Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Summary from Goodreads:
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?
ARC provided by HMH Books for Young Readers via NetGalley for an honest review.
Disclaimer: The publisher is saying that this book and the next one are companion novels to the first three in the series. I disagree, this is definitely a continuation of the series. It starts off pretty much where the last one ended, so you might be a tad confused if you haven’t read them especially with the political aspect of it. Also Sybella’s back story with her family is hinted at but not explicitly explained. As that is a very much a part of who she is and explains a lot of her choices and motivations, you need to know about it. If you haven’t read the first three books don’t jump into this one.
I was so happy to be returning to this world. I really enjoyed the first three books and found this one to be like meeting an old friend and catching up with them. It was also a thrill to meet our new friend Genevieve, she is just as complicated and awesome as the other ladies in this series.
I was very happy to have the story continue and to see some of the old characters from the original three books. Sybella’s story is still as compelling and heartbreaking. She will do anything to protect her sister’s from her nasty and evil brother, and she pretty much does. She is struggling with not having Mortain to guide her any more, but she pushes on and is able to justify her actions for the most part as necessary. I still enjoy seeing her with Beast too. They have a solid relationship that is very supportive of each other.
Genevieve is the new novitiate of the convent, and her back story is just as amazing as the others. Even though she has been away from the convent for a long time, she maintained her training and didn’t give up that she would be needed one day. She can be compassionate though, as she was with Maraud, a prisoner that she helped escape. Yes, her motive to help him was driven by selfish desires, but she still did it instead of leaving him to die. She does make some questionable decisions and mistakes along the way, but I still really liked her.
The plot for this book was a bit slow, and at times confusing. I don’t have clear memories of the first three books having read them a long time ago, so some of the politics were not as clear as they could be. But on the plus side there were some awesome action scenes were the two assassins were able to show their stuff. Also there were some mentions of Mortain being gone and I can’t for the life of me remember what happened with that story line. Lots of secondary characters to hate and love too. I haven’t decided about how I feel about the King of France yet.
The story is told from two points of view and it is really two stories running parallel to each other. Sybella and Genevieve spend the entire book apart, doing their own thing and getting their own stuff taken care of.
A good continuation of the original trilogy. I think I will try to reread the whole series before the next book comes out next year though, I think it will make them much more enjoyable.