Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Annith anxiously awaits her chance to serve outside the convent of Saint Mortain as a handmaiden of Death. Annith’s dreams of leaving the convent are shattered when the abbess announces Annith is to become the convent's new seeress. When the abbess leaves the convent to join Duchess’ council, Annith follows to confront her, convinced that the abbess is putting her own will above Mortain’s. Annith runs a group of hellequin, a group of men bound to serve Mortain to atone for their sins. Their leader, Balthazaar, offers her protection as they travel toward the same destination. Balthazaar is strangely familiar to Annith and finds herself drawn to him. But traveling with the hellequin takes too long and Annith escapes, eager to face the abbess. When Annith is finally able to confront the abbess—after being reunited with Ismae and Sybella—she learns that she is not a daughter of Mortain. Despite not being Mortain’s daughter, Annith uses her training and skills to save the Duchess, with the help of Balthazaar and the hellequin.
Mortal Heart is a satisfying conclusion to the His Fair Assassin trilogy. Changing narrators once again, the third book in the series follows Annith. Themes of abuse and violence continue to be prevalent, however this book focuses more on spirituality than the other two. While Ismae and Sybella ponder their relationship with Mortain, it is something Annith thinks about almost constantly. There is also more explanations about the followers of other gods and how they worship. It allows for potential comparison and discussion modern-day religions. LaFevers continues to write exceptional and engaging characters. The love story didn’t feel as well develop as the previous books, but it remained heart warming. The ending is bitter-sweet as characters part ways, but it suits the historical events the story is based on.
*Contains mild to moderate sexual content including one fade to black sex scene.