Tag Archives: Robin LaFevers

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3) – Robin LaFevers

Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3) – Robin LaFeversTitle: Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3) by Robin Lafevers
Publishing Info: November 4, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: ARC
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 7, 2014
Related Posts: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1), Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2)

    In the powerful conclusion to Robin LaFever's New York Times bestselling His Fair Assassins trilogy, 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.

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** This is an honestly, truly SPOILER-FREE review of MORTAL HEART! Only details are how I felt about things and never exactly WHAT they were. Too many incredibly special moments and reveals to spill the beans in a review! Enjoy! **

Not that I didn’t love the other two books (because I did) but I have been waiting for Annith’s story since we first met her in GRAVE MERCY. You guys… MORTAL HEART does not disappoint. In fact, for as much love as I had for the first two books, my love for MORTAL HEART soared above and beyond my expectations. It has the answers to everything and I mean EVERYTHING.

Oh my gosh, how do I even write this review without telling you all of the amazing plot points that I surely don’t want to spoil? Okay. No spoilers… I will just touch on things we learn!
We get to know more about Annith’s past. I have been dying to know more ever since we first met Annith so this was SO exciting. Not only do we get to learn more about her as a person, but having Annith’s story be the last in the series really ties everything together!
YES, there IS a romance and it is super swoony. I mean, did you have any doubt?  Mysterious, brave, broody… And he and Annith have great chemistry. The more I read about these two, the more I fell in love with their romance. It was truly awesome, incredibly deep, and also incredibly interesting.
There are mysteries galore! And even more importantly, we get all the answers!!! We’ve been wondering all along why Annith has been kept in the convent. There are hints at different characters being involved in different plots. There are plots of murder. There are family histories. And the reveals for each question that pops up is perfectly timed and utterly amazing.

It is really and truly hard to discuss MORTAL HEART without any spoilers because it’s the finale of this epic series and I immediately just wanted to discuss ALL THE THINGS. Robin LaFevers totally nailed it with MORTAL HEART and this is the book in the series that I really connected the most with. Annith was incredibly relatable, entirely badass, and fiercely determined. One thing that I loved was how Robin LaFevers really managed to create three entirely different heroines between Ismae, Sybella, and Annith but still keep many of the same basic qualities and ultimate goals. These girls had so much in common and the their stories all intertwine perfectly to create this series, but each one definitely felt like a very different person and a very strong personality.

The relationships in this book are just amazing. Of course the romance because WOW, but every relationship — the good and the bad — was just so perfectly shaped. The way Annith interacts with everyone — her feelings, her reactions, her decisions to trust — just felt so genuine and I really connected with her as a character. She had a lot to gain and a lot to lose all at once and so much of that was based on her relationship with her friends and Daughters of Mortain, with the convent, and with her possible enemies.

The plotting throughout the whole His Fair Assassin series is amazing. I enjoyed the first two books immensely, but with everything coming to a conclusion in MORTAL HEART, the action, the mystery, and the adventure really took off in this book and I could not put it down. If you loved the first two books, I don’t see how you can possibly be disappointed by MORTAL HEART at all. This book just floored me in all the best ways and I wish I could just soak in it forever.

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“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

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Just ignore the fact that this is all the same date……. I accidentally deleted the wrong edition of the book which wiped out my status updates BUT I did have them saved on my phone because I didn’t have access to the internet while I was reading! So I just uploaded them back when I had the chance. 

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Annith // Character Obsessions: Leaving the convent, training, answers.
Out of all of the characters in this series, Annith was definitely my favorite. I was so glad the series closed out with her story and that it was saved for the very end. She was such a pleasure to read about and everything that happened to her! Just shocking and amazing. I loved her spirit and determination.

To be honest, I want to talk about soooo many more characters but let’s discuss AFTER you read the book! There are so many surprises and reveals and pasts and secrets that I just can’t possibly say anything more about who we meet, who reveals what, and how their roles shape the book! 

