Series: His Fair Assassin #3
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on November 4th 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Historical, Legends, Myths, Fables, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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, doesn’t mean she has.
In all honesty, I was going into Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers with an incredibly low set of expectations. I absolutely loved Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph as books, and was so convinced that there was no way the final novel in the His Fair Assassin trilogy could ever complete the series in a satisfying way, but boy was I wrong.
LaFevers did everything right that she could have possibly done. The pacing of the novel, the plot twists that made my jaw drop, and the conclusion of the French threat were all so incredibly exciting and overwhelming that I couldn’t stop listening. But I think LaFevers greatest triumph was saving Annith, arguably her most interesting and mysterious character, for last.
While Sybella and Ismae were both incredibly complicated and worthwhile characters to spend entire books on, Annith is a whole new creature. She has an innocence because of her lack of worldly experience that combines with her stubborn streak and drive to know more that makes her the easiest heroine to root for. You want to see Annith succeed in proving her place in the world she has been placed in, and you want to see her succeed with all of the grace and determination that she possesses.
And, of course, what would Mortal Heart (and the His Fair Assassin series, for that matter) be without its romance. This time, our good-looking man is Balthazar, leader of the hellequin and a mystery all his own. He’s dark, mysterious, and dangerous, and his very nature makes everything about the relationship between he and Annith so much more intense. It’s a good match for both of them, and I couldn’t help but miss their interaction every time the story led them away from one another. The presence of Balthazar and his band of hellequin also brings a whole new look at the mythology of Mortain and his dark hunt, making the deity seem less abstract, despite his appearances in the previous two novels.
One of my favorite things about LeFevers work still remains her use of history and factual information to craft her world in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. And, of course, she does take some liberties in her writing, but for the most part it’s like reading a history of France and Brittany’s unsteady relationship. I learned so much more about the time period than I could have ever imagined I wanted to know.
Basically, Mortal Heart is so deserving of your time and energy, and it won’t disappoint in the slightest. Go pick up a copy! Now!