Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers - Review

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.

---------------------------- AmazonB&NGoodreads ----------------------------

I read this on winter break from college, which meant the minute I was done with finals I scoured the web for books.  On a whim I bought Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers, a book that I had overlooked for some reason (why, Jasmine, WHY), and then was up until 3AM finishing it.

I have to admit, I haven't read the first or second installments of His Fair Assassin, Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph.  I couldn't get into the characters in those, for some reason, though I enjoyed their cameos in Mortal Heart.  However, I found myself immediately drawn to Annith.  She is tortured for other reasons than recent trauma like her friends in the previous installments and the mystery behind her past is intriguing.  I was also enamored by the dichotomy in her character - she is quieter and more nurturing than most and yet just as skilled if not more so in the dark arts of Mortain.  Also, her weapon of choice is the bow and arrow and really, that's my weakness (sigh, Legolas).  I was so excited to see how her character interacted with the world outside of the convent (and her adventures do not disappoint).

Balthazar, the leader of the Hellequin, soldiers of Mortain that travel around and collect lost souls, is a wonderful character and the male counterpart to Annith.  I love Annith and Balthazar's witty banter and the air of mystery around their (chemistry ridden) relationship.  I'm not going to lie, I predicted most of the book after Annith meets Balthazar, such as Balthazar's secrets as well as the twists surrounding Annith's character.  However, this only added to the suspense I felt reaching the climax of the book, as I wondered how everything would be revealed and the outcomes of so many secrets.

 LaFevers created a complicated and layered world.  I loved the lore surrounding the Nine and how much we learn about Arduinna and Amourna.  I loved the tensions surrounding Annith's inner conflict about her purpose and devotion to Mortain, her interactions between those she meets on her journey to put the convent right, and the international conflicts, complete with an empress and Sybella and Ismae.

I loved this book and kick myself for not grabbing it the moment it was released.  But better late than never, right? The characters are complex, the world is deep, and the romance is authentic and sweet and burdened and...swoon.
If you enjoyed the lore and the romance in Mortal Heart, I recommend Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt (YA) and Kushiel's Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey (adult). 
Keturah and Lord Death: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads
Kushiel's Legacy: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads
Check out more about Robin and her works here:

Robin LaFevers was raised on a steady diet of fairy tales, Bulfinch’s mythology, and 19th century poetry. It is not surprising she grew up to be a hopeless romantic.

Though she has never trained as an assassin or joined a convent, she did attend Catholic school for three years, which instilled in her a deep fascination with sacred rituals and the concept of the Divine. She has been on a search for answers to life’s mysteries ever since.

While many of those answers still elude her, she was lucky enough to find her one true love, and is living happily ever after with him in the foothills of southern California.

In addition to writing about teen assassin nuns in medieval Brittany, she writes books for middle grade readers, including the Theodosia books and the Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist series. You can learn more about those books at

Happy Reading!


No comments:

Post a Comment