Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Igniting Darkness by Robin LaFevers
Narrator: Suzy Jackson, Amanda Leigh Cobb, Eva Kaminsky, Brian Munn
Series: Courting Darkness Duology #2
Published by Recorded Books on August 4, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Length: 17 hours, 33 minutes
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When you count Death as a friend, who can stand as your enemy?
Sybella, novitiate of the convent of Saint Mortain and Death’s vengeance on earth, is still reeling from her God’s own passing, and along with him a guiding hand in her bloody work. But with her sisters on the run from their evil brother and under the watchful eye of her one true friend (and love) at court, the soldier known as Beast, Sybella stands alone as the Duchess of Brittany’s protector.
After months of seeking her out, Sybella has finally made contact with a fellow novitiate of the convent, Genevieve, a mole in the French court. But when Genevieve mistakenly draws the attention of the French king to the convent of Saint Mortain and its deadly arts, she may do her sisters (and herself) more harm than good. Sybella, having already drawn the ire of the French regent, may not be able to depend on her sister and ally as much as she hoped. Still, Death always finds a way, even if it’s not what one expects.
Igniting Darkness is the final book in the duology featuring primarily Sybella and Genevieve, but also Maraud. It is a continuation of the story begun in Courting Darkness, which definitely should be read first. Really the two books make a complete story with the main characters being much the same, and many of the plots unfinished in the first book. It is interesting to me that Sybella had a “book” in the original His Fair Assassin trilogy but her story is really not completed until this duology.
There are many aspects of the world and the characters continued and various little story arcs completed here. The author does a great job finishing up those details and the various characters we have come to appreciate. While the primary characters are Sybella, Genevieve and Maraud, there are many others involved.
There is the new relationship of the King and Queen. The King is young and still settling into his role. The Regent would prefer she had that role but she is a female. She still tries to control as much as she can whether by influencing the King or going behind his back to do what she wants. In fact, many in the King’s councilors would manipulate him. The Queen, our beloved Anne of Brittany, has frustrations in being kept from knowledge and input about her country, as her husband is really quite the misogynist with his lack of experience and knowledge.
It turns out not everyone is happy with Anne of Brittany becoming the Queen of France. Of course, the Regent doesn’t want her as she wants to control everything herself. Many of the main households in Brittany would still like to be separate. So there are some serious problems there.
Genevieve is so young. She has finally met up with Sybella and starts to learn about the convent, but not before she has made some serious mistakes and gotten tangled up in the Regent’s schemes. Sybella is always trying to keep herself and her younger sibling safe from her brother. Genevieve has a surprisingly good relationship with the King and a better one with Count Aungoleme than I recalled. In fact, the Count is not how I viewed him in the previous book.
I would still recommend starting with Grave Mercy as it sets up the world in this series so well. This story is a long, but good one with well built world and characters. I was happy to see my favorite characters succeed after much suffering and risk of their lives.
The narrator for Sybella changed which was initially an adjustment. Suzy Jackson is back for Genevieve. Overall, I was very comfortable with the performances. I listened at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip:
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