3.5 True Rating
Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassins #3)
By Robin LaFevers
Originally Published November 4th, 2014
Single POV, First Person
This review has taken me a while to put together simply because I wasn't sure what went wrong for me in this book when I adored the first two in this dark and decadent historical series.
A quick recap, in book one we followed Ismae, who uncovered a plot within the council of the young Duchess of Brittany. It is there that she also falls in love with the dedicated and intense Duval.
Book two (and my favorite in the trilogy) follows Sybella and her treacherous journey to facing her abusive father and horrid brothers, the very family she ran from years ago, the family that Ismae outwitted in book one. She falls in love with Beast, a renowned warrior who protects his Duchess and land with fervor.
And now we come to book three. Perhaps I was too hopeful, perhaps I was told it was the best one by too many and I over-hyped it in my head. But, for me, Mortal Heart was long, boring, and lacking in all the things that made me fall in love with this story and world from its predecessors.
While you do get a lot of background on the gods, in fact, the main plot of this book is centered around the gods more so than the 'What will happen to Brittany?' plot that had been the center point for books one and two. While the gods plot is entwined with the overall Brittany plot, I found it sluggish to read. This book is long and a good half of it is nothing worth noting, but I think this is because the timelines needed to match up with all three Daughters of Mortain, which means our third heroine of the series gets the short end of the developmental stick. LaFevers had to drag it out, because Annith doesn't show up at the court in the other two books as she eventually does in Mortal Heart, which means, Annith has to wander around until the time is set AFTER the other two books have ended.
Let's talk about Annith. I loved her development, LaFevers is a master at crafting complicated women with contradicting emotions, girls with real depth. Annith's growth throughout her book is quite inspiring, oddly relatable even though I'm obviously not an assassin. She rises against a surprising (or maybe not so surprising if you were paying attention the first two books) foe, and while her path to overcoming the obstacles set before her was long and tedious, sometimes frustrating, I was beyond happy when she was able to reconcile that everything she had been taught to know and accept was so very wrong.
The romance in this book is full of plot twists...that I, unfortunately, saw coming, and therefore, wanted it to be more than it ended up being. I know that's vague, but it's a big spoiler so I am being careful. What I can say is, the love interest's 'job' is a dark responsibility, yet he didn't have any of the dark or twisty characteristics I think a character like him should have had, or, at least, that I wanted him to have. The romance was sweet, not broody, and I wanted it to be! In the end, even if I didn't get what I wanted, it was still a heartwarming relationship.
Overall, the book was good, but it was underwhelming as the final in this fantastic series, but still a great accomplishment of a book. Robin LaFevers maintains her spot on my list of most talented authors and I highly recommend this beautifully crafted series.