New York Times Bestseller
Spring 2013 Kids' Indie Next List
Sybella's duty as Death's assassin in 15th-century France forces her return home to the personal hell that she had finally escaped. Love and romance, history and magic, vengeance and salvation converge in this thrilling sequel to Grave Mercy.
Sybella's duty as Death's assassin in 15th-century France forces her return home to the personal hell that she had finally escaped. Love and romance, history and magic, vengeance and salvation converge in this thrilling sequel to Grave Mercy.
Sybella arrives at the convent’s doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge—but at a price. The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?
The curriculet is being added to your library
Usually when you begin a book, you must infer the time and place in which the story occurs as you read the first few pages. Here it has been given as a subtitle. What do we call this element of a story?
It is important for you to know that Dark Triumph is the second novel in a historical fantasy trilogy. The first is Grave Mercy. These novels take place in 15th century Brittany, which today is a part of France. As you may have noted in the first paragraph, the narrator spent time in a very different kind of convent, where the nuns taught skills like poison and killing with a knife. The nuns of Saint Mortain serve the ancient god of Death. (This annotation contains an image)
Look at the highlighted sentence. The writer uses two different types of figurative language. Figurative language is found in all types of writing. It helps readers understand things, events, and people in unique ways. It's important to be able to recognize the different types of figurative language. Watch this video for a review and see how many you already know. (This annotation contains a video)
The comparison made in this sentence heightens the tension the narrator is feeling. What type of figurative language does it represent?
A little history is important to know here. Brittany in the 15th century was still a sovereign state (a duchy) ruled by a duke or duchess and independent from France.
A careful reader is gathering a lot of background information in these first pages. We know a French invasion is an imminent threat and that the duchess is frequently betrayed by those close to her. This part of the plot is called the exposition and it is here that we learn the setting, the main character, and important background information. Watch the video about the elements, or parts, of plot. Keep these in mind as we move through the story. (This annotation contains a video)
As another of Death's handmaidens, Ismae is our narrator's "sister." She is the protagonist of this trilogy's first novel, Grave Mercy. She spent time in the convent of Saint Mortain and became an assassin of Death. Most of the plot of Grave Mercy centered on Ismae protecting the Duchess Anne, so she could assume her rightful place on the throne. (This annotation contains an image)
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up?
Saint Camulos is one of the Nine Old Gods of Brittany. Camulos is the god of war and battles and is associated with the Roman god, Mars.
This tells us that our narrator is Sybella. She is a handmaiden to Death, meaning she is an assassin.
Alain d'Albret is a wealthy noble who lives in Britttany. Apparently he organized the assault on the duchess.
Below is a CGI reconstruction showing what the inside of a hall in a real medieval castle would look like. (This annotation contains an image)
We know who gave that warning. Who was it?
Most villains have moments when they act falsely kind and gentle, and it makes them even more frightening. Write down two lines from the text that demonstrate d'Albret's "sinister kindness."
This illustration is of Anne, the Duchess of Brittany. She is the character who barely escapes a trap on the first pages of the novel. There really was a Duchess of Britanny! She inherited the title from her father, Duke Francis II, when he died and she was only twelve years old. At the time, Brittany was trying to maintain its independence from France. Once Anne's father died, many suitors vied for her hand in marriage as a way to obtain her castle and power. (This annotation contains an image)
The reader can now infer that Sybella, the narrator, feels what toward d'Albret?
So Sybella is the daughter of this vicious man, d'Albret. She is trying very hard to fake loyalty and respect towards him. Julian and Pierre, Sybella's brothers, are d'Albret's sons.
So Madame Dinan is d'Albret's mate. If you check back to the list of characters ("Dramatis Personae"), you will see that she was the former governess to the duchess, which means she helped raise the duchess. Because there are so many characters, it is important that you refer back to this list whenever you are confused or unsure of who is who.
What does Sybella have hidden in her skirt?
This sentence contains a simile, but it also contains an implied metaphor, comparing Sybella's anger to _____________.
To be "marqued," then, must mean the gods have decided that a person will die. The assassins of the God of death, or "handmaidens," like Sybella and Ismae, go out and perform the killing.
Odette is the young girl by the stairs that Sybella encountered before the attempted attack on the duchess.
Sybella is giving us some background information here. She once used her knowledge of the art of poison, which she learned from the assassin nuns at the convent, to protect her sisters.
