From Inside Jacket: 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. 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 sits at the center of the convent she serves. Yet to expose them threatens the very fabric of her existence and an unforeseen chance at love 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.
My Rating: 4 hearts for the first 3/4 of the book; 3 hearts for the last 1/4
Thoughts on the Novel: Though I loved both Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph, I was still hesitant to begin reading Robin LaFevers’ Mortal Heart because I knew that it was Annith’s story. While Sybella intrigued me in Grave Mercy, I couldn’t say the same about Annith in either Grave Mercy or Dark Triumph. So, I wasn’t sure how captivated I’d be with her story.
Surprisingly, despite growing up at the convent, Annith turned out to have a quite interesting backstory. Furthermore, LaFevers made me grow to like and admire Annith over the course of the novel because of her determination to serve Mortain and become the best novitiate possible in spite of not being blessed with any gifts. But, I have to say, I still like Ismae and Sybella much better.
I also enjoyed the girls’ romances (in their respective books) more than I liked Annith’s. Unlike Ismae/Duval and Sybella/Beast (who all make appearances), Annith’s romance was very much a case of instant love. Moreover, she was amazingly bold when declaring her attraction; I would have expected someone who grew up in a convent and wasn’t used to interacting with men to be a lot shyer and more nervous around the opposite sex.
A bigger issue that I had with Mortal Heart though was the incredibly disappointing ending. Spoiler alert: The idea of averting a potential war between Brittany and France by hitting Charles VIII with Arduinna’s arrow so that he would fall in love with Anne was just so laughable! In addition, I didn’t get the whole concept of the Nine turning into mortals; it was weird, and not very well-explained – not just philosophically, but also in terms of the plot because LaFevers didn’t address what happened to the hellequin who weren’t killed protecting Annith and Balthazar.
Comments About the Cover: Since Annith’s weapon of choice is a bow, I really like that the model is holding one.
In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Thomas Allen & Son) for free.