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BLOG TOUR --- Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers [Review + Giveaway]

Title: Courting Darkness
Authors(s): Robin LaFevers
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Edition: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook; 512 pgs
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Audible - 
Barnes & Noble - iBooks - The Book Depository
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tour Schedule

Week One:
1/21/2018- The Pages In-BetweenReview
1/22/2018- Fiction FareReview
1/23/2018- YA Books CentralExcerpt
1/24/2018- Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt
1/25/2018- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderReview

Week Two:
1/28/2019- ColorimetryReview
1/29/2019- Here's to Happy EndingsReview
1/30/2019- A Gingerly ReviewReview
1/31/2019- Moonlight RendezvousReview
2/1/2019- Novel NoviceExcerpt

Week Three:
2/4/2019- Lisa Loves LiteratureReview
2/5/2019- Flyleaf ChroniclesReview
2/6/2019- Smada's Book SmackReview
2/7/2019- A Backwards StoryReview
2/8/2019- Jena Brown WritesReview

Week Four:
2/11/2019- NerdophilesReview
2/12/2019- Book-KeepingReview
2/13/2019- Eli to the nthReview
2/14/2019- Do You Dog-ear?Review
Book BriefsReview

The Summary

Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about?

See where it all began! Grab the His Fair Assassin Trilogy now! You don’t need to read these to read Courting Darkness, but they’re amazing!

My Review

First in a duology that is set in the world of LaFevers' My Fair Assassin trilogy, Courting Darkness picks up where the last book in that series left off.  But the reader now follows Sybella, one of Death's Daughters trained at the convent of Saint Mortain, as she tries to figure out her place in this new world and still protect the Duchess during the turmoil of making Brittany it's own country permanently.

Disclaimer time: I have never read the My Fair Assassin trilogy.  And while you don't have to have read those books to read Courting Darkness, it will save you some major confusion from the get-go.  Also, I didn't realize this was not a straight-up fantasy book.  This is actually historical fiction with fantastical elements.  So I will say, these two facts put a dampener on my enjoyment of the book overall, but if you loved the My Fair Assassin books, then you'll probably love this one as well.

I will say that even though it wasn't my favorite, it was still a great book.  I think if I had read the other three books prior to this one, it would have given this book more of a punch.  But with that said, I did enjoy reading it (it was a big one too, so keep that in mind!  You get a lot of bang for your buck).

Sybella is a kick-ass protagonist.  She's tough and vulnerable.  She embodies love and hate.  She was a fun perspective to read from, but I did lose something because I don't know all the backstory of her from the previous book she features in, Dark Triumph.  But as the story progressed, there were explanations so I wasn't completely lost.  Also, Sybella is just a really interesting character to follow, due to her capacity to love and to kill.  Of course, LaFevers didn't place her in an easy situation, and even with all her skills some dark stuff takes place.  But through it all, I was constantly hoping Sybella would come out of it, because even though I didn't know everything, what I did know and learned in this book, endeared me to her in a major way.

So while Sybella is one point of view, the reader is also introduced to a new character, Genevieve, who trades chapters with Sybella.  While Gen was also a trained assassin, she is in a completely different situation than Sybella, as she has been working undercover in the French Court (which is a really terrible place, might I add).  But while waiting for guidance from the now defunct convent, Gen is put in a situation where she must make her own decisions.  

What was interesting was the pacing between the two points of view.  In all of Sybella's chapters, the reader gets a sense of urgency and sense of self.  In Gen's chapters the pace is slower and her character less pronounced.  If this was due to LaFevers having already written a book from Sybella's point of view, so she had more of a grasp on her characterization, or because she wanted Gen to reflect the fact Gen couldn't be herself for so long, is unclear.  But it did make me read through Gen's chapters faster to get back to what was happening with Sybella.

Overall, this is just as bloody and intricate as the first series (from what I've researched) and set's Sybella and Gen on a journey to not only unite France and Brittany, but also to determine their futures, safety, and purpose within the world.  As I said, I felt I missed a lot from not reading the first series, but Courting Darkness was still super enjoyable, and I will definitely be picking up the sequel when it comes out next year.  Oh, and I'll be reading the His Fair Assassin books as soon as possible!

Final Rating

About the Author

Robin LaFevers was raised on a steady diet of fairy tales, Bulfinch’s mythology, and 19th century poetry. It is not surprising she grew up to be a hopeless romantic.

Though she has never trained as an assassin or joined a convent, she did attend Catholic school for three years, which instilled in her a deep fascination with sacred rituals and the concept of the Divine. She has been on a search for answers to life’s mysteries ever since.

While many of those answers still elude her, she was lucky enough to find her one true love, and is living happily ever after with him in the foothills of southern California.

In addition to writing about teen assassin nuns in medieval Brittany, she writes books for middle grade readers, including the Theodosia books and the Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist series. You can learn more about those books at www.rllafevers.com.

20 winners will receive His Fair Assassin character card sets, 
US Only.

1 comment:

  1. I really can't imagine being able to get into this book without having read the first series. It's pretty complex, and knowing the background would make Courting Darkness easier. Great job!


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