Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness duology)

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Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness duology)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
February 19, 2019
ISBN
978-1783448265
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First in a duology, this darkly thrilling page-turner set in the world of the best-selling His Fair Assassin series is perfect for fans of THRONE OF GLASS, RED QUEEN, and GAME OF THRONES. Told in alternating perspectives, when Sybella discovers there is another trained assassin from St. Mortain’s convent deep undercover in the French court, she must use every skill in her arsenal to navigate the deadly royal politics and find her sister in arms before her time—and that of the newly crowned queen—runs out. 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.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Fun follow up to the prior trilogy
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Having loved the original Fair Assassin books, I was cautiously optimistic about this new duology continuing Sybella's story and introducing new characters. After reading it, I think this may have been better to tie specifically to the prior series (book 4 instead of book 1 in a new duology) because it picks up right where MORTAL HEART ends. Sybella is accompanying the Duchess to France where she will wed the king and finally end the long war. Unfortunately, the French court is almost as deadly as the battlefield they just left, and Sybella must figure out a way to keep everyone she loves safe. Meanwhile, we meet a new character, Genevieve. She was placed as a spy in a Count's household 5 years ago and has had no directions from the Abbey since. When she learns devastating news, she decides to journey to the French court to make herself useful, but the journey there is filled with snags and stumbles. As Genevieve and Sybella's paths start to cross, the stakes are higher than ever to avoid another war and more lost lives.

Sybella is such a fantastic character, and I enjoyed seeing the loose threads of her prior ending start to resolve in unexpected ways. She had such growth in DARK TRIUMPH, but the road to trust and love in yourself and those around you is rarely a straight line. She is faced with old and new challenges in the French court. I particularly enjoyed the focus on her relationship with the Duchess as she becomes queen.

Genevieve is a wonderful addition to the prior trio of young women in this series. She's brash, at the end of her rope, and angry. She's had silence for so long, lost a dear friend, and feels trapped in every avenue left available to her. I love her spunk and determination to do something good, even if she's looking in the wrong direction. She also develops a possibly star-crossed romance with a prisoner in the household she was stuck at who is connected to her story more than she could ever imagine.

I highly recommend doing a read (or reread) of the original trilogy before diving into IGNITING DARKNESS. Regardless, IGNITING DARKNESS was a fantastic addiction to the world of St. Mortain and his daughters.

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A must read for His Fair Assassin fans.
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I was equally frustrated by it. Marketed as a new duology set in the world of His Fair Assassin, readers new to LaFevers should be able to jump into Sybella and Genevieve’s story with ease. That was not the case for me. I spent the first half of the book utterly confused and utterly fascinated. I loved this book and these characters, but new readers should definitely begin with Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin book 1) before attempting this new duology. Fans of LaFevers will be able to jump right into the story as a continuation of the series.

As a new reader, I found Sybella and Genevieve’s characters difficult to separate in the beginning, although I quickly became addicted to Genevieve’s half of the story. She is a new character for this series, so I was able to connect with her in a way I couldn’t do with Sybella. Unfortunately, her side of the story slowed the pacing for me. Fans of LaFevers will likely be drawn to Sybella’s story as a returning character and fan favorite.

With quickly alternating points of view, it took me a while to get to know these characters as individuals. But this rich dark historical fantasy world of sleeper assassins, court intrigue and daughters of death, grabbed me (after a somewhat slow start) and refused to let go. As much as I wanted to stop reading and pick up Grave Mercy instead, I could not put it down.

Lafevers is a new favorite for me. With a careful hand, she creates a perfect blend of the historical fiction of the French court with the wild fantasy elements of kickass assassin nuns and daughters of death. (Who doesn't want to read that?)

Don’t miss this beautiful duology, just be sure to start with the original trilogy first. I can’t wait to dive back into this world again with His Fair Assassin while I’m waiting on the sequel!
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