A bedchamber in a castle during these times may have looked something like the picture below. (This annotation contains an image)
This explains more about the relationships among the characters. Sybella, Pierre, and Julian all have the same father, d'Albret. Sybella, though, must have a different mother.
We know now that Sybella does not care for her half-brother Pierre.
The marque of death must be visible, then, like a smudge or shadow.
If Sybella does not see a marque, then she will be punished if she kills.
This novel falls under the genre of historical fantasy which means quite a bit of the plot is rooted in history, while other parts are pure fantasy. In the world of this trilogy, His Fair Assassin, Saint Mortain is the god of Death.
Having d'Albret slice open the curtain just beside the curtain Sybella is hiding behind, is an example of the writer creating what for the reader?
Which of the following words best describe the character of Sybella?
Use the Define feature on the word "abbess." Where would you find an abbess?
An hourglass must be what she is referring to here. (This annotation contains an image)
Sybella is a noble and so she has ladies in waiting and chamber maids--servants in the castle who attend to her needs. Watch the video on protagonists and antagonists. Is Sybella the protagonist? (This annotation contains a video)
Based on context, which of the following words best replaces "mayhap"?
Before the twentieth century, is was fashionable to have a very pale complexion; it was a sign of wealth and social status. Women whose skin was tan worked in the fields and were in a lower social class.
It seems that Sybella is the protagonist of this novel. Which character has emerged so far as the antagonist?
Which of the following lines is not evidence of Jamette and Sybella's tense relationship.
Did you know this is how the name of our morning meal came to be "breakfast"? People considered the time between the last meal of the day and the next morning a "fast." So in the morning when you woke up and ate your first meal, you were literally "breaking the fast."
This is probably a reference to the Bubonic plague or Black Death. Although the pandemic that struck most of Europe was over by 1351, other outbreaks (epidemics) occurred sporadically during the 1400's. (This annotation contains an image)
In this paragraph, the writer uses a simile, comparing Jamette to ____________.
Here is a list of the Nine Old Gods (or Saints) of Brittany. (These are fictitious creations of the author, but she loosely relates them to some Celtic and Roman mythology) : Saint Mortain – god of death. Dea Matrona – Gaulish mother goddess, responsible for the earth’s bounty. Saint Amourna – daughter of Dea Matrona and one of the twin goddesses of love. Saint Arduinna – daughter of Dea Matrona and goddess of love’s sharp bite, protector of virgins. Saint Mer – goddess of the sea. Saint Camulos – god of battle and warriors. Saint Brigantia – goddess of wisdom; brought medicine and healing knowledge to mankind. Saint Cissonius – god of crossroads and travelers. Saint Salonius – god of mistakes and patron saint of bastards.
Sybella is saying she went to the restroom.
How does Sybella plan to kill the barons, Julliers and Vienne?
Hunting with falcons or hawks has been practiced for many centuries. (This annotation contains an image)
Use the Define feature on the word "cuckolding." A man who is a "cuckold" is a man who has been ________________ by his wife.
Sybella has been told by the nuns at Saint Mortain that she and Ismae are truly the daughters of Mortain.
What is Julian about to do?
From where has the crow been sent?
This paragraph gives us a bit of background information. The nuns at the convent not only taught Sybella the "killing arts" but also gave her a "noblewoman's" education.
Accusing men and women of witchcraft and sorcery was not uncommon during this time in history. In fact, besides peculiar behavior, many of today's common ailments were once considered signs of witchcraft; warts, birthmarks and rashes are all examples. Also, if a woman had a pet or an animal she was fond of, many accused her of having a "familiar," an animal companion that faithfully served its master in exchange for some of the master's blood to occasionally drink. In the picture below, a woman apparently is being accused based on a mark on her skin. (This annotation contains an image)
Bertrand De Lur is the captain of d'Albret's guard. His daughter is Jamette, who is one of Sybella's ladies. Even though Sybella dislikes Jamette, she doesn't want her to be punished cruelly by her father. Here De Lur is trying to seduce Sybella even though he works for d'Albret.
Which word in this paragraph makes d'Albret seem like a predator?
