Rating: 4 Stars
Published: April 2013
Genre: Young Adult // Historical Fiction
“De Brosse ducks his head sheepishly, and Beast gives the command to head for the cave. I almost hope it is a mouth that opens directly to hell, for of a certainty, we could use the heat.”
“For all that I have been kissed before, I have never felt anything like this. It is if I have swallowed a tiny piece of the sun, its warmth and light reaching into every corner of my soul and chasing away the shadows.”
The second book in the His Fair Assassin trilogy focuses on Sybella and her assignment in the d’Albret household. Sybella has kept a secret from Ismae. The reason she was able to find a place in the d’Albret household was because she already one. She’s his daughter. When a mission leads her to breaking out the Beast of Waroch, she finds she may have budding feelings for the man who was kept prisoner. While all her secrets destroy a chance at something real? Then when Sybella faces her own conflicts with the Convent of St. Mortain’s mission, she must decide if she should follow her own heart or follow the Abbess’s wishes.
I enjoyed this far more than Grave Mercy. While I loved the first installment, I found this more personal account more intriguing and genuine. Sybella is a wonderfully flawed and enigmatic heroine. Even though, at first, I wasn’t as intrigued as I ended up being. Getting through the beginning was so worth it! I still love the whole concept of this world and it makes me so happy how tied into historical events the trilogy is!
It’s funny, when I was first writing my review for this, my notes from the beginning of the book say that I liked Ismae more than Sybella. I laugh at that now. How naive I was at the start of this novel. There’s a clear difference between Ismae and Sybella. Not a lot trilogies show quite this difference in characterizations between female characters. It was awesome to see. I love that Sybella is such a strong and determined heroine. She has such conflict with her family life but finds love for the first time. She’s not overwhelmed with it and they end up fighting alongside each other, which is very cool. Beast worries about her but they fight in battle together.
For fans of Ismae, don’t worry, you’ll be able to see Sybella and Ismae interact in this installment. Ismae and Duval are still with the Duchess and Sybella will see them eventually. It’s nice to see them together outside the walls of the convent.
I LOVED that Beast wasn’t another gorgeous typical YA male lead. YAY! Sybella loves Beast for who he is despite (and including) his brutish looks. How refreshing! “I stare down at his face. It has not grown more beautiful since I first found him, festering in the dungeon, and yet it is more dear to me than my own.”
And Yannic. What a great character! I won’t say more, you’ll have to experience him for yourself. But the characters come to life. I feel like I know them and are friends with them.
I’m looking forward to reading the next one which came out in 2014. Mortal Heart. Look out for my review. I’ll be sad to leave Sybella and Beast but I’m quite interested in Anith’s story!