Sunday, October 19, 2014

ARC review: Mortal Heart

20522640Title: Mortal Heart
Author: Robin LaFevers
Genre: Historical fiction, fantasy, young adult

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads 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...

I missed the rich history and political intrigue that was so prominent in the previous two books, but this one delved a lot more into the mythology of Brittany. It's definitely the most personal story out of the three, and while there were a couple of things that continue to tug at the back of my mind, this was a strong conclusion to this trilogy.

Annith has always dreamed of leaving the convent and fulfilling Mortain's mission as Ismae and Sybella already have. Her need to escape the convent becomes even more powerful and heartbreaking as details of her childhood there are revealed. When she finds out that the abbess plans on making her a Seer, forever stuck in the convent, Annith has to decide whether she should stay in the safety of the only home she has known or take her chances in war-torn Brittany.

Annith as a character treads a very fine line between self-pitying and resilient. She is understandably upset, but there were moments where I felt like she was acting a little childishly; almost immediately after those moments, though, she would pull herself together and take action to alleviate her situation. I appreciated that Annith knew what she wanted and acted on it instead of waiting for other people to encourage her or save her.

I also really enjoyed the introduction of the Hellequin. The Hellequin are half-damned souls that lived such pitiful lives that they must spend lifetimes serving the living in order to redeem themselves. They are broken, mysterious creatures, but there is also a spark of life in them.

The romance in this novel is mostly what the little voice in my head hasn't been very happy about. It kind of makes sense, but there's just so many little ways in which it rubbed me the wrong way. Some of the other characters are skeptical as well, which I appreciated, but things are smoothed out pretty quickly considering the implications of what's happening. I will say no more so that I don't spoil anything.

If you have enjoyed reading about the assassin nuns of Brittany, you will love this conclusion.

An ARC was provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in exchange for an honest review.

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5 comments:

  1. I seriously need to read this series!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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  2. You really do! It's one of my favorite historical series (the fantasy and the assassin nuns definitely help :D)

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  3. I'm torn about this one! I want to try it...but I haven't heard like raving things or anything. I'm concerned about the romance. But then if the book has anything to do with mysterious broken creatures? I'm in. x)

    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!

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  4. I haven't read this book yet, but I have a feeling that I am not going to like this as much as the previous ones.I didn't feel a connection towards Annith like I did with Ismae and Sybella, so I am hesitating to take up this book despite my love for the series.

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  5. Yeah, I liked Dark Triumph and Grave Mercy a lot more, but this is definitely still a solid conclusion to the series. And definite yes to mysterious broken creatures!

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