Duke Francis was the ruler of Brittany from 1458 until his death in 1488. When he died, his twelve year old daughter, Anne, took the throne. Many suitors sought Anne's hand in marriage so as to secure the throne. Duke Francis's rule was marked by his determination to keep Brittany's independence from France. (This annotation contains an image)
Saint Brigantia is one of the Nine Gods (Saints). She is the goddess of wisdom. But Sybella wasn't really in this convent. She was in Saint Mortain's convent.
What has d'Albret asked his daughter to do?
In your own words, summarize what the order is that Sybella receives from the convent.
Rennes is the capital city of Brittany. Brittany lies in the northwest corner of France and is one of the great historic provinces of France. In the Dark Ages, Britons escaped from Great Britain by way of the English Channel to flee from the Anglo Saxons who had invaded. Brittany is proud of its Celtic heritage that sets it apart from the rest of France.
Why are Baron Vienne and Baron Julliers in their rooms during dinner?
So Anne of Brittany has been crowned Duchess of Brittany. (This annotation contains an image)
Remember, the marque is a sign from Mortain, the god of Death, that someone must be killed.
Sybella tries to reassure herself that her true father is Saint Mortain, not d'Albret, and so Julian is not her real brother.
This sentence describing how Sybella feels after Julian kills the baron contains two examples of which type of figurative language?
"Siren's song" is an expression that means something enticing and appealing that may have dangerous consequences. The expression alludes to a Greek mythology in which deadly mermaids (sirens) sing beautifully to lure sailors toward their island where they will wreck their ships on the rocks. (This annotation contains an image)
Sybella is remembering the request of the convent to check on Baron de Waroch, or Beast of Waroch. She must have heard his cry when he was struck while protecting the duchess and helping her escape.
This sentence illustrates one of the elements that makes this novel historical fantasy. Ghosts are part of the supernatural and are frequently found in fantasy. This novel is also steeped in real historical facts.
Sybella has an internal conflict: she is not sure of her belief in Saint Mortain, the god of Death whom the nuns claim is her true father. If her faith falters, then she's left to acknowledge that d'Albret is her real father. Watch the video on conflicts and then think about the conflicts faced by our protagonist, Sybella. (This annotation contains a video)
We must wonder what the convent has done to Sybella to hurt her so.
This must be a special power of Sybella's. She seems to be able to hear the pulse of people's hearts. It has been mentioned several times in the novel so far.
Notice how the writer uses language to create suspense. List at least four words that help create the tense mood of this paragraph.
What most likely causes these "cold, dark, fluttering sensations"?
Can you envision this winding, stone staircase? (This annotation contains an image)
We know how Sybella is feeling because she is not only the protagonist, but she is also the narrator of this novel. Watch the video and listen for what type of narrator this type is called. Be sure to understand the other types of narrators as well. (This annotation contains a video)
A silversmith's shop may look like this. (This annotation contains an image)
Sybella always seems to hide which side of herself?
Ancenis is a commune in France that was an important location on the way to Nantes, the capital of Brittany. You may want to refer back to the map at the beginning of the novel if you want to understand more clearly where different events occur.
Sybella uses what to manipulate Julian?
Who is it that Sybella sees through the bars?
This writer likes to leave us wondering what has happened in Sybella's past that has caused her so much pain. Here we wonder what Julian did to betray her.
To be hanged, drawn, and quartered is perhaps one of the most grisly, barbaric forms of execution in the Middle Ages.
How do the servants heat the nobles' beds during this time period?
This ring of Sybella's has only one purpose: to take her own life if she feels she must. (This annotation contains an image)
Sybella assumes the different pieces of jewelry Jamette wears are what?
Explain why Sybella does not want any more attention drawn to the blacksmith she met in town.
One of the main conflicts of this story is the desire for power. D'Albret wants to take the power, wealth, and lands away from the duchess, Anne. Sybella is trying to protect her and foil D'Albret's plans. Watch this video on emerging themes. Might greed and abuse of power be an emerging theme in this novel? (This annotation contains a video)
Captain Dunois is the captain of the Duchess Anne's army.
In your own words, explain d'Albret's plan to get inside the duchess's walled city of Rennes.
A tinker would travel from village to village, selling pots, pans, potions, and various other trinkets and tools. Often they spread news and stories from place to place. (This annotation contains an image)
Comparing the jailor to a gargoyle is certainly not very flattering. (This annotation contains an image)
Which of the following lines is not an example of figurative language?
The "plague flag" was used as a signal that someone on board the wagon or ship had the plague. (This annotation contains an image)
Explain how Sybella is motivating the knight to move despite his weakness and pain.