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Kept Me Hooked On: Historical Fiction + fantasy blend. This series really combined some serious historical fiction and awesome mythology/fantasy aspects. I loved the mythology that Robin LaFevers invented for this book (oh yeah, we get more of THAT too!) and how everything just really fit so well for the time period. It was just perfect.
Left Me Wanting More: Of this series. It ended so perfectly but that’s the thing — it was perfect. I wish there was so much more but then again, I’m extremely happy with the way it ended.

Addiction Rating
BUY IT

Do not hesitate to buy this book and this series and cherish on your shelves! So amazing and definitely worth owning all three books. Forever.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE MORTAL HEART

(Click the cover to see my review!)

        Shadow and Bone   Daughter of Smoke and Bone

The One With All the Author Signings: Claudia Gray, Robin LaFevers, Sarah Dessen

Authors

Event: Author appearances by Claudia Gray, Robin LaFevers, Sarah Dessen
Cancelled Event: Rainbow Rowell (*side eyes Anderson’s Bookshop for canceling*)
Location: Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL
Date: March – April

Okay, I’m the first to admit it. I was totally slacking on writing recap posts for the author signings I’ve been to lately. Spring is in the air and apparently that means author tours galore! There have been soooo many lately that I decided to combine some of them into one (and I say some because I still have two more events to go to in May that I’m VERY excited for).

Also another reason I’ve been slacking is that I never take notes or anything when I go to author events so I kind of feel like as soon as I leave, I forget everything because I’ve just been so dazzled by seeing such an amazing author. I’ll do my best to try to recap well for you (and not bore you).

CLAUDIA GRAY – MARCH 13, 2013

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Firstly, I went to go see Claudia Gray back in March. I was somewhat ashamed to admit that I haven’t read any of her books yet, but I had an ARC of her new book SPELLCASTER and it looked super interesting! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Claudia Gray, she’s also the author of the Evernight series, if that rings any bells!

It was a pretty small crowd at Anderson’s but I kind of liked it because it was more intimate and we got to do a lot of Q&A with Claudia. Here were some interesting things I learned from the signing:

  • She used to be a lawyer. We tossed around the notion that she may have gotten her organized and working well under pressure from law school OR maybe that’s why she did so well in law school! I thought that was really interesting though. Half the time I forget that authors have/had other jobs before they were writers! 
  • The spells in SPELLCASTER are done by drawing up memories. The more powerful the memory, the more powerful the spell and obviously a person with more memories can draw up more of them and more vivid ones to create more powerful spells. I thought this was a really neat concept! I really like that there’s that extra element in there so that it isn’t just “can” or “can’t” as far as casting a spell.
  • She actually DID have some say in her cover for SPELLCASTER. I can’t remember what the original cover was and unfortunately this is where I stumble when I don’t take notes, but she DID say that she saw the original cover and just didn’t like the way it looked. It was the same girl, but it didn’t look true to the book (I THINK it was the girl holding her hands out or something and she thought it just looked hokey) so they repositioned the model and added the blue flame rising from her hand and voila! An awesome cover was born.
  • She has a book coming out in 2014 that will be a new series called the Firebird series (I think it’s a trilogy?) and OMFG you guys. This book sounds AMAZING. I honestly wish I had written it haha. It’s about a girl who can travel into different alternate realities, some of which are very similar to her own current world and some of which are entirely different. It just sounds absolutely incredible and I cannot wait for its arrival in 2014!

Claudia Gray was such a great person to meet! She was very talkative and seemed totally natural in front of people which was especially nice in front of a smaller bunch! We’re too timid to ask a lot of questions sometimes (I have GOT to start preparing questions beforehand) so it was nice to have an author who wasn’t afraid to hold her own up there!

ROBIN LAFEVERS – APRIL 7, 2013

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Robin LaFevers!!!! Gosh, that was so exciting to be able to meet her. If you aren’t familiar with her books, she’s the amazing author of GRAVE MERCY and new release in April DARK TRIUMPH. I’ve never been one for historical fiction, but these books are so amazing. It was really great to hear Robin speak about her books because I found out alllll kinds of new stuff that I never knew before (I actually took notes on this one, guys)!

