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Courting Darkness
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Courting Darkness
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First in a duology, this darkly thrilling page-turner set in the world of the best-selling His Fair Assassin series is perfect for fans of THRONE OF GLASS, RED QUEEN, and GAME OF THRONES. Told in...
First in a duology, this darkly thrilling page-turner set in the world of the best-selling His Fair Assassin series is perfect for fans of THRONE OF GLASS, RED QUEEN, and GAME OF THRONES. Told in...
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Description-

  • First in a duology, this darkly thrilling page-turner set in the world of the best-selling His Fair Assassin series is perfect for fans of THRONE OF GLASS, RED QUEEN, and GAME OF THRONES. Told in alternating perspectives, when Sybella discovers there is another trained assassin from St. Mortain's convent deep undercover in the French court, she must use every skill in her arsenal to navigate the deadly royal politics and find her sister in arms before her time—and that of the newly crowned queen—runs out.
    When Sybella accompanies the Duchess to France, she expects trouble, but she isn't expecting a deadly trap. Surrounded by enemies both known and unknown, Sybella searches for the undercover assassins from the convent of St. Mortain who were placed in the French court years ago.
    Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she no longer knows who she is or what she's supposed to be fighting for. When she discovers a hidden prisoner who may be of importance, she takes matters into her own hands.

    As these two worlds collide, the fate of the Duchess, Brittany, and everything Sybella and Genevieve have come to love hangs in the balance.

About the Author-

  • Robin LaFevers, author of the New York Times best-selling His Fair Assassin books, was raised on fairy tales, Bulfinch's mythology, and nineteenth-century poetry. It is not surprising that she grew up to be a hopeless romantic. She was lucky enough to find her one true love, and is living happily ever after with him in California. Visit her online at robinlafevers.com and on Twitter @RLLaFevers.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    December 1, 2018
    History, intrigue, and peril in 15th-century Brittany and France.It's 1489. Sybella, a trained assassin, escorts Brittany's duchess to France to marry King Charles. The duchess promises, when queen, to protect Sybella's young sisters from their brother's house, where the men molested Sybella (Dark Triumph, 2013). Having changed the nature of death (incomprehensibly) in Mortal Heart (2014), LaFevers ignores that and focuses on Sybella's doubt about how to serve her father, Mortain--the god of Death--without the black marques that previously showed her whom to kill. Meanwhile, Genevieve, another assassin/daughter of Mortain, languishes in an undercover placement in France, instruction-less--so she builds herself a plan. Sybella and Genevieve have brilliant skills--killing, scheming, spying, protecting, and sometimes finding Mortain's grace--but everyone who holds power abuses it terribly. Danger's everywhere--rape, murder--and love is a risk. Will Sybella and Genevieve find each other, or even learn each other's information, before things come crashing down? They alternate narrating in first-person present, with great immediacy. This rich tapestry of intrigue, betrayal, trauma, protection, old religion, and historically based politics resurrects the urgency and depth of the His Fair Assassin series--but must be read after the others ("new duology" label notwithstanding). Contrary to the reality of early modern Europe, all characters default to white.Sharp and breathless, full of anger and strength. May the sequel hurry. (character list, map, author's note) (Historical thriller. 14-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2018

    Gr 8 Up{amp}mdash;Fans of the author's "His Fair Assassins" trilogy will welcome the first installment of this duology that continues the story of Sybella (daughter of Mortain, god of Death) and introduces the new assassin Genevieve. While Sybella, with the help of her beloved Beast, is trying to protect her younger sisters from becoming victims of their incestuous brother Pierre, Genevieve uses her skills to protect the newlywed Duchess of Brittany from the wiles of the French court. The alternating narratives converge in the final chapter, preparing readers for the sequel. As with the original series, LaFevers leads the audience on a lightning-paced chase through a story of adventure, romance, and ever-deepening medieval intrigue. As stated in the author's preface, both thoroughly developed female protagonists are models for young women{amp}ndash;individuals of strength and power who may struggle with their choices but manage to maintain a sense of self. Both must sort their way through false and genuine relationships, navigating the alliances and betrayals of the deadly royal politics that threaten to destroy them. Using a compressed time line, but with historical details and personages true to the era of the final conflict of the French-Breton War, the author creates a believable backdrop for her invented tale. VERDICT A first-purchase gem of historical fantasy for high school and public libraries that will delight fans and engage newcomers.{amp}mdash;Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, formerly at LaSalle Academy, Providence

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from January 1, 2019
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* The many fans of the His Fair Assassins series will be delighted with this book that continues the story of the brave, broken Sybella, who alternates her story with another assassin from the convent of St. Mortain, Genevieve. Although this is the first of a new duology, it does pick up where Mortal Heart? (2014) ended, with the Duchess of Brittany on the path to becoming Queen of France. Those new to the series (or who haven't read it in a while) may find all the names and events confusing at first. But LaFevers' sharply drawn characters, pointed storytelling, and intricate takes on political intrigue will once again have readers turning pages?and there are a lot of pages to turn. One of the original series' delights was the young women's ties to the convent that worships the saint of death. But now that the saint is gone, some of those pages shift to battles, which don't hold the same intrigue as the more nuanced convent stories. That said, there are few writers as fine at their craft as LaFevers. The scenes between Genevieve and the prisoner she helps escape are both brittle and romantic, and Sybella's continuing efforts to save her little sisters from their degenerate family and aid the new queen raises the stakes for both the story and its multilayered heroines. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Readers flocked to Grave Mercy? (2012) and its sequels; this return to that world will have them lining up around the block.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)

  • The Horn Book

    July 1, 2019
    In LaFevers's alt-historical fifteenth-century Brittany, Sybella (from the His Fair Assassin trilogy), the trained assassin and daughter of Saint Mortain, becomes attendant to the Queen of France. Not far away, Genevieve, a novice from Saint Mortain's convent who had gone missing, is making the hazardous journey back to the French court. Alternating between Sybella's and Genevieve's voices, LaFevers maintains an intense pitch of intrigue, with murders, assaults, romance, and betrayals.

    (Copyright 2019 by The Horn Book, Incorporated, Boston. All rights reserved.)

  • The Horn Book

    January 1, 2019
    LaFevers returns to her alt-historical world of fifteenth-century Brittany and France, the setting of her earlier His Fair Assassin trilogy (Grave Mercy, rev. 3/12, and sequels), in this first book of a planned duology. Sybella, trained assassin and daughter of Saint Mortain (Breton god of Death), agrees to become attendant to the newly married Queen of France. Sybella also vows to protect her own young sisters from the rapacious clutches of their brother, and the French court appears to be the safest place to do that. But is it? Enemies are all around; the king is an unknown quantity; and two novices from Saint Mortain's convent, sent to the court undercover long ago, are missing entirely. What Sybella doesn't know is that not far away Genevieve, one of those undercover novices, has blundered her own way through doubt and tragedy and is now making the hazardous journey back to the French court. Alternating between Sybella's and Genevieve's voices, LaFevers maintains an intense pitch of intrigue: murders, assaults, romance, betrayals, and erotic encounters follow one after another with plenty of garrotes, swords, daggers, poisoned sewing needles, and the like. deirdre f. baker

    (Copyright 2019 by The Horn Book, Incorporated, Boston. All rights reserved.)

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