Where is Sybella?
We might want to make a prediction here. Sybella planned to return to the castle and kill d'Albret, an act that would put her soul in jeopardy with Saint Mortain. Do you think the knight and jailor somehow knew her plans and purposely prevented her from carrying them out? Have they saved her?
These two sentences show the writer's great style. Read them aloud. What sound device is used here?
The house where they plan to hide may look like this. (This annotation contains an image)
We can infer from his behavior that the jailor is _______________ to the knight and the duchess.
This simile means that it will be _______________ to move the knight.
Do you think there may be a romance between Sybella and this knight? Whether there is or not, we will find out, but it is a logical prediction.
The red streaks indicate that there is blood poisoning.
Saint Camulos, the god of battles and warriors, is one of the Nine Saints.
In your own words, give details from what you've read that suggest that both Sybella and the Beast of Waroch are somewhat attracted to each other.
Which of the following do Sybella and the Beast of Waroch have in common?
What is the one important thing that Sybella has not yet told the Beast of Waroch?
The best word to describe the Beast of Waroch so far is which of the following?
Why would Beast smile at this news?
Sybella is reviewing the theology, or system of beliefs, of those following Saint Mortain. She is struggling with whether or not she should still follow these beliefs, or kill whenever she feels she needs to. What type of conflict is this called?
Why did the Beast smile earlier when he learned the men outside were on horses?
You've probably noticed that Sybella uses the word "merde" frequently when she is annoyed or upset. It is French slang. The American equivalent might be "Crap!" This dialogue not only makes Sybella more historically accurate, but it makes her character more likable. She's like most people and curses when she is agitated.
Which word makes this sentence an example of personification?
Who is Yannic?
What is the Beast implying about Sybella when he says this?
Below is a picture of a mill house. (This annotation contains an image)
Earlier we predicted that Sybella and the Beast of Waroch may become romantically involved. Do you still think so? Give at least two reasons why they would be a good pair.
Sybella serves the god Saint Mortain. Who does Beast of Waroch serve?
How does the writer end this chapter?
Besides the traits given here, Beast is noble and fierce like a lion. Sybella is ____________ and ______________ like a panther.
Sybella, who we know is beautiful, is repelled by the face of Beast. Yet gradually she seems to becoming drawn to him. What well-known fairy tale does this remind you of?
The fact that Beast feels compelled to fight at any injustice he comes upon shows that he is ________________.
Quarrels are the arrows for the crossbow and the quiver holds them. The picture below shows some of the weapons Sybella and Beast use to kill. (This annotation contains an image)
This is a reference to Dea Matrona, the mother goddess who is responsible for the harvest and bounty of the earth. Farmers would naturally worship this goddess.
Sybella, Beast, and Yannic seem to go from one violent challenge to the next and are in constant danger. What part of the plot are we most certainly in?
Yum! How can words appeal to our palate? Through imagery, that's how. Watch the video below on imagery. Then choose five words from the first paragraph that appeal to our sense of taste.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mEN_dSlrck&list=PLFCb6LtU-qa2ntWimC960RY3xNib7cGng&index=26
Remember, Anne, the duchess of Brittany, wants to maintain Brittany's independence from France. Her father, the former Duke of Brittany, fought his entire reign for the same purpose.
Sybella continually treats Beast's wounds with poultices. Poultices are most often made with dried herbs and other medicating plants. They are heated, moistened, molded together, and placed directly over a wound. A poultice will draw out infection and reduce inflammation to speed the healing process. (This annotation contains an image)
Tonquedec is a commune in Brittany. Below is a picture of the Castle of Tonquedec. (This annotation contains an image)
Notice how the writer often ends chapters with something that will compel us to keep reading. What do you think Beast's reaction will be when he finds out that Sybella grew up as d'Albret's daughter (whether she truly is our not) and that his sister died trying to help Sybella?
Explain the plan Guion and his boys set with the dead Frenchmen and their horses.
Saint Cissonius is the god of crossroads and travelers.
Sybella is moved by what character trait of the Beast of Waroch?
Both Beast and Sybella agree on one thing. Going back to Nantes where d'Albret has taken over is worse than ___________.
Have you forgotten that this novel is part fantasy? This event of the forest "spitting out creatures of the old legends" is a classic example of fantasy. Whatever they are, these creatures are fighting against d'Albret's men and helping Sybella and the Beast.
