I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Mortal Heart by Robin Lafevers
Series: His Fair Assassin #3
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company on 2014-11-04
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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In the powerful conclusion to Robin LaFever's New York Times bestselling His Fair Assassins trilogy, Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own. † She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind, doesnít mean she has.
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers is EVERYTHING. This book is magical. This book is romantic. This book is history. This book is character development. This book is brave. This book is fierce. This book is emotions. This book is everything I could have asked for when it comes to a conclusion for LaFevers’ His Fair Assassin series. Let’s just say I had all kinds of expectations and they were totally met by Mortal Heart.
The previous books in the†His Fair Assassin†series star Ismae and Sybella who are novitiates of Mortain and who are sent out on missions long before Annith. Nevermind that Annith has been at the convent for the longest amount of time. Never mind that Annith is the most skillful of all the girls at the convent. She is even more skilled that Ismae and Sybella. Granted, Annith does not have any gifts. However, she ought to be able to go on a mission and be useful to the cause and to the fight for Brittany. One day, while listening at a door, Annith overhears the Abbess saying that Annith will take the place of the seeress. This is a nightmare and definitely not what Annith wants. And so, she does what I would probably do in her place and that is, she runs away. She is not at all happy with the developments going on with the convent and thus, she knows that the Abbess is away counciling the Duchess therefore, Annith makes her way to the Abbess, the Duchess, and also Ismae and Sybella. Along the way though, she ends up with a group of hellequins and finds herself drawn to this man who calls himself Balthazar. The fate of Brittany is hanging in the balance, as is Annith’s fate. There are a lot of hard decisions to make, but oh you guys,†Mortal Heart is EXCELLENTLY plotted, to the point of me typing all in caps.
Honestly, my impressions of Annith from the previous books in the series were that she was kind of fragile, but really sweet and kind. I feel a bit silly about that. You see, Annith is far from fragile. She is just as fierce and tough as Ismae and Sybella. In fact, she might even be tougher. Sure, Annith can’t see marques. Sure, Annith is not immune to poison. Sure, she does not have any sort of special gifts. Yet, she’s this amazing character. She has worked so hard to be the best novitiate at the convent. And so, when she’s denied the chance to exercise her skills in a practical and real life setting, she does what most of us would do, she rebels. I really felt empathetic for her situation because it really sucks to have your options taken away. Annith doesn’t get a choice, so she’s like oh forget THIS and forges her own path. I love that. Like Isame and Sybella, Annith has a sad and rough backstory. She was raised on the island with no idea about her birth story. The previous Abbess had high hopes for Annith, so she really tested Annith, to the point of being abusive. Then, when the new Abbess takes over, the tests slow down, but it’s like the new Abbess has no faith in Annith. I think it shows a lot of character that instead of giving up, Annith strikes out on her own. She’s definitely my kind of girl and it was a pleasure to read her story in†Mortal Heart.
I’m not sure that†Mortal Heart would be a worthy addition to the His Fair Assassin series without the romance. Friends, Robin LaFevers totally delivers a most satisfying affair. I can’t tell you everything about Annith’s romance because that would be totally spoilers and people seem to hate those. So, anyways here is what I will tell you – it is a forbidden sort of romance (YES) and the two are hesitant to be together at first. Yet, they are irresistibly drawn to each other. Her lover is dangerous and kind of scary, but not in an abuser sort of way, THANK GOD. Let’s just say he’s a bit otherworldly. The chemistry is right there and to quote a twitter friend, there’s totally sexy sparring. But, beyond the sparring, there’s kissing and grown up times and verbal judo going on here. It’s exactly my favorite sort of romance and the end had me going all melty and heart eyes and it was PERFECTION.
Robin LaFevers has such a fascinating world in this series that is the perfect blend of history and fantasy. We learn about the saints and gods beyond Mortain and it’s actually really interesting. I liked how this theology was woven in, in such a fashion that kept me really engaged and tuned into the story and wanting to know more about LaFevers’ fictional world. Also? The bits with the hellequins are AWESOME and really worth your reading time and worth my reading time as well.
Readers who like their trilogies to have breathtaking endings, kick ass heroines, self contained but connected stories, and expansive character development paired with intricate world building would do well to pick up†Mortal Heart as well as it’s predecessors,†Grave Mercy and†Dark Triumph. These books blow me away and now I feel like I am going to be stuck just waiting for the next historical fantasy series to come along and knock me off my feet now that His Fair Assassin is over.