Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers: Review

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, #3)Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The next moment I am flying over his shoulder in a dizzying rush. I brace myself for my landing on the hard rock floor, knowing it will knock the wind out of me.
Except I never reach it. Instead, Balthazaar catches me and eases me back to my feet, almost as if we were dancing. My breath is coming fast now, but the bastard is not even breathing hard. And his arms are still around me. “If you wanted them watching you, they are,” he whispers in my ear. “Every move, every breath that passes your lips, has their full attention.”
I bring my arms up suddenly to break his hold, then leap away, annoyed that I am only able to do so because he let me.

It takes a talented author to write a book about war, politics, historical Brittany vs. France intrigue, and shape it into something so charming and idyllic. Even during wartime, the characters stayed rational and a lot of the characters were actual figures that appeared during the time period. It’s sometimes harder to write about real people because of information accuracy (especially back in 1489) and fact-checking but LaFevers pulled it off.

Pros:
Annith demonstrated great strength of character and resilience and I loved learning about her past and how it actually connected to shaping the way she is. She’s ferocious and it’s interesting seeing her display of intelligence through her deliberate actions and interpretations of people. She’s very emotionally tuned and has learned to distinguish between the truth and lies in voices and facial expressions. It’s entertaining and great to get her insights on the various casts of characters and see dynamics in the relationships.

“There is a whisper of movement to my left as I feel Balthazaar unfold himself from the shadows, and I wonder how long he has been there. He leans close enough to whisper in my ear. “Let me have him.”
Scowling, I turn my arrow on him. “He is mine.””

Balthazaar holds his hands up in a placating gesture and slips back into the shadows.
Balthazaar. BALTHAZAAR. oh my goodness, he literally takes the center stage and pulls the rug out from everyone. I don’t know how LaFevers does it but he doesn’t even show up that frequently or long enough to count as a main character but HE IS a main character. UGH. He dominates and has one of the best backstory I’ve ever read so I’m gaping in awe just thinking about him.

“Instead of grabbing me or attacking me, Balthazaar barks out a laugh, the sound cutting through the darkness like a blade. “I have asked myself that a thousand times, calling myself a fool for every one of them, and yet, here I am.”

The plot pacing is iffy on some parts but it never feels boring and I’m always so engaged. Of course, I savor certain passages over others but it was a thorough enjoyment through and through. Please, I need to learn how to write like this and of course, be an archer. I just loved how it was a simple enough story to understand but it had many layers and digestible politics that made sense. Even if I hated the characters (which is impossible; the romance is so worthy to root for), the story line would’ve redeemed and pulled the whole book through.

Before I can respond, Balthazaar butts in. “Or we could play the game my way: If you do not simply answer her question, I will run you through with my sword.”

It’s so difficult to find an intelligent well-researched novel in the YA industry and I know that it’s trite but this is a gem! GOOOOOOOO read this. GO NOW.

Cons:
If the author is not writing any more books, no matter if they’re part of The Fair Assassin series, I’ll be so disappointed.

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