The Dark Mother must be a goddess. Perhaps the prayers from the farmer's family brought these creatures out.
The forest may look like this. (This annotation contains an image)
The charbonnerie seem a lot like the wood elves in many stories of fantasy and folklore. (This annotation contains an image)
The Dark Mother is not one of the Nine Gods.
Oak galls are abnormal plant growths and are often the homes of insects. The horned oak gall wasp is one example. (This annotation contains an image)
What do the charbonnerie hope to gain by fighting against the French?
Explain what you think this sentence suggests.
The leaves of a silver oak are green but flash silver in the sunlight. (This annotation contains an image)
Guerande is the castle where the novel opens, where Sybella first warns the duchess from the tower of the impending attack.
Saint Brigantia is the goddess of wisdom and brought the knowledge of medicine and healing to men.
Both the marshal and the madame have betrayed the duchess.
The Duchess Anne of Brittany took the throne at age twelve. (This annotation contains an image)
We have not yet met the abbess of Saint Mortain, but we know it was she who sent Sybella back to d'Albret. List four words from this paragraph that help create a mood of foreboding as Sybella first spots her.
An abbess is the leader, or Reverend Mother, of an abbey of nuns. (This annotation contains an image)
Annith's story is the third novel in this trilogy, Mortal Heart. (This annotation contains an image)
This sentence refers to mixing a sleeping potion so the duchess can sleep. "It is a dance with Death..." combines two types of figurative language. What are they?
A nun's habit during the 15th century may have looked like this. (This annotation contains an image)
Below is a picture of a convent during the Middle Ages. (This annotation contains an image)
A mortar and pestle is used to crush herbs and medicines. (This annotation contains an image)
What do Sybella and Beast frequently do when they talk?
In the first novel of this trilogy, Grave Mercy, part of the plot revolves around an emerging love between Ismae and Lord Duval. (This annotation contains an image)
Even though he is near fatally wounded, Beast claims, "I should not be sitting in the presence of the duchess." This sentence reinforces which of Beast's character traits?
Brittany is a duchy, or a territory or domain ruled by a duke or duchess.
This is the very news that Sybella has been trying to hide from everyone.
This means the duchess has agreed to marry someone. Whoever she marries, he will have rule over Brittany. This is why so many men, including d'Albret, want to marry her.
List three effective images the writer includes in this paragraph to convey the squalor in the part of town where Sybella finds herself.
What do the charbonnerie deliver?
Ismae is particularly skilled in the art of poisons and potions.
These must be something the Saint of Mortain gave them--a talent or ability to do something others can't.
Sybella must be describing how the "Tears of Mortain" are administered at the convent.
Sybella is referring to something that neither Marshal Rieux or d'Albret have. What is it?
So Ismae's gift is that she is immune to poison and can draw poison out of others with just her skin.
The writer of this trilogy, Robin LaFevers, claims she based many of the Nine Gods on Celtic mythology. Most people are more familiar with Greek and Roman mythology. The Greek god of Death or the underworld is Hades; the Roman god of death is Pluto. (This annotation contains an image)
This simile shows that Sybella feels which emotion because of Ismae's statement?
The pronouns He and His are capitalized in reference to Saint Mortain because he is _____________.
Explain in your own words why this news may comfort Sybella.
This is important information. The marque, according to what Ismae now believes, only means that a person will soon die. It is not a sign that Sybella or another of Death's assassins must kill.
During this time, a solar was an upper, private chamber in a medieval house.
You've seen these before in pictures of castles or palaces. (This annotation contains an image)
Embroidery was a common pastime for ladies and noblewomen during this time period.
These kinds of actions help characterize Sybella as a caring person, despite her tough exterior. (This annotation contains an image)
How does Sybella take the thought of never seeing her two sisters again according to this sentence?
What is the writer's main purpose in this paragraph?
Why is Sybella flirting with the duchess's cousin, Jean de Chalon?
Do you think Beast will forgive Sybella? Explain your answer using details from the novel.
A barbican was a fortress situated at the end of a bridge that was used as a defense to prevent entrance to the castle. In the picture below, the barbican is the structure numbered 1. (This annotation contains an image)
This treaty was agreed upon by Anne's father, Duke Francis II. It commands that Anne must have the king of France's permission to marry. This way France will not have to worry about Brittany being taken over by another country.
