Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers [Joint Review!]

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, #3)4.5 out of 5 Robots!

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassin #3
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Release: November 4, 2014
Hardcover:  480 Pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Julia and Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
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.

But across Brittany, the tides of war are drawing ever nearer, with France pressuring the beleaguered duchess from all sides. Annith’s search for answers threatens to rip open an intricate web of lies and deceit that sit at the heart of the convent she serves. Yet to expose them threatens the very fabric of her existence and risks an unforeseen chance at love, one that she can no longer deny. Annith must carefully pick a path and, gods willing, effect a miracle that will see her country—and her heart—to safety.

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Julia and Shannon's Thoughts:
1. What did you like?
Julia: I loved the twists near the end. They are great surprises that I didn't anticipate. Annith's birth story and love life were fun to discover!
Shannon: I loved that Annith got out of the convent and started to take control of her life.  And I loved that the three girls (Ismae, Sybella and Annith) end up together in the same place again.

2. What did you dislike?
Julia: I disliked the ending for Balthazaar... without spoiling anything, that's too vague. Also, Annith is whiney and talks things over too much with herself.
Shannon: Oh, the endless pondering by Annith.  Annith spends a ridiculous amount of time second guessing herself and pondering the fate of the universe and the nature of god and religion.  I did not sign up for a philosophy course.  More assassinatin', please!

3. Did anything surprise you? 
Julia: Yup! Pumped on that, because I feel like we are always predicting the outcomes lately. I was surprised too that Annith had such a good romance going. It kept me going, haha.
Shannon: Actually, yes!  I was surprised by Annith's backstory.  And I was also surprised by Balthazaar's origins and the role he plays in the whole thing.

4. How did you feel about the romance?
Julia: Loved it! It wasn't love at first sight, we got to watch it evolve and there is great tension. Just a really solid love story, I bought into all of it.
Shannon: I was pretty on board with it too.  I am not totally sure how I feel about after Balthazaar's identity is revealed.  I certainly didn't guess at it, but it did put a slightly awkward spin on things.  But I really liked the actual romantic interactions between Balthazaar and Annith.

5. How does Annith's story compare with Sybella's and Ismae's stories?  Who was your favorite?
Julia: I loved Annith's story. I think all the books are different enough that I just decided I don't have a favorite. I loved Ismae's personality, Sybella's back story and Annith's romance. I really wish there were more books in this series. 
Shannon: I think my order of preference is the same order as the books:  Ismae, Sybella and Annith.  I loved Ismae's personality too and her romance with Duval.  Sigh.  And I loved how the second book made me completely rethink Sybella as a character.  Her story was definitely the most disturbing.  I think Annith is my least favorite because of her constantly second guessing herself.  Also I did not find the convent parts to be that interesting.  But I did like that Annith's story gave us a larger world view than the Brittany court.  It was also the most "fantasy" out of the three, which is either a benefit or a hindrance depending on your views on fantasies.

6. What do you think of this series overall?
Julia: Fascinating, fast paced, awesome! They've got everything.... action, romance, brilliant characters and very satisfying plots. Love, love, love it!
Shannon: LOVE this series.   I love the thoughtfulness that LaFevers put into her stories and her characters.  I highly recommend this series!!

Books in the order they should be read:
1. Grave Mercy
2. Dark Triumph
3. Mortal Heart 

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