Review: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

May 19, 2015 Review 25 ★★★★½

Review: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: Gift
Pages: 444
Release Date: November 4th, 2014
Series: His Fair Assassin #3
Genres: Death & Dying, Fantasy & Magic, Friendship, Historical, Love & Romance, Romance, Young Adult
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...
bec (2)

Good romance that doesn’t take over the plot, smart, badass girls, well developed world and characters, and good writing. Maybe throw in some special/magical powers. That’s the formula to a fantasy Bec is sure to love.

Oh hey, MORTAL HEART, you have all those components!


MORTAL HEART was the best conclusion to the His Fair Assassin trilogy I could have asked for. I was so terrified that it would be a flop, or that we’d hardly get to see the assassins from the previous novels, or that I’d the romance. All those fears were unfounded. MORTAL HEART may just be my favourite installment of the series for a number of reasons.

First, the romance! It has to be mentioned immediately because I became somewhat obsessed. Seriously, this is my favourite relationship of the trilogy, which says something because I loved Beast and Sybella’s romance A LOT. I can’t even really put my finger on what about MORTAL HEART’S romance was so great. Maybe it was just written so well that you can’t help but flail over it? My only complaint is that the start of the relationship could have been developed more, as that part happened really fast and I would have appreciated a bit more page time for it. The second part of the romance though is superb.

The characters themselves are what made the romance great. Both Annith and Balthazaar are so loveable. Balthazaar I won’t talk about because I’ll be overcome with feels, but he’s so kind and protective (yet not overly) and beautiful. Annith on the other hand was a completely different character than I was expecting! Raised by the convent since she was a baby, I truly thought she’d be meek and obedient. Nope. Annith is stubborn and angry and determined and yes, wants to dedicate her life to Mortain, but in a way she sees fit, not in a way the abbess defines best. The girl is also kind and compassionate, able to be empathetic even to those who betrayed her, a trait I find truly admirable.

Ismae and Sybella also return for MORTAL HEART and had a much bigger role than I could have hoped for. I really want to go back and reread their novels to see how much they have devloped, for Annith often noted how much they’d changed (for the better). This also gave us a chance to finally see their friendship dynamic in full and it made me wish these girls could have had their entire journey together. They complement each other so well.

Writing wise, MORTAL HEART was also superb. I’d forgotten how well the writing transports you into the time period. The sentence structure and word choice made me give Annith a British accent in my head (that is the generic historical accent for me for whatever reason… probably TV). Adjusting to this style did take a couple of chapters. When that’s paired with a monster of a first chapter, it makes or a very slow start. Fortunately things really picked up and hooked me in chapter two.

A good story wouldn’t be complete without twists! MORTAL HEART has a couple of big ones and they’re great. I guessed one early on (but didn’t believe I was right until I read Alise’s reaction to my guess) and the other took me completely by surprise! Alise also figured out one of the twists, but it was the opposite to what I deduced, which is sort of funny. Even though I predicted the development, my enjoyment of MORTAL HEART wasn’t effected. Waiting for Annith to figure it out was just as entertaining, if not more so. It also helped that the scenes in which these secrets were revealed were written so well that even if it wasn’t a surprise to me, I still felt the same emotions Annith must have been experiencing.

MORTAL HEART was a great finale to an awesome trilogy. The romance was superb, as was the writing and the characters. It was the best ending I could have asked for, with everything wrapped up and explained well. I’m sad there won’t be any more stories about Mortain’s assassins, but I can’t wait to see what LaFevers publishes next. I’m really hoping it’s more historical fantasy because she write that so well.

Anyone looking for a nice historical romance with great female main characters and good plot really needs to consider picking up the His Fair Assassin trilogy.

Rating Report
Overall: 4.6

25 Responses to “Review: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers”

  1. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    You had far more luck with this than I did, and I’m glad. I agree that Robin’s writing is impeccable, but I struggled so hard with Annith and even with the romance. It’s just that I loved Sybella and Beast so much and that I expected the same level of romance and swoon, but for me, it didn’t work out that way. I’m so happy you thought differently. Overall, this trilogy deserves all the praise.
    Maja (The Nocturnal Library) recently posted…Review: Eighth Grave After Dark

    • Bec

      I struggled at the start but was lucky and connected with Annith relatively quickly. It definitely doesn’t help that Beast and Sybella set the bar so high! The trilogy is so amazing :)

    • Bec

      It’s been so long since I read the other two, I can’t really compare (until I marathon reread ;) ). Thanks!

    • Bec

      Yessss. You’ll have to let me know what you think of the other books. They’re so good :D

    • Bec

      You’ve got some fantastic couples awaiting you in the sequels! I hope you get to read them soon :)

    • Bec

      Oh that’s a shame :( I’m glad you still enjoyed it overall though! Annith was amazing. I’m so happy she was a lot more defiant than she originally seemed.

    • Bec

      Annith is so fascinating! Definitely a strong candidate for my favourite character of the series.

  2. Suzi Q, The Book Dame

    I seldom thoroughly enjoy books that are strictly romance, but do love other genres that include a good romance that doesn’t override the rest of the story. I have the first in this series in my reader. I really have to read it.
    Suzi Q, The Book Dame recently posted…Kindle Kandy No. 2

    • Bec

      This series is a great one for you then! The romance is more than would be included in some other books, but it never takes over the plot. And there’s plenty of historical stuff going on to keep you entertained.

  3. Mary @ Keep Talking Nerdy

    Gah, I just bought this and I can’t wait to read it. However, since it’s been a while for reading that last ones, I’ll need to re-read them before I can get my hands on these ones. Reading your review just makes me want to get to this one so much quicker.

    • Bec

      I’m glad it’s made you even more excited!

      It’d been a few years since I’d read the other books too, but that didn’t really affect my reading experience too much fortunately. Marathoning the series was something I wanted to do for this last book, but I didn’t get time :(

      • Mary @ Keep Talking Nerdy

        I have one of those memories where if I wait TOO long to read the next one I tend to forget stuff since I read so much in between. :/ I started reading the 2nd months after it came out and couldn’t remember squat, haha. I have this planned to buy next month so maybe I’ll try to marathon them.

        • Bec

          Oh yeah, my memory can be like that for some books. This is where Recaptains comes in handy. They recap the plot of and important things in the novel to help refresh your memory. And they’ve posted recaps for the first two books in the series so if you don’t have time to marathon you can always refresh your memory with those :)

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