Anne has made plans to marry the Holy Roman emperor, Maximilian I of Austria.
Performing the marriage "by proxy" means that the groom, the Holy Emperor, does not actually have to be present during the ceremony. Clearly, this marriage, as with many royal unions, was not based on romance but on politics and relations among countries.
Mercenaries are not part of a country's military, but rather are men paid to fight and do so for money.
This last exchange between the duchess, her cousin, and the bishop suggests that she is __________________.
What might be a reason that Beast does not want Sybella to go under disguise and try to identify d'Albret's spies?
If the abuse of power is a theme in this novel, then Duchess Anne functions as a "foil" or opposite to Count d'Albret. She handles her power with grace and kindness. He is brutal and cruel.
During the Middle Ages, people didn't go to see the dentist for regular cleanings. Most common people, especially, had rotten teeth.
Sybella is disguised as a laundress. (This annotation contains an image)
A tavern is a place where villagers would gather to drink and eat. (This annotation contains an image)
This sentence is an example of what type of figurative language?
How many of d'Albret's spies has Sybella spotted on this night?
We can infer that one job of the seeress is which of the following?
The convent of Saint Mortain is located on an island.
Sybella realizes that the abbess wants her to kill d'Albret AND
Did you predict this earlier?
Can you finish Sybella's sentence: "It would have been so much easier then, before I knew___________."
Morlaix is a commune in Brittany.
What does the ring Sybella wears contain?
Sybella is probably thinking of whom when she realizes this?
Before you turn the page, explain what you think just happened and why.
Sybella at first thought to do this--pack her things and escape, making the abbess think she has gone to kill d'Albret.
Are you becoming frustrated with Sybella? Why must she be so stubborn! Do you ever wish you could talk to the characters in the book you are reading. Sometimes, you may even want to yell at them!
Beast is referring to Saint Camulos, the god he follows. Camulos is the god of ______________.
What character trait of Sybella's does Beast refer to on this page?
The metaphor in this sentence suggests that Sybella's lack of faith in herself kept her safe from falling in love with Beast. To what does the metaphor compare that safety?
Explain why you think Sybella would say something cruel like this to Beast.
Clearly the writer is trying to paint a picture of the camping spot for the night. Which of the following is the best example of a visual image.
This is an allusion to the fairy tale, "The Pied Piper of Hamelin." In the story, the pied piper is hired to rid the town of rats. He does so by playing his flute and leading all of the rats into the river to drown. But when the selfish mayor of the town refuses to pay the piper, the piper comes back, plays his flute, and leads all of the children away. An allusion is a cultural reference made to a well known piece of literature, or a famous person, place, historical event, etc. Usually the writer does not explain the reference at all and expects the reader to understand the connection. Allusions are very common in all types of writing, so the more you read, the more connections you will be able to make. (This annotation contains an image)
Sybella is not only skilled, but she's good with kids. She's willing to spend time with them and believes that they can learn and be of some help in battle. This makes us like her character even more.
The writer of this book, Robin LaFevers has such great style. Which of the following sentences from this page does not contain an example of figurative language?
Sybella serves Death, and Beast serves War. Who among them serves the Dark Mother?
Saint Arduinna is one of Dea Matrona's twin daughters. She is based on the Celtic goddess, Arduinna, goddess of the forest. Arduinna is often pictured with a boar.
More and more we are coming to know Beast. He seems to be many things: fierce warrior, loyal protector, gentle lover, humorous and kind man, strong leader. Watch the video on round versus flat characters. Then try to name several characters from this novel and label them as round or flat. (This annotation contains a video)
Part of the commune of Morlaix borders the Atlantic. (This annotation contains an image)
If the abbey of Saint Mer is on the coast, she is probably the goddess of the ________________.
Amoura and Arduinna, both daughters of Dea Matrona, are goddesses of love. Amoura represents the softer side of love, while Arduinna represents "love's bite," or the pain that can come with love. (This annotation contains an image)
Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, and Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, both carried powerful tridents. (This annotation contains an image)
Which physical features do the daughters of Saint Mer have that reflect the sea?
Who are the enemies of Duchess Anne in this conflict?
What do the marques mean to Sybella?
Explain what Sybella is "dreading" to find.
