life with the gorgeous language LaFevers uses, I feel that I have stepped into history where there absolutely are assassin nuns sired by Death. Having the narrative come back to Sybella is a dream, she had so much story left to tell. When you last saw her and Beast they were off to accompany the duchess Anne to marry the King of France, the story of that journey is a fraught with danger and political intrigue as you come to love and expect from the His Fair Assassins series. It's funny seeing Genevieve juxtaposed to Sybella, Sybella always seemed to be the one who was the most experienced, the most jaded, the most dangerous of the original three Handmaidens of Death. And she is all of those things, but now her steel is forged by the heat of her experiences in Grave mercy, Dark Triumph, and complicated by what happens in Mortal Heart. While Genevieve was sent out by the convent well before her training was completed, and then seemingly abandoned without further instruction for the next five years. With no understanding on what gifts she received being a daughter of Mortain, and completely cut off from direct communication with the convent, she only has her faith, instincts, and her best judgement to guide her. Flying by the seat of her pants, learning by her failures and well as her successes, Genevieve has a chip on her shoulder from all the chips stacked against her. I cannot wait to see her grow.
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  • Shae McDaniel
    January 1, 1970
    Please excuse me while I scream for the next 84 years.I might throw up some thoughts closer to pub. :)
  • Aurora
    January 1, 1970
    Edit 6/26/18: OMG that cover and premise! YES YES YES I'M SO READY FOR MORE SYBELLA AND BEAST!
  • 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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  • Claire (bookscoffeeandrepeat)
    January 1, 1970
    I read the sample and it's so good!CAN'T WAIT TO READ THE ENTIRE NOVEL.
  • Brie
    January 1, 1970
    Did I miss a cover reveal?!? I need to finish the Grave Mercy trilogy. I love Robin's writing.
  • Nitzan Schwarz
    January 1, 1970
    OMG HOW COME I DIDN'T KNOW THIS EXISTED!?
  • Olivia
    January 1, 1970
    CW: slut-shaming [challenged], body shaming/humiliation, violence, death, sex, mention of sexual assault and rape, death in childbirth[E-arc provided by Netgalley. This doesn’t affect my opinion or the content of my review.]I present to you, my favorite book of 2018. I know it’s only August, but I highly, highly doubt I’ll read a better book in the coming months. In addition to being the next installment in my absolute favorite series and world of all time, it’s also a genuinely fantastic novel. CW: slut-shaming [challenged], body shaming/humiliation, violence, death, sex, mention of sexual assault and rape, death in childbirth[E-arc provided by Netgalley. This doesn’t affect my opinion or the content of my review.]I present to you, my favorite book of 2018. I know it’s only August, but I highly, highly doubt I’ll read a better book in the coming months. In addition to being the next installment in my absolute favorite series and world of all time, it’s also a genuinely fantastic novel.In the HFA trilogy, I grew extremely attached to all three protagonists and their love interests. A story focused on Sybella and Beast wasn’t what I had in mind, but I was thrilled nonetheless. In truth, I loved seeing all of my favorites once more; Ismae and Duval were only present in the first third while Annith and Balthazaar were only in correspondence, but they still made me oh so happy. I’m still waiting for Ismae and Duval to get married, just saying.512 pages isn’t a large book, in my opinion, but it was still more than enough to explore the darker, deeper parts of Sybella, Beast, and their relationship. They’ve completely stolen my heart now, and they should also get married. Nearly half of my Kindle highlights were quotes and scenes involving the two of them.The other half was mostly Genevieve’s wit and/or banter, with a few exceptions for predictions and other (mostly pointless) thoughts. I was excited to meet her and she didn’t disappoint. She was ruthless but not heartless, and a really interesting character.Anne is such an underrated character and I love her. She’s only fourteen, but she’s powerful, wise, cunning when need be, and still a fun, sweet girl.Many relationships are emphasized throughout the story, in various ways: Sybella and her younger sisters, Anne and her older brother, Sybella and Beast. I loved them all for different reasons. Each one motivated respective characters without overpowering anyone or anything else.The pacing isn’t incredibly fast, but the story more than makes up for it. I guessed a few things and was shocked by others. Each of the 95 chapters introduced a new element or increased the stakes or brought on more questions. It never felt too long or too drawn out. Sybella and Genevieve both have important missions, personal goals, and the stakes are almost constantly high. The end wasn’t necessarily a cliffhanger, but it made me eager for the next one regardless. I was hooked from beginning to end.One thing I think this book did really well, as the previous trilogy did, was manage to blend history and fantasy. The story takes place in medieval France and follows real royalty and real conflict, but with fictional and modified characters, a compressed timeline, and other fantasy elements; there’s even a religious system that’s being replaced by Christianity, and that aspect is present but not overpowering. It’s all fascinating.I don’t know how well this review actually explained my thoughts, but know that I absolutely ADORED this novel from start to finish. HFA is my favorite series of all time (pretend to be surprised) and this was a brilliant, thrilling next chapter. It was well worth the wait, and I think it’ll appeal to returning HFA fans and newcomers alike when it comes out on February 5.Now to wait until 2020 for the next book in the duology. (Please let me get an arc, please give me information, please, I need DETAILS.)(I’m proud of how coherent this review is, to be honest. To end, obligatory screaming: READ THIS BOOK PLEASE. OH MY HEART. JOIN ME IN MY EMOTIONS.)
