Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3)
By Robin LaFevers
Average Rating: 4.12
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…
This book frustrated the hell out of me. IT WAS TORTUROUS. I couldn’t take it. The whole time I wanted to punch Annith in the face, then when I finished, I was speechless.
ONE OF THE BEST ENDINGS OF A SERIES EVER.
And the thing is, I hated Annith for half of the novel!!! I don’t know how Robin LaFevers managed to redeem herself because ultimately, I love this trilogy.
This book started out at an extremely slow pace. I’m talking, trying-hard-not-to-fall-asleep-mid sentence type of slow. It was horrible. The first..hm..100 pages, 150 pages, consisted of Annith plotting her escape from the convent which was absolutely boring as hell. I was debating whether or not to even finish the book because I wasn’t being pulled in… To solve this, I read the last page of the book to see if it was worth it. Boy, did that do the trick!! I needed to finish this book. So, I speed-read through those chapters and finally got to the part when things got exciting and it didn’t cease to stop. I think I was a quarter way in at this point. Not too bad, but not the best either. But man did the rest of the book make up for that torturous beginning!
Plot continued to go upwards from there. Loads of action and romance. For the most part of the novel, it followed Annith’s journey to get to where Sybella and Ismae were, (She gets to see Sybella and Ismae again) but not without obstacles and a lovely forbidden romance with lots of tension and anticipation. Because I read the ending, it did spoil some things for me but now there was dramatic irony, ’cause I knew the “truth” and made it all more of a joy to read.
Annith isn’t a character I got along with as easy as Sybella and Ismae. I couldn’t connect with her as quick as I could’ve. I found her weak and annoying and way too damn trusting in the very beginning. She seemed useless. Her purpose isn’t as..what’s the right word…violent?…dominant?…important? Annith wasn’t meant to be the center of all the action. (Annith is actually Death’s love, literally and figuratively.) In the beginning, I labelled her as a damsel in distress. I have a thing where I don’t exactly prefer books with weak heroines, and if I do, it’s only because the author’s writing is good enough to continue. This is one of those cases. But like I mentioned before, Annith proved me wrong and I eventually liked her by the end. LaFevers wrote her story in a way where I sympathized with her but hated her at the same time.
To be honest, the main reason why I continued to read Mortal Heart, other than for my desire to see this trilogy through, was because of Balthazaar. God, if you could depict a dark, mysterious, bad-boy image into one character, it would be him. (Okay, there are many books with the same type of male character…) buuut…Balthazaar had this vibe that makes him so freaking attractive which means that I added him to my list of book boyfriends! This character is actually one of the spoilers I read at the end of the book, so I don’t want to go on too much about him. All you need to know is that when he first appears, he leaves a mark on the story, on Annith, and on the readers. I always liked characters that are re-imagined as Death, so he got bonus points there. He’s moody but protective at the same time. He’s powerful and dangerous yet soothing and good. All in all, he’s the best addition to the trilogy and I love him. He’s mine. (Maybe that’s why I don’t like Annith…HA!)
I discussed about the romance of the book briefly but I felt like I needed to dedicate a paragraph about the romance. With the His Fair Assassin trilogy, the romance doesn’t play an important role in the book. The romance takes a backseat in every single book, but in MH, it was more prominent than the others. Romance is still a subplot but I really enjoyed the romance between Annith and Blathazaar. Later, their relationship does contribute to a huge section of the book (the conclusion). I really love this relationship. Ha, I love every single relationship in this trilogy. LaFevers did a very good job!
The ending was open ended, but not without letting the readers know that all the characters got their happy ending. Ultimately, all conflict was resolved. The resolution of the main conflict was brilliant and ended with a BANG! I never saw it coming…Okay, I did, but only because of me reading the back of the book!! (God, I really shouldn’t have done that…) Anyway, despite knowing how the ending would turn out, I promise that readers will be satisfied with LaFevers choices on how to end the novel.
When looking at the trilogy individually, Grave Mercy‘s star quality is the romance. Dark Triumph, the characters, and Mortal Heart‘s best feature is the final battle/conclusion. As a whole, I can’t even put into words how much this trilogy surprised me. It’s a brilliant series and everyone should give it a chance!
Keep calm and read on,
Old Review from other blog.