Grumpy Book Grrrl

a writer and reader

Rating: ★★★

Release Date: Feb. 5, 2019

I wanted to mention that although this book is technically book 1 of the Courting Darkness Duology it could easily be considered book 4 of the His Fair Assassins. Many of the characters in this were in the original trilogy, so I would highly recommend reading those first.

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 forming opinions and making 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!

2 thoughts on “Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers

  1. Rachel says:

    I’m cautiously excited for this one. I loved Sybella in the original trilogy, but it has been some years since that one & I was kind of scared that she might be too changed in this new duology. I’m glad that it doesn’t sound like that from your review…but the bit about the new character makes me wary. Still, I’m going to check this out if only to find out what Sybella and Beast are up to…and if there are mentions of Ismae and Gavriel. Great review btw! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Ismae and Gavriel are in the book. They had more page time than I expected. Sybella hasn’t changed much. Her part of the story wasn’t as depressing as it was in Dark Triumph. It helps that she’s with Beast now and that she’s away from her family. I didn’t like the new character but it could have just been me. Even though this wasn’t everything I hoped it would be, it was still worth reading.

      Liked by 1 person

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