Sunday, September 28, 2014
I read the first book, Grave Mercy, HERE.
Disclaimer: At the ALA conference, I managed to snag an advance reading copy of Mortal Heart, the third one in this series. At the time I didn't know it was the third one. When I got home and started receiving/sorting through all my books. I was compelled to get the first two in the series. I have no regrets.
Disclaimer: This will undoubtedly contain spoilers for the first book, Grave Mercy. If you don't want anything spoiled and plan on reading this series, I strongly recommended skipping this review.
An amazon summary, "The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her home to the life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of death himself, he must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?" AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE
Based on the first book, Grave Mercy, I knew to expect a bit of a rocky start in the writing, but also a gruesome narrator as the this book is about Sybella. Sybella is the daughter of a cruel man; D' Albert. We were given glimpses of D' Albert in the first book, but he seemed to be the token angry noble who sought only his own gain in many interactions of power struggle.
Throughout the book, Sybella constantly hints at the horrors she faced as a child and how the convent was supposed to release her from misery and let her take vengeance on the world.
The convent trained Sybella just enough then sent her back to D' Albert's household so she could watch the evil lord and report what he was doing. Sybella was also granted the permission to kill D' Albert when she saw a marque on his person; something she searches for every moment she can.
So. Sybella continues to hint at how horrifying D' Albert and his men are for much of the book with some acute flash backs to gruesome events (that I was very desensitized too by the time I read them due to all the hinting).
Sybella has also been charged with freeing the Beast of Waroch from his prison at D' Albert's, which after a lot of sweet cunning, she manages. However, Beast knocks her out and she's taken along with him out of the household and away from her vengeance of killing D' Albert.
Sybella continues with her mission to get Beast safely back to the Duchess where he will be able to rally the people of Brittany to come to the Duchess' aide in her greatest time of need.
Yet, Sybella has to manage to keep Beast alive (he was SUPER beat up in the dungeon), get past D' Albert's men AND the french men, before finally delivering him to the Duchess. She's got her hands full.
There is a lot of Sybella's back story and based on her back story, her ruthless and blood thirsty nature makes more sense.
SPOILERS. The romance that bloomed between Sybella and Beast felt VERY forced at one point. As if Beast was whacked by the plot wizard into falling in love with Sybella because REASONS and suddenly he was a charming gentleman to her despite his ugly demeanor (COUGH BEAUTY AND THE BEAST COUGH).
I didn't care for this book nearly as much as I liked the first one, but it ended on a well enough note. Plus there was a lot of horrifying things that were hinted at that D' Albert had done, yet we didn't see too many of them actually play out. Just hints here and there and then a couple scenes where I really didn't want all the details because they were horrifying. So there's that.