Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers is the final companion novel in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. Mortal Heart is told from Annith’s point of view and focuses on her struggle to be the perfect daughter of Mortain within the Convent for a bit, though quickly incorporates all three of our favorite nun assassins and the ongoing struggle for their duchy to remain independent. Like Dark Triumph, Mortal Heart is chronologically after the previous book but fairly independent as long as you don’t mind a little catchup regarding the war. You therefore don’t have to worry about any major spoilers :).
Note: I received an advanced copy of Mortal Heart from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers (His Fair Assassin #3)
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on Nov. 4th, 2014
Genres: Historical Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 464 pages
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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...
- Since Annith grew up in the Convent of St. Mortain, in Mortal Heart we finally get to get a much closer look at how the daughters of the pagan god of death actually run things. We get to see the young girls and their training, and how new daughters are found. Many of the young girls also have gifts given to them by Mortain and it was awesome to see more of the subtle magic of the god of death :D.
- Mortal Heart reveals Annith to be much more than she appeared in the previous two books. On the outside we saw this very well-mannered and obedient girl who was also highly skilled though for some reason never sent out on missions. What we find out from Annith’s perspective is a whole lot of darkness and struggle and I love how multi-dimensional that made her character.
- As you’ll see below, I was skeptical about the romance in Mortal Heart at first, but I promise that by the end I was completely sold on it, you just have to have patience ;-).
- While Mortal Heart is Annith’s story, we spend time with Ismae and Sybella as well and Mortal Heart did a really good job of both telling Annith’s story and bringing all three girls’ full circle in terms of development. I feel quite satisfied with how they all changed from their various beginnings.
- As I mentioned above, it took me probably about 70% through Mortal Heart to become convinced of Annith and her boy’s romance. If I hadn’t been reassured to stick with it, I might have given up, which isn’t a great way for the beginning to feel.
- There is mention of all the different saints in Mortal Heart and I honestly had a hard time keeping some of them straight. Some are easy to remember like the Saint of the sea, but others are not so clear and there weren’t enough clues to help me out at times.
- Without giving anything away, I wasn’t thrilled with how the main plot line ended. After everything, it just felt a bit anticlimactic for some reason even though objectively the events should have felt epic.
Mortal Heart is an excellent conclusion to the His Fair Assassin trilogy. It fits nicely between the darkness of Dark Triumph and the court intrigue of Grave Mercy while finally letting us in on a lot more details about Mortain and the other saints. I’m pretty sad to see things coming to an end though, spin-off series of another of the saints’ children? :D
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.