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Courting Darkness

Review

Courting Darkness

COURTING DARKNESS is a continued saga of the convent of St. Mortain, originally introduced in Robin LaFever’s His Fair Assassin trilogy. The girls who are sired by St. Mortain are blessed with the powers of death and are trained as assassins. The story is told through the perspectives of a veteran of the series, Sybella and a new daughter of the saint, Genevieve.

When Sybella agrees to accompany the duchess to France to keep her little sisters out of the hands of the family that nearly killed them all, she arrives to find them surrounded by enemies. The only hope is the fact that there might be another daughter of St. Mortain hiding in the French court --- but Sybella must find her first.

"A fast-paced tale of politics, adventure, love, family and finding yourself....a satisfying and entertaining read. I would recommend this book for fans of the first trilogy and fans of historical fiction, adventure and romance."

Genevieve has been living in the French court for so many years that she starts to forget what she is fighting for and why she’s there. She finds comfort with a prisoner whom the guards have forgotten. But when a tragedy causes her to flee the court, she does so without orders from the convent and risks her life and the life of the prisoner in the process.

Seeing the old characters from His Fair Assassin was amazing and being treated to another story about Sybella was even more wonderful. I would recommend reading the other books in the His Fair Assassin trilogy before reading this one, as the current characters discuss previous events that would spoil the book for the reader. The reader might also have trouble understanding things from the first series, like the war between Brittany and France.

Genevieve must escape from the court that took her in all those years ago and find her way across France to find the answers to the questions to have all her life. Along the way she and her travel companion face bandits, villains and others bent on taking their lives. I love Genevieve's story, every page turn was filled to the brim with exciting moments, huge fights and chemistry between the two travelers.

Political intrigue fills the pages of the book and the plot twists you up into a mess of politics as you imagine what it would be like to live in the French court. I love how the book was set up, every chapter or so flips perspective from Genevieve to Sybella, but leaves you wondering about what happened to another character. It has a plot to keep the reader involved with both stories, and manages them well, one character did her thing and then the other did theirs. I felt the stories were well paced across the book and the reader did not get bored with either of them. LeFever’s writing makes the reader feel like they are in another world of magic and the multiple points of view add to the readers' experience.

COURTING DARKNESS is a fast-paced tale of politics, adventure, love, family and finding yourself. It was a satisfying and entertaining read. I would recommend this book for fans of the first trilogy and fans of historical fiction, adventure and romance. It is the perfect book to read when you need a high-stakes adventure and layers of courtly intrigue. It is also sure to be one of your favorites of this year, the twisting complex story of assassins makes for a breathtaking read.

Reviewed by Maddy F., Teen Board Member on February 13, 2019

Courting Darkness
by Robin LaFevers