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  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    What do you mean I have to wait until 2020 to get the sequel?!“Courting Darkness” dives deep into the manipulative world that is the French Court as Sybella finds herself cornered by old foes and desperately seeks out two of her convent sisters who were placed in the hands of the King, but with so much time passing between their departure and the events of the war between Brittany and France she learns that it might not be as easy as she hoped. Genevieve has spent her life waiting for the moment What do you mean I have to wait until 2020 to get the sequel?!“Courting Darkness” dives deep into the manipulative world that is the French Court as Sybella finds herself cornered by old foes and desperately seeks out two of her convent sisters who were placed in the hands of the King, but with so much time passing between their departure and the events of the war between Brittany and France she learns that it might not be as easy as she hoped. Genevieve has spent her life waiting for the moment she can make her father and convent proud but when met with silence she worries that she’s been forgotten and with the arrangements in her household becoming dangerous she sets off to find her place in the world and embrace her gifts as Deaths assassin. This book is very different than the previous trilogy which is to be expected as we see the characters try to pull themselves together after the events that ended the series. We also shift point of view between Sybella and Genevieve who keep circling each other yet never met. In Sybella’s arc she is as wonderful as I remember, side note definitely brush up on the series before starting this duology because I found I had forgotten some of the major players. She is brave and strong while also very vulnerable sharing soft moments with her blood sisters and Beast as she tries to come up with a plan to keep them out of harms way. Genevieve however is on a very different journey and I really enjoyed seeing her work to get out of her situation though unlike the previous story set up or plot formula she does not have a strong romance like the other girls. Don’t get me wrong there’s definitely something there but over the course of the book you see it rise and fall in active relevance. There’s also a strange consequence of the sacrifice that was in the conclusion of book 3 that makes the fantasy assassin aspect of this book somewhat lacking that was replaced by the scheming politics of France that I didn’t really care for but we’ll see how it goes with the series conclusion even though it is forever away. Sybella will always get 5 stars even if it’s an entire book about her throwing knives, Genevieve however gets a soft 3 with this being an overall nice extension of a series that I loved so much with the returning characters being very near and dear to my heart and I’m hoping that before this is over Genevieve will have a solid place there as well. **special thanks to the publishers and netgalley for providing an arc in exchange for a fair and honest review!**
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  • Megan Oneail
    January 1, 1970
    I received an eARC of this book in exchange for a fair review.It was awesome to return to the My Fair Assassin world after so long away! It has been years since I read this series, so I opted to reread the first 3 books before I started this one! I’m glad I did, because this picks up just one week after the events in Mortal Heart. While this is being advertised as book 1 in a duology, to me it was Book 4 in the series! Sybella is back as one of the 2 main characters, and we are introduced to Gen I received an eARC of this book in exchange for a fair review.It was awesome to return to the My Fair Assassin world after so long away! It has been years since I read this series, so I opted to reread the first 3 books before I started this one! I’m glad I did, because this picks up just one week after the events in Mortal Heart. While this is being advertised as book 1 in a duology, to me it was Book 4 in the series! Sybella is back as one of the 2 main characters, and we are introduced to Genevieve as our second daughter of Mortain. Sybella has always been a favorite of mine and she did not disappoint for this book! Genevieve is a great new character and it was interesting to see a daughter who had been so long out of the convent and had only basic training. As always, there was plenty of political intrigue, plotting, mysteries, and subterfuge. I cannot wait for the next book, and I’m sad it’s so far away!
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  • Jennifer Renz
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so glad that LaFevers has decided to revisit the world of her My Fair Assassin trilogy. Courting Darkness is just as fast-paced and exciting as the original books. Narration in this book is divided between Sybella (my favorite character from the original trilogy) and a new character Genevieve. Overall, this is a superb historical, fantasy with strong heroines that completely fit with the #MeToo movement in their fierce independence and refusal to be contained by the men of their era.
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  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    I stayed up until 3:30 this morning to finish reading this book, so you know it must be good. My poor eyes hurt and I'm not looking forward to being next to useless at work today, but I am looking forward to the sequel to this book, whenever that will be released. Considering this is an ARC, it's likely to be a long time. *Sigh*
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  • Nikol Gordon
    January 1, 1970
    I have to say that when His Fair Assassin etiology ended I was so sad. I loved those books. So when I got this one I was super excited to read it. LaFevers does it again in this amazing story that includes familiar characters and new ones. I loved it and I’m only sad that it ended and the next one doesn’t come out until 2020
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  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    Picked up the ARC of this for our YA librarian and gave it a read before passing it on. Absolutely loved it and cannot wait to go read the related trilogy. I'm a sucker for historical fiction with strong female leads and this definitely checks those boxes.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Two more years until the next book? No! 😓
  • Rachel Strolle
    January 1, 1970
    HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WAIT
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