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Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin Book 3)

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin Book 3) [Kindle Edition]

Robin LaFevers
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Book Description

The final book in the thrilling His Fair Assassin series. Annith must take control of her destiny, even if that means defying the abbess of St Mortain.

Product Description

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1700 KB
  • Print Length: 463 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0547628404
  • Publisher: Andersen Digital (6 Nov 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00M77YPSC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,180 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Part of what helped the books' predecessors to succeed was the balance of history and fantasy, that provided much fuel for plot movement. This is the most supernatural of the series, and unfortunately the plot has been compromised. Pretty much the only thing propelling the first half of the novel is Annith's desire to break out of the convent and get some answers. So we get a lot of vignettes and little scenes of her on the road that help to pass the time, but they don't amount to much in the end.

It's only when Annith finally reunites with more familiar characters that she intersects with the main world of the series, and only to tie up loose ends at a point when most of the action has been completed already by Ismae and Sybella. Even then, the ends in question are tied up in an increasingly ridiculous manner. At one point, a certain deity in the flesh stands around in a war-room with a bunch of advisors, pokes at a map and says, "That is a lot of occupied ground to cover with no escort."

Yeah, sorry, nope. An ancient and inscrutable god, the stuff of myths and legends and theology, and that's what he has to offer? Really? LEAVE MY GODS SOME DIGNITY.

Where the plot falters and the supernatural fizzles, the romance fails to compensate. The male lead is appropriately swoon-y but in an overdone sort of way, and the relationship between them is not as convincingly and deeply built as we've seen before. I still read the novel from page to page as it falls into a genre I enjoy; and it did tie up the trilogy quite neatly, in a way that suggests the author started on this series with an end-game in sight, but that's the only reason why this gets 2 stars. Disappointing; she could have done much better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 22 Nov 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved this book series bringing in historic events and mixed it in with fiction. A very enjoyable read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 23 Nov 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I liked the other two, but this one was brilliant. A fantastic read for those who love fantasy.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 6 Nov 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
arrived today another good read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The thrilling conclusion to the His Fair Assassin trilogy 23 Sep 2014
By Liviania - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I didn't start to read MORTAL HEART as soon as I got it because I didn't want to say goodbye to the His Fair Assassin trilogy. The first two were darkly beautiful historical fantasy novels featuring two very different, but equally compelling heroines, and their genuine chemistry with their heroic counterparts. But I couldn't hold off for long. Amazingly, I think MORTAL HEART might be my favorite of the three.

MORTAL HEART is actually more forgiving to new readers than DARK TRIUMPH. It winds time back a bit, to shortly after Sybella is sent on her mission (in DARK TRIUMPH) and re-establishes the rhythm of convent life and what is at risk in the War of Breton Succession. There's been something fishy at the heart of the convent, and it comes to a head as Annith realizes the abbess's orders can't come from their patron saint Mortain (the saint of Death). The abbess thinks Annith is docile and biddable, when really Annith is helpful and doesn't see the point of making waves. When she does, she reveals the steel beneath.

I loved Annith's appearances and Ismae and Sybella's books, and she does not disappoint when handed center stage. She's confident in her skills and her knowledge, but unsure of her heart. She's never been able to see the marque (which is how Mortain's handmaidens know who to assassinate), and so she's less confident in her kills, even when they save people. She doesn't know if she's cut out to be an assassin, but she knows she isn't destined to be a seer, locked in a little room, the destiny the abbess is trying to force upon her.

Annith, of course, gets her own romance. Balthazar is a hellequin, sort of a member of a Wild Hunt. He and Annith instantly spark - some good ways, some bad ways. Love certainly doesn't turn Annith into a swooning damsel.

"What was your intent with this sparring of yours? To entice them? To entice me?"


"If that is the case, then it is their fault and not mine. I wished only to keep my own skills honed." - p. 141, ARC

I think DARK TRIUMPH had the strongest love story of the three books, although I enjoyed the other two. Annith and Balthazar's relationship frequently takes a backseat to the action plot, and I am not going to complain about that.

I love how Robin LaFevers wove real history and fantasy together in this series. She makes the political maneuvering between battles just as vivid and high stakes as the battles themselves. The Duchess of Breton is in a bad place: the princess is dying, her husband-by-proxy has his own wars to fight, she can't pay her mercenaries, and it's just bad all around. The struggle to save Brittany from destruction holds equal weight to Annith's personal journey, and both are dealt with together in a satisfactory ending.

