Courting Darkness Audiobook
By: Robin LaFevers
Narrated by: Angela Goethals and Suszy Jackson
Recorded Books 02/05/2019
17 hrs and 33 mins
Courting Darkness Audiobook Sample
Courting Darkness Audiobook
It feels like such a long time ago that I picked up my first His Fair Assassin book and immersed myself in medieval Brittany (France) where political intrigue, mysterious female assassins, and romance had me riveted to the story and devouring it at every opportunity.
The author surprised her fans with a follow up duology begun shortly after the resounding conclusion of book three, Mortal Heart. Now, confession time. I’ve only read the first book of that trilogy, Grave Mercy, so I probably wasn’t as impacted by Courting Darkness as I could have been since one of the two storylines is a continuation with Sybella’s story from the second book of the His Fair Assassin trilogy. That said, I had no trouble listening to this story because the author gives the details needed for someone starting with Courting Darkness to do all right. I want to go back and finish the earlier series more than ever after meeting Sybella and Beast in this one.
So, yes, we are back in a world of dark, twisting intrigue and suspense as the Duchess of Brittany prepares to marry the King of France. All sorts of political ploys are weaving in and around this event. Two different Handmaidens of Death are working from opposite ends. Sybella and Beast are working in the Duchess’ entourage and trying to figure out what the duchess’ sister the Regent is up to, but there is a new player in the game. Genevieve has been undercover and separated from her sisters from the convent for so long that she believes she has been forgotten and must go it alone when she discovers a prisoner in the house she is in that she hopes to use for her own purposes.
I was glad to know this was a duology going in so I was ready for the story building to a point and ending with half the story still to come and leaving an ominous feeling because of what I sense that is promising things to get worse before they get better.
I got a surprise once I started getting into this one. I wasn’t prepared for it to hit the emotions so much. I figured lots of action and tension from the two powerful royal sisters and all the factions and because the sisters from the convent now moving into their new roles, but still very much trained spies and assassins. And, there was that. Lots of proof of what a lethal female spy and assassin trained at that convent could do.
But, I was not expecting to see those dynamics for Sybella in her personal life as well as her relationship with Beast to be teased out and adding additional layers to the story. There was a what comes after the happily ever after when the real work of maintaining a relationship has begun and how her past has shaped her and she must continue to reinvent herself with the new circumstances.
And, Genevieve, the second heroine, with her own separate plot thread, was an entirely new factor. She has a great deal of personal struggle of her own. Genevieve didn’t finish her training before she was integrated as a sleeper agent in France and so has no contact or idea what happened back at the convent with the others. She feels abandoned and that she has to go it alone. Her lack of understanding over the gifts she has as a daughter of death and what is happening in the world around her had her miss-stepping a lot. I confess that I could understand her situation while at the same time preferring Sybella’s story since I got frustrated with Gen a lot particularly in the beginning when she was acting for her own purposes and it wasn’t helping matters with the larger, troubling and dangerous picture.
In the end, I was totally into this story and not ready to be done until the next installment especially when the two plot threads converged.
Incidentally, it was very cool how the author did an introductory note and historical notes at the back.
So, it was a slow building, but quite exciting first part of the story and I would heartily recommend it to those who enjoy the world of assassins, intrigue, and medieval times with complex characters and a layered plot
Courting Darkness Audiobook Narration
This was a dual narration with new to me narrators in Angela Goethals and Suzy Jackson. I thought they both did a great job. The storylines swapped back and forth quickly and probably would have been difficult to remember whose storyline I was in without the well done dual narration work. I enjoyed how they voiced the heroines and the broader cast of characters.
This was a huge story with lots of pace changes and tones to account for and they did great with it all. I had no trouble feeling I was back in Medieval France in the dangerous political world and the two young women working in the shadows.
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.
Suzy Jackson is an actress and voiceover artist whose voice has been heard on numerous audiobooks, commercials, video games, and cartoons.
An Audie Awards and SOVAS Voice Arts Awards nominee, Suzy was named one of the Best Voices by AudioFile and her books have been recognized on the American Library Association’s Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults list.
Suzy is the proud executive director of Opening Act, a nonprofit organization that brings free theater programs to New York City’s most underserved public high schools: www.openingact.org.