Review: “Mortal Heart” by Robin LaFevers

I didn’t quite like this as much as the others, but it was still enjoyable. I initially listened to this via audiobook, but then couldn’t renew it from the library. Good thing I actually have a physical copy of the book. (I feel like that’s the story of my life for the past two years, haha.)

mortal heartTitle: Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3)
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release date: November 4, 2014
Length: 444 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Young adult, historical fiction, fantasy, romance
Synopsis: (via 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…”

three and a half starsMy Thoughts

I didn’t quite like this as much as the others, but it was still enjoyable. I initially listened to this via audiobook, but then couldn’t renew it from the library. Good thing I actually have a physical copy of the book. (I feel like that’s the story of my life for the past two years, haha.)

I was thrilled to return to the world of His Fair Assassin and see how yet another one of Mortain’s daughters embraces her fate. And yet, for Annith, who has watched her sisters and friends leave the convent on Mortain’s business, that is not the case. Her mission, the abbess tells her, is to stay at the convent and become the new Seeress. Annith is not pleased and soon takes her future into her own hands.

I loved the new elements in this story. I loved the dark hellequin and brooding Balthezaar, and how we learn even more about the Nine and the gods of old. Normally, political intrigue and court games aren’t really up my alley, but just the idea of assassin nuns is seriously the best way to keep me interested. I adored that we see all three girls–Annith, Ismae, and Sybella–together, and we really see how different each are. I’ve found it fun to see each of them through their different eyes. And how Annith responds to each when she learns they both have lovers. I think, however, this plagues Annith even more, making her feel even more alone.

I was not expecting that plot twist and turn of events. It really upends a lot of Annith, and I think if she wasn’t able to confide in her sisters or even speak with Balthezaar about the things she couldn’t tell her sisters, Annith would have been miserable. She eventually turned her mind to a worthy cause and was able to see how she could help the duchess Anne against the French troops. I really don’t think Annith’s story is over yet. The next book, Courting Darkness, revolves about Sybella, but I would absolutely love to know more of Annith’s story, as it would be interesting to see how the convent as a whole responds to her.

I definitely enjoyed this book more when I physically read it. Not to say that the audiobook was bad, but I think I drew the short end of the stick by initially listening to it as an audiobook. This isn’t my favorite of the series either, but if I had finished it without knowing there was going to be 2 more books, I wouldn’t have minded the ending. Granted, I still liked it, and I’m glad Annith feels like she has a place in the world.

You can buy this book from Amazon (the hardcover is less than $8!), Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound, or other booksellers.

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