This is an interesting question that maybe we didn't think of. Do you find when you read, sometimes you question the plot or characters in your mind? Maybe something doesn't make sense or is unbelievable. If you do, then you are engaging with the text, and that is a "marque" of a strong reader.
This paragraph presents another interesting question for the reader to think about. What is it?
List and explain three traits about Beast that make him such a likeable character. Use details from the novel as examples of the traits.
Here the writer uses words and phrases like "leached," "cast in shades of silver and gray and black," and "darker shadows and smudges against the sky." Clearly she wants to create what kind of mood?
What is preventing the English ships from entering the bay?
Explain what this means and why it is important.
What was the plan for the barracks?
A funeral pyre is a burial by cremation. Many people today choose to be cremated and not buried. (This annotation contains an image)
Even though Sybella is the narrator, we don't know the secret she is still keeping. We are in as much suspense as Beast.
What does Sybella fear?
Sybella's childhood home, Tonquedec, may have looked something like this. (This annotation contains an image)
During the Middle Ages, many noblemen sent their unmarried daughters to the convent. (This annotation contains an image)
This is definitely a plot twist that has caught us by surprise. Explain how you think it will affect the plot.
Castles usually had several courtyards. (This annotation contains an image)
A mausoleum is a stately building that houses tombs. (This annotation contains an image)
The spirits, ghosts, and Sybella's special powers are the elements that make this novel not just historical fiction, but historical fantasy. This genre often has knights, kings, queens, and noblemen, coexisting in a world with magic, the supernatural, and mythological beings. (This annotation contains an image)
Wow---another major plot twist! Did it suddenly come to you as soon as Beast noticed the small coffin?
Use the Define feature on the word "whelp." This statement by d'Albret means what?
Based on context, who is "old Nonne"?
This should prove that Sybella is truly the daughter of Saint Mortain, god of Death.
In literature, spring is often a symbol of rebirth and renewal; winter symbolizes death.
The writer has created the perfect setting for Sybella to finally confront her true father, Mortain: the cemetary. List two images the writer includes that convey a dark mood.
These paragraphs exemplify how effective and lovely figurative language can be. Which of the following sentences is not an example of figurative language?
You should recognize that this is important. Whenever the protagonist learns something about life, it usually leads to one of the themes of the novel. Watch the video on determining theme. How would you express this lesson Sybella has learned in your own words? (This annotation contains a video)
It is ironic that Beast realizes he loves Sybella at the moment he hears that she is d'Albret's daughter. Irony is when something is the exact opposite of what you would expect. We would expect this news to make Beast hate Sybella. But, as he explains, his only anger is his realization that despite who her father is, he loves her.
Beast is always the gentleman, no matter what the situation is. He always puts the feelings of others before his own.
What is Sybella referring to when she says, "broken his fast"?
Saint Brigantia is the goddess of wisdom and medicine.
What is the abbess implying by her question?
Moats serves as another line of defense for castles against an enemy. (This annotation contains an image)
In this metaphor, what does Sybella compare herself to when she once stayed in this castle?
A wimple was worn by many women during the Middle Ages. (This annotation contains an image)
What was Sybella about to do before Jamette gets away?
Remember, Julian knows they are only half siblings, as they have a different mother. We know that they also have a different father. During this time, before medical science revealed that having children with members of your own birth family lead to many genetic defects, noble and royal families often married members of their own family.
Here Sybella is trying to ______________ Julian.
Which part of the plot are we approaching?
Find an example of personification in this first paragraph and type it here.
Marshal Rieux was once the duchess's tutor, and Madame Dinan was once the duchess's governess. Both betrayed their loyalty to Duchess Anne and joined d'Albret.
A medieval gown of this color may look like this. (This annotation contains an image)
This paragraph shows how truly evil d'Albret has become. He is surrounded now by only those who are purely evil.
England's King Henry VIII also married many wives and had them killed for this same reason: He wanted a son for an heir to the throne. (This annotation contains an image)
What will Julian's loyalty to Sybella cost him?
This sentence best supports which of the following themes?
Explain in your own words why d'Albret never has the marque of death on him.
Of course, we knew he was going to come and save her. Now we know he has witnessed this entire scene, disguised as one of d'Albret's soldiers.
A soldier or knight fighting for a nobleman or king will wear his colors. (This annotation contains an image)
Sybella and Beast intend to leap from the tower to escape d'Albret's men. (This annotation contains an image)