SERIES: His Fair Assassin #3
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: YA Historical Fantasy
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
She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn’t mean she has…
Mortal Heart is the third and final book in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. This time, the story centres around Annith. She’s the quietest, best behaved and arguably the most skilful of the three protagonists, having spent a lifetime dedicated to studying and practising at the convent of St. Mortain. After learning that the Abbess plans to keep her inside the abbey permanently, she set on her own and gets involved in the larger political drama that’s been unfolding over the trilogy.
While I prefer Mortal Heart to Grave Mercy, I didn’t think that it’s was quite as strong as Dark Triumph. I just thought the plot was less smooth and the pacing a bit more jumpy and dragged out than the Sybella’s story.
One of the major strengths of this series has been the romance that each of the girls develops over their novel. Annith‘s relationship with Balthazar, for the first two-thirds of the novel, was my least favourite of the three. I just don’t feel they had the same chemistry or connection as the other two pairings. I really did like the reveal of Balthazar’s true identity and the premise of who the characters are and their connection to each other. After that revelation, the chemistry between them intensified and I really got behind them as a couple. I’d quite like to, at some point, get a novella or sequel we are we could see what Annith and Balthazar get up to after they returned to the Abbey of St. Mortain.
I love how Lafevers blended together the historical events and people with the fantasy elements and original characters in this series. The final confrontation in Mortal Heart felt worthy of all the intrigue and build-up over the course of the trilogy.
Overall this is really strong historical fantasy trilogy with interesting world-building, complex, formidable and distinct heroines and a fantastic cast of supporting characters. There’s going to be a spin-off or companion series starting with Courting Darkness coming this year, and I’m really looking forward to see where the story goes next.