Thursday, January 22, 2015
Review: Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
Title: Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, #3)
Author: Robin LaFevers
Rating: 3 Stars
To be frank, I don't have much to say about Mortal Heart. It's a satisfactory ending to LaFevers debut trilogy--and wraps up all the loose ends nicely--but as far as being Annith's story, I felt it lacking. Perhaps it's simply because Annith isn't as strong a force to be reckoned with as Sybella. It's not that Annith isn't a formidable assassin--because she is--and her force of will is to be respected as she struggles to find the truth within her beloved abbey. Yet, she doesn't possess Sybella or Ismae's dark past which makes their stories compelling from the start itself and though it takes awhile for Annith's tale to find its footing, it continues to lose traction over time, not gain. I love Annith as a protagonist but the journey she undertakes in Mortal Heart pales in comparison to the stakes in both the previous novels. Moreover, the romance did absolutely nothing for me except to make me cringe a time or two and question--a lot--why there couldn't have been anyone else for Annith.
I feel as if Mortal Heart is a tricky novel, being the final installment in this trilogy, and LaFevers succeeds in many ways. Not only does the plot line that began in Grave Mercy reach fruition, but we are able to see our three heroines united, changed, and happier than they were when we first met them. Unlike the last two novels, Mortal Heart doesn't revolve around an assassination or a piece of the plot; it's where the entire story converges into one. Thus, Annith isn't the sole starring character at hand. Though we follow her journey, there are other compelling, strong women at play who--and this just may be my personal love of Sybella--at times undermined Annith's casting into the spotlight.
Additionally, though the romance isn't--and shouldn't be--a deciding factor in the enjoyment of a novel, I wasn't on board with this love story at any point and after Sybella and Beast's tale, felt vastly disappointed with this one. Frankly speaking, I didn't feel as if Annith needed romance. She's such a compelling and strong heroine, one whose loyalties to her sisters and friendships with them makes up so much of her being, that to have that replaced with a romance didn't hold the same weight or resonance for me as it likely should have. Plus, the romances of Ismae and Sybella, held side-by-side with Annith's lack of romance at first and then, later, her romantic interest, only made me feel as if Annith was desperate for the love Ismae and Sybella had found and needed a man to complete her as her sisters did. I have never felt that way about the romances in this series until this odd dichotomy.
Mortal Heart brings up shocking revelations and I have no doubt that die-hard fans of this series will adore this final installment. As someone who didn't plan to continue the series after Grave Mercy--something about that book simply did not tick with me--yet fell in love with Dark Triumph, this final installment falls somewhere in the middle. Not nearly as good as Dark Triumph but far more satisfactory than Grave Mercy. LaFevers trilogy is a beloved one among many and though it doesn't rank among my favorites by far, I love these heroines and everything they stand for. Thus, I do not hesitate to recommend forth this series, flaws and all.