Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Review: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

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. 

Mortal Heart was released in November 2014 by HMH Books for Young Readers. 

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.


  1. It seems like this third book is considered the weakest of the three across the board which is a bit disappointing, but I still definitely want to give the first 2 books a try. I can't wait to meet Duval and Beast!

  2. The reviews for this one have been all over the place, but it looks like everyone seems to agree that it's the least favorite of the series. I don't really remember Annith that much but I'm looking forward to learning more about her.

  3. I've seen a lot of people mention that about Annith, she was always the most aloof, but that's what interested me about her. For some reason I didn't give much thought to the arrow thing, I kind of just went with it xD Great review :)

  4. I loved the first two book and dying to get my hands on this one. Bit disappointed that Mortal Heart isn't as good as the first two books but I can't wait to find out about Annith, Great review!

  5. Thanks for the review. I really enjoyed the first two books and I'm looking forward to reading this and learning more about Annith.

  6. thanks for the review! I really wanted to read this series but I really hate the fact that some of them don't live to the expectations, although I am definitely gonna read the first book of this series :)

  7. You're not the first person who's said that they were hesitant about reading her story, but I'm glad it turned out well. I hadn't heard anything about the ending. I'm sorry you didn't like it. It took all of my self control not to highlight that by the way!

  8. oh no, I'm so disappointed to hear the ending is a let down! My interest in reading this book is a lot less than for the other two both because I share you feelings on Annith and because I didn't like the second book nearly as much as I was hoping I would.

    Insta love, too? Drat. Although, in a way I could see it working, along with Annith being bold. She's so sheltered in the convent and always left behind, and I dn't think she likes that. I could see her grabbing onto something HARD in defiance of all that. I'll have to see how RLF pulls it off.

  9. Thanks so much for review. I've had my eye on this book. But has been hesitant to read it for a long time.

  10. Awesome review! I have been wanting to read this one!


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