Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Title: Mortal Heart
Author: Robin LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassin #3
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Source: BEA

Summary 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...


When I first read Grave Mercy, I was blown away by the story that Robin LaFevers expertly crafted. I loved everything about it - the premise, the politics, the characters, the romance - and honestly didn't think a book could get any better. And then I read Dark Triumph. It offered all of the same things that Grave Mercy did but it was darker and made me feel even more deeply. And again, I thought I reached the epitome of a perfect book. And then I read Mortal Heart and witnessed Robin LaFevers outdo herself yet again. Mortal Heart might not have been as dark as Dark Triumph, but Annith's story was just as powerful and this book shook me to my core.

Annith was a constant fixture in the first two books but she was quite the mystery. All we knew of her was that she desperately wanted to leave the Convent to serve as one of Mortain's handmaidens but had yet to be chosen and didn’t understand why not. This is the situation we find her in at the beginning of Mortal Heart. Then she discovers that she has been chosen to replace the Convent’s seer, and her life begins to unravel. She can’t accept that this is Mortain’s wish for her and begins to doubt the abbess but at the same time she is afraid of her doubt for fear of insulting Mortain or being seen as unfaithful. She really struggles with following her gut and I felt and understood this battle raging within her. She finally decides to take matters into her own hands and leaves the Convent to demand answers from the abbess. That’s when Annith’s adventures begin. She travels with the Hellequin and then Saint Arduinna’s followers – two new additions to the story which I very much enjoyed. And then she makes it to court and is reunited with her sisters but thrust into court politics with the looming threat of the French. Basically, there was never a dull moment.

Every book in this series has had its share of surprises but Mortal Heart was by far the most surprising to me. I never expected to learn what we did about Annith’s past - it was not quite as troubling as Sybella’s but it was more twisted and unexpected – and I marveled at some of the connections that were made to the previous two books in general. There were a lot of surprising character reveals and the way everything came together was simply wonderful. LaFevers is a magnificent storyteller. She maintained a certain level of mystery throughout most of the story but at the same time she satisfied my need to know more. And in some cases, she gave me what I wanted before I even knew I wanted it.

Before I conclude, I should say something about the romance. I found it somewhat fitting to the story but a tiny part of my also found it a little disturbing if I dwelled on it. So I didn’t dwell on it and accepted it for what it was. It is not my favorite romance of the three but Robin LaFevers could probably make me swoon over a goat, that’s how talented she is (and this guy is no goat by a longshot). It by no means subtracted from my immense love of this book and my heartfelt recommendation that everyone read this series.

Mortal Heart was the PERFECT conclusion to the His Fair Assassin series and I can honestly say that there are few series which rival this one.

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