His Fair Assassin is one of the best trilogies in recent years. It starts strong and just keeps going - no sagging middle, no lagging finish. I highly recommend all three of these books. They're exciting and insightful, and a wonderful exploration of feminine strength in a time when women were regarded as little more than property.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed by the last part 10 Nov 2014
By Yoruhime - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
So. Last book in His Fair Assassin's series.
I'll start by saying it's a story I like a lot - not love, for I find the politics and assassination handled generally too nicely and easily. But still, it's a good, relaxing read all the same. I especially appreciated Dark Triumph, with its more adult, grave tone. Now, what off Mortal Heart?

Well, as far as the two first part out of three, I found it extremely pleasant - Annith is a very enjoyable character. More ruthless than Ismae and far less broken than Sybella. She is brave, and there's a true vein of steel in her under her gentleness. Metting and following her was nice.
However, I must say that, at least at his first appearence, her love interest charisma's crushes hers effortlessly. Balthazaar, and his men, are very, very entralling - the time Annith spent at their side, was, in my opinion, the strongest part of the book, truly. A pity it didn't last longer, because, sadly, it's where the story fell for me.

More precisely, at the moment when Annith steps into the Palace and the Duchess' service. I'm sorry I have to say it, but Robin LaFevers' political intrigues always stayed basic at best, and this book is no exception to the rule - it's not bad, per se (even through the solution found to end the war left me gobsmacked, and not in a good way), but let's say that I don't read His Fair Assassin for its political games.
Mainly, the best point in this series has always been the characters: Ismae, Duval, Sybella, Beast...And now Annith and Balthazaar. Except...except a revelation about him comes and breaks everything apart - I won't spoil it, but suffices to say that an idea of this kind would have needed a far longer developpment to become believable and interesting. Frankly, Balthazaar was far more enthralling when we first met him - LaFevers should have left it to that, especially since there was so much to say about the hellequins.

To conclude, I'll say that, while this tome is pleasant enough, the last part drop down rather badly - maybe others will enjoy it, but I was just left with a sad sense of mess and breaking of a good story. Pity.
Overall: 3/5
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still a brilliant entry, but it let me down 18 Nov 2014
By Ashleigh - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
See more of my reviews sooner on The YA Kitten!

Oh, the His Fair Assassin books. Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph held me at rapt attention, and the delayed wait for Mortal Heart (only delayed by six months, but still) was painful. After seeing devout Ismae bloom into a wiser woman and suffering through Sybella’s trials alonside her, what would barely-touched-on Annith have to offer as a character? It turns out she has a lot to offer as a dynamic character who rivals Sybella for my favorite assassin nun, but her overall story–especially the romance–failed me on so many levels.

Though Annith has no Mortain-given gifts like her sisters, she’s still one of the best in the convent in every area–and yet she always gets left behind. Working hard to be just as good as everyone else but being left out because you’re not one of the chosen few is privilege in a nutshell, but whatever. LaFevers probably wasn’t going for any commentary on privilege; I’ve been especially deep in social justice lately and my brain made that connection with Annith and Mortain’s other daughters. ANYWAY, her desire to get out of the convent and serve her god is so strong you can taste it and the first 100 pages in which she’ trying to get out of there are slow but strong. They give us the all-important insight into this former side character that we’ll need to see who she really is and how much she changes over the course of her travels and trials.

I admit, I’d never thought much of Annith in Grave Mercy or Dark Triumph. In other YA novels, characters like her are the good friend who is referred to at times and can make a difference from afar but don’t get a great deal of characterization. Mortal Heart takes us inside her to show us she’s so much more complex than readers ever thought and shows us parts of the convent and Brittany at large that Ismae and Sybella never got to experience. Through her, we meet the Arduinnites rarely discussed in previous books, the hellequin who definitely didn’t come up in any good way before, and see the depths of the corruption within the convent.

Annith isn’t the first character LaFevers has sent through the wringer, but she’s the character whose growth is the most significant and touching. There’s no emphasizing enough how strong it is. A woman confident in her own power blooms out of a girl desperate to prove herself after her entire childhood played out as one long, vicious test and she sacrifices everything she thought she knew about herself to get herself to where she wants to be. Despite my many problems with Mortal Heart, the novel is worth recommending solely on the basis of Annith’s character-driven journey and the strength of her arc.

