Monday, 16 February 2015

Mortal Heart

Author: Robin LaFevers
Genre: Supernatural, Historical Fiction
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 464
Source: Local Public Library
Series: #3 in the His Fair Assassins series
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
First Published: November 4, 2014
First Line: "For most, the bleak dark months when the black storms come howling out of the north is a time of grimness and sorrow as people await the arrival of winter, which brings death, hunger and bitter cold in its wake."

Book Description from GoodReads:  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.

My Review:  Like the first two books in the His Fair Assassins trilogy, Mortal Heart has a lot going on.  It's a very unique trilogy because it is a blend of historical fiction (which was well researched), supernatural, action and even some romance thrown in for good measure.  I love how the characters and plots within the three books are woven together within the same time frame so seamlessly. 

I have enjoyed all three books but after reading Sybella's story in Dark Triumph I have to admit that Mortal Heart didn't impress me quite as much.  Quite frankly, Sybella and Beast are a hard act to follow.  There were two things that took this book down just a notch for me.  The book started off strong with the plot but I think Annith's escape dragged on far too long.  I wanted her to find her friends and jump into the fray much earlier.

Also, I think Annith's romance, while intriguing and surprising, felt rushed and paled in comparison to Sybella's romance (which I adored) in the previous book.  I know that Annith and her man spent a lot of time together but I still didn't get the feeling that they knew each other well enough to proclaim their undying love for each other. 

I did enjoy how Mortal Heart gives the reader a healthy dose of mystery surrounding Annith's past and why she hasn't been chosen to serve Mortain as so many other of the novitiates have done.  Annith has a very broken spirit even though she is the most skilled at what Mortain requires of his handmaidens so it was interesting to learn why her talents weren't put to use.

Overall, this was a very strong trilogy that I quite enjoyed and Mortal Heart gave a satisfying ending to the series.  I enjoyed how LaFevers uses strong young women at the core of her stories and that even though each of them has their own insecurities and issues, ultimately they find the confidence and ability within themselves.

Note: Ensure that you read these books in order.

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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