Wednesday, June 19, 2013

10 Things I Love About Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

I am grouping these together because I just reread Grave Mercy and went right into Dark Triumph and I know they are two different books, but they are part of a series and I am so excited about both of them that I didn't want to wait to share my thoughts on either of them :D

So the things are about both of them unless I signal a specific one.

  1. The way LaFevers blends historical fiction and fantasy. It is brilliantly done. I know absolutely nothing about Brittany history and these books made me curious to learn more.
  2. These girls are sired by the god of death and trained to be ASSASSINS. How cool is that?! I loved the mythos that was developed and the blending of religion and history and fantasy (did I mention that before?) and romance and war and politics that these books do so well! I think they literally have a little something for everyone.
  3. Ismae and Sybella. Very different, very flawed, very passionate female leads. They are strong and feminine and intelligent and very well developed. I cannot wait to get into Annith's head in the third book.
  4. Duval and Beast. Oh. My. Goodness. I do not normally crush on YA male leads. But I would like to order one Duval to go please. In all seriousness. I loved the way that LaFevers delicately and slowly built the relationship between the male and female leads. It is obvious that they are going to end up together, but you honestly aren't sure how it's going to happen.
  5. Grave Mercy: The villain. Not only Count d'Albret (who I will get to in a moment), but the political intrigue that develops until you literally do not know who to trust and who is behind everything and it keeps you reading and biting your nails until it all comes out!
  6. Dark Triumph: Count d'Albret. Though he is horrible in the first book you really get a good picture of the depravity of this man in the second one. Also, I thought it was interesting that the fact that the duchess refusing d'Albret's marriage proposal in public (which happens in the first book) actually happened and was one of the things that caught LaFever's curiosity. d'Albret's behavior is mostly fabricated, but I love the way you have someone to actually despise. Too many YA fantasy novels don't have really good villains. SMALL SPOILER ALERT AHEAD! IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED JUMP TO #7 Also the fact that poor Sybella is trapped as his daughter (!?) is of course simply awful (side note - I also loved that LaFevers just casually inserted this fact in the first chapter by referencing one of the other characters as her brother. I actually shrieked at the book and then was like It all makes sense now!)
  7. The way Mortain is portrayed. I can't say anything more without spoiling things, but LOVED IT.
  8. The cast of secondary characters. They all live and breathe and make you care about them.
  9. The humor! How lovely was it to have a serious, intense historically-based book that had characters with a sense of humor! Yeah!
  10. The way the characters, both major and minor, grow and develop and change. They are dynamic characters, not static, and it makes a world of difference in pulling the story along and keeping me invested.
So there you have it. Have you read either book? What did you like about it? Please share in the comments!

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