Oh, did I have problems. Annith’s journey as a character is strong enough to carry readers through to the end, which is a good thing because the plot’s pacing is uneven and major twists are predictable. At about one-third of the way into this hefty novel, I had the biggest one pinned and made puns about it (because you’re not here for the right reasons if you don’t want the PUNishment). Plot points are lazily delayed so they can be explained later. For instance, an Arduinnite finds a mark on Annith’s neck and doesn’t explain it to Annith when she explicitly asks what it looks like. Then it gets explained many, many pages later as something the Arduinnite definitely could have explained to her. Really?

The romance failed me in pretty much every way. One of the major twists and one of many reasons the novel’s jacket copy is so thin relates to her love interest in this book and that was the one I got punny with. She and her boy spend plenty of time together, yeah, but by the time she gets around to saying she loves him, Annith’s interactions with him hasn’t convinced me they know each other well enough for love to be possible yet. The idea of their romance is great, but the execution is lackluster because it needs more development. There’s slow-burn and then there’s taking 200 pages to build up a couple without actually building up a relationship between them.

The way the end of the novel uses religion confuses and irritates in equal parts. Now, I’m no fan of religion myself whether one worships multiple gods or one. Religion simply isn’t something essential to my life. The way LaFevers uses it in her novels is brilliant and Annith’s own religious fervor is a vital part of her character (especially when much of her growth involves her faith being tested), but the way it’s all explained in the end just doesn’t work.

Still, this trilogy is a strong work of historical fiction and perfect for binge-reading, so I can’t do anything but recommend it despite my reservations about its finale. Can Robin LaFevers keep writing books like this? Reliably good books are good yes. I know she’s got some backlist titles, so I may dive into those…
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mortal Heart 4 Nov 2014
By Farrah - Published on
An absolutely brilliant conclusion to a magnificent series, Mortal Heart was just amazing. It had sweet romance, political intrigue, unexpected twists, and secrets that I never saw coming. LOVED THIS BOOK!

Annith was a wonderful character. She started off as an obedient novice who always followed the rules. But, she began to question things, realized that not everything was as it seemed, and became determined to make her own way. By the end, she definitely proved that she was a strong, clever, and capable heroine and I really liked her.

Balthazaar was the love interest and he was wonderful. Very sweet and utterly adorable. He had some huge secrets he was hiding that I never suspected and it made his character all the more interesting. I wish I had been able to get to know him more, but I still adored him.

The romance was very sweet. Annith and Balthazaar were lovely together. My one issue was that I wanted to see more of a development with them, but I understood why it progressed the way that it did, so it wasn't a big issue. I still thought they were a wonderful couple.

The plot was fast paced and I was totally hooked the entire way through. I was kept on the edge of my seat with all the political drama and the game-changing secrets that I never saw coming. These secrets changed everything for Annith and they totally took me by surprise. Of course, we see a bit of Ismae, Duval, Beast, and Sybella in this book and it was great seeing them again. I loved the story and the ending was perfect.

Mortal Heart was a perfect conclusion to a brilliant series. From the romance, to the twists, to the shocking secrets, this book was amazing and I loved every bit of it. Fans of the series, you won't be disappointed with this one. And, YA lovers, this is a must read series.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Trying to Hard 8 Nov 2014
By CJH - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I’m conflicted about this book. I liked the ending, the surprise twists and turns, and the integration of all the main characters from the entire trilogy. I definitely appreciate the writing style and attention to detail. Unfortunately the first quarter of the book had way too much internal dialogue. I also think the author tried too hard to justify the strange relationship between Annith and Balthazaar and that’s where things got cray-cray.

I found Annith’s relationship with Balthazar to be awkward at first and then down right creepy. It was more of a case of instalust which undermined the premise of Balthazaar’s identity and what a relationship would signify to him. I also didn’t see the point in making him who he ending up being (trying not to give too much away). It was just weird and felt like the author was trying too hard to be interesting.

Basically the last third of the book seemed like the author was making it up as she went along. The solution of the Duchess’s problems seemed cheesy. I wish it had been foreshadowed in the first and second book but it wasn’t so the solution seemed contrived. I also found the declaration that Christ died to offer salvation to immortals to be preachy (What the???). The blurring of historical events with fantasy elements is a tricky path to take because the characters and plot quickly become a nonsensical mess which is almost what happened here. Again I think to justify the strange identity of Balthazaar. For what? Why? I really don’t think it was worth it and damaged the integrity of the trilogy.
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