LaFevers, Robin. Mortal Heart. New York: HMH Books For Young Readers, 2014. 978-0-547-628400. 464 p. $17.99. Gr 9-12.
LaFevers’ excellent His Fair Assassins series comes to a close with the highly anticipated story of Annith, the gifted sister of St. Mortain, god of Death, who watches impatiently as her sisters are given tasks to serve the convent and their god. Although extremely skilled at warfare and in the art of seduction, Annith discovers that she is being groomed by the abbess as Seeress, a banal life confined to the convent, even though she has shown no skill as a Seer. Confused and suspicious, Annith runs and sleuths, eventually confronting the abbess and learning a secret she never expected, one so deep and treacherous she decides to leave the convent. Annith runs into the hellequin, souls of the damned serving Mortain by bringing him the recent dead, and connects with the dark, brooding, and handsome Balthazaar, a connection that will change her life and life’s purpose forever. While a bit less action packed as Ismae and Sybella’s stories, Annith is a worthy heroine and her story speaks true to her character. LaFever’s brings a satisfying ending to a wonderful, historically researched, well-paced series.
Historical Fantasy Vicki Schwoebel, Friends’ Central School
While I loved this series, and another teacher loved this series, I can’t seem to get the students on board. It is definitely for an older crowd; I would not recommend to middle schoolers, and right now that is the group that drives our fiction circulation. I keep recommending it to high school students when they ask about books, and I’ve blogged about the series, but so far no luck. LaFever is an excellent writer and this an excellent premise. It mixes history and fantasy in a way that isn’t overdone or unbelievable; the same can be said for the characters and their romantic interests. I am determined to keep recommending.