Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Release Date:
November 4, 2014
HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: BEA


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... (courtesy of Goodreads)


The sad time has come for the His Fair Assassin series to finish. But at least it went out on a high. The series is accessible to several different types of readers. It has a touch of fantasy but not so much that it will annoy the realistic fans. It has a lot of romance but never overwhelms the plot. It incorporates real history but doesn't get bogged down in facts. It has a little something for everyone.

I particularly like that each book in the series tells a complete story of one character while incorporating it into the larger story. This seems to be a popular technique lately. Annith, like Ismae and Sybella, is not what one would expect of a medieval young woman. Trained as an assassin nun, Annith excels at basically everything. Yet for reasons she doesn't understand, she is kept cloistered within the convent, when less accomplished girls are sent on missions.

I didn't have strong memories of Annith from the previous books. My basic impression of her was that she was quiet and supportive. She lacked the chutzpah one might expect of a trained assassin. But I was wrong to think that the face she put forward reflected her abilities to be sent on missions. There are reasons beyond Annith's control stopping her from leaving the convent, which she doesn't understand and openly disobeys. She also has reasons for having such a diminutive and almost subservient demeanor, which are explored in the book.

Of course, when Annith leaves the school, she is a more than capable assassin - in both abilities and personality. She is cunning and resourceful. And perhaps most importantly in her case, willing to listen and accept help from others. Circumstances outside her control and perhaps her own personality make her unsuitable to be the lone wolf type.

What would a book in this series be without a handsome leading man? Balthazar is the stereotypical tall, dark stranger. He has the brooding personality that you'd expect from this type but is also a strong leader of his group of outlaws. I loved that he is supportive of Annith making her own way. He protects her but doesn't prevent her from acting on her own and being the leader of her story.

The greater story of this series is the political drama surrounding the Duchess of Brittany. War is now at hand. The question is whether the Duchess can keep her country independent from France and whether she can keep her personal future secure. There are many supporting and hurting her, but ultimately it is she who gets to make the choice, in this wonderfully feminist piece of literature.

Grave Mercy is still by far my favorite book in this series. It is the most political and historical of the series, which is right in my wheelhouse. The second book is the most romantic. This book had the most fantastical elements. Although all of the books incorporate these elements strongly. I think each person will have a favorite depending on the type of literature they most enjoy. Lucky for me, I loved all three!

Recommendation: Buy - buy them all!

Here's How to Buy the Book! 


  1. awesome review, happy to her you liked this book and the series :D

  2. Everytime I anticipate a sequel, I get anxious about it: what if I don't love it as much? But your review has made me exhale in relief, I think I will love it. Grave Mercy is my favorite as well, although I haven't read this one yet :)

    Great review!

  3. Well said. Grave Mercy is my favorite, but Dark Triumph was very close. I thought Annith's story would actually be my favorite. I really couldn't wait to see her get out of that convent and where her story would go.

  4. I adored all 3 books and this one didn't disappoint :) My fave series to date

  5. Awesome can't wait to begin this.

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

  6. Yes I'm definitely going to buy buy buy Mortal Heart! It's finally out today, I'm too excited to read Annith's story. :D

  7. This looks like a great series! Thanks for sharing

  8. Glad this series ended on a high note. There were many series that ended on a really bad note for me this year.

  9. This is the third review I've read for Mortal Heart and it just solidifies the fact that I need to get my butt moving and read Dark Triumph so I can read this one too! I loved Grace Mercy and I will definitely be heeding your recommendation to buy the next two. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

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  11. I don't want this series to end! I'm reading this one next week.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  12. I don't think I can bring myself to read book three. I still need to read book two but aghhhhh! Don't want it to end.

  13. I am so dying to reason this series! The first book was recommended to me by a bookseller in Saint Paul, MN. With the holidays coming up, I'll have to put all 3 on the wish list!

    Terri M.
    Second Run Reviews

  14. I loved Grave Mercy! ! I have the whole trilogy on my kindle now. I just need to read the second one and now this one. Lol.

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