Monday, January 28, 2019

#Review COURTING DARKNESS by Robin LaFevers @RLLaFevers w/ @RockstarBkTours #Giveaway 5 Stars

Squeee!!!  I am a huge fan of His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers... and we have a NEW installment with Sybella and a new character... Genevieve!

And I got to read an early copy!!  Check out my review!

Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology, #1)

Title: COURTING DARKNESS (Courting Darkness Duology #1) 
Author: Robin LaFevers 
Pub. Date: February 5, 2019 
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers 
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook 
Pages: 160 
Find it:Goodreads, Amazon, Audible, B&N, iBooks, TBD 

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 er 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? 

My Review:

 My first impression:  LaFevers does not mess around... starting this book was a deep dive back into the 1400's and castles and horses and political schemes. Sybella was my most challenging character to become emotionally, she is so starkly honest with herself and hides her tenderness so deeply. At least Beast is also right there, forcing Sybella to retain her grip on sanity and not give self-loathing a foothold.

Yeah... that was my first impression.  *Deep breath* *Jump in*

Genevieve, or Gen, has such a strong sense of duty, it blankets everything she does and causes rifts in relationships, flavoring every interaction she has. It is very clear early on that her choices are so limited, this is her best course of action, even though it feels like a dead-end. Truly, her alternatives are even worse.

I fell in love with Sybella... possibly for the first time.  And I'm holding my breath for Gen... I want her to triumph so badly, but her choices are limited and she presses on almost blindly.

I am absolutely thrilled with the "forgotten prisoner". He is a character that has been talked about enough in the first series that it is a relief to meet him. I'm sure he would argue that he is practical and honest and a true friend, but I am just as skeptical as Gen every step of the way.

We also get to see more of Anne, the Duchess... and the regent, the King's sister... and Margarite, a "plum" waiting to be plucked by whatever man will choose her fate. WOMEN in the 1400's had raw choices and LaFevers tackles this subject straight-on until I am squirming along with many of them and cheering on strong characters I did not know to celebrate before.  Even the women who concede to the men around them ruling their lives show courage and backbone. It never before occurred to me how much strength is required to live alongside a husband's mistress and be gracious to the other victims surviving the situation as best they can, but that is what Louise and Anne and many more did. They grasped their livelihoods in both hands and made the best of things they were unable to change.

The courage of these women is inspiring. My reactions range from grudging respect to downright awe. I include the regent in this, even if my feelings are closer to astonishment and horror at all she is able to accomplish. (That is all you're getting as forewarning... she's awful.)

Are you following Robin's writing inspirations on Instagram?  You should. One instruction she recently posted was planning ahead for how the reader would feel at the end of the book. So I want to ask... Robin, did you intend to leave me gasping, mid-breath and frantically checking for the date #2 in this duology would be published?  I expected the haunting longing, as there was some of that feeling after the first three, but to leave us hanging for a year?!  This was not expected. I may thank you later for such a deliciously long story, but right now I'm still in shock. What have you done???


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! 

Grave Mercy- Amazon, Audible, B&N, iBooks, TBD  My Review
Dark Triumph- Amazon, Audible, B&N, iBooks, TBD  My Review, Intereview w/ Robin
Mortal Heart- Amazon, Audible, B&N, iBooks, TBD

Robin LaFevers

About Robin:  
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  

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

Tour Schedule: 
Week One: 
1/21/2018- The Pages In-Between- Review 
1/22/2018- Fiction Fare- Review 
1/23/2018- YA Books Central- Excerpt 
1/24/2018- Two Chicks on Books- Excerpt 
1/25/2018- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Review 
Week Two: 
1/28/2019- Colorimetry- Review 
1/29/2019- Here's to Happy Endings- Review 
1/30/2019- A Gingerly Review- Review 
1/31/2019- Moonlight Rendezvous- Review 
2/1/2019- Novel Novice- Excerpt 
Week Three: 
2/4/2019- Lisa Loves Literature- Review 
2/5/2019- Flyleaf Chronicles- Review 
2/6/2019- Smada's Book Smack- Review 
2/7/2019- A Backwards Story- Review 
2/8/2019- Jena Brown Writes- Review 
Week Four: 
2/11/2019- Nerdophiles- Review 
2/12/2019- Book-Keeping- Review 
2/13/2019- Eli to the nth- Review 
2/14/2019- Do You Dog-ear?- Review 
2/15/2019- Book Briefs- Review