  • Robin LaFevers has ALWAYS been interested in historical fiction. She said even when she was two years old, she was interested in things like the medieval and Renaissance eras.
  • She never intended to write GRAVE MERCY. She called it her “affair” and was writing it on the side while she kept working on her middle grade series (which I also had no idea she wrote middle grade books — There are actually quite a few of them). GRAVE MERCY just really came together for her and she even surprised herself at how dark of a story this entire series was.
  • She started writing GM because she knew she wanted to read a book like it, so why not write it? She said that as a writer, sometimes you just have to write what you don’t see on the shelf and to write what you want to read!
  • She writes LOTS AND LOTS of drafts. I don’t know how she does it, but she ends up writing several drafts of these books before she gets to a good copy. GRAVE MERCY was in third person originally and she said that Ismae was getting lost on the pages because she WAS supposed to be behind the scenes. She ended up re-writing in first person to make Ismae really come alive and connect with the audience.

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It was so great to meet Robin LaFevers and WOOOOO got my books personalized. Love, love, love.

RAINBOW ROWELL (CANCELLED) – APRIL 8, 2013

I was sooooo excited to go see Rainbow Rowell a couple weeks ago. UNTIL IT GOT CANCELLED. I have my suspicions as to why (which I am SUPER bummed about) and it was through no fault of Rainbow’s, that’s for sure! I absolutely loved ELEANOR & PARK so I was incredibly sad that I didn’t get a chance to meet her, especially when she was still in town and everything! I guess I’ll just have to find her at BEA.

SARAH DESSEN – APRIL 19, 2013

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Sarah Dessen, guys! How could I NOT go? I have a small confession……… I haven’t read any of her books yet! EEK, don’t kill me! I have three of them and I definitely plan on reading them soon! Seriously. I promise! I have been assured by everyone that I WILL love them (and I believe you!)

Anyway, Sarah was a blast to listen to! She has a natural grace and casual demeanor that made it seem like she’d been friends with everyone in the room for years! Even though I wasn’t as familiar with her books, it was so much fun to hear her talk about all of them and what made each one of them special for her.

I apologize for the lack of details about Sarah Dessen, but it’s hard to remember when I haven’t read the books yet 🙁 Shame on me!!! She was so incredibly nice though and this was one of those times where meeting the author just makes me want to read their books even more. (Okay, that’s all the time… But you know what I mean.) I love hearing all of the personal connections. They really make a book that much more special. Now I can’t wait to start reading!

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Kind of an awkward picture, but fun all the same!

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As a special bonus, fellow blogger Rachel from Rachel Reads came down from Wisconsin to see Sarah Dessen so we got to meet at the signing! I still don’t know a ton of bloggers from the general area (I’ve only met a few) so it was so much fun to meet someone that I talk to a lot via our blogs and Twitter!

GIVEAWAY

Oh yes, there is a giveaway! I don’t have books from every author mentioned in this post, BUT I do have two of them to give away to one lucky winner! The giveaway is for a signed ARC of SPELLCASTER by Claudia Gray and a hardcover of ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell. I really wanted to get E&P signed for the giveaway but alas, no such luck. They are still pretty great prizes though 🙂

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is open until Friday 5/3/13. US and Canada entries only, please. (Sorry, international!) Go forth and enter!

Here are a few more upcoming events that I will be attending! If you’re going to be at Anderson’s in Naperville, IL for any of these signings, let me know and we can say hi! 🙂

Lauren Oliver, Lauren Morrill, Lenore Appelhans — May 2nd
Richelle Mead — May 5th
Dark Days Tour — May 9th

Hope to see you there!!! 

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) – Robin LaFevers

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) – Robin LaFeversTitle: Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2) by Robin Lafevers
Publishing Info: April 2, 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Netgalley, Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 21, 2013
Related Posts: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1), Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3)

The convent views Sybella, naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, as one of their most dangerous weapons. But those assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her home to the life that nearly drove her mad. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of death himself, he must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

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DarkTriumph

Maybe I needed someone to fangirl with while I read this. Maybe my hopes were too high. Maybe I shouldn’t be allowed to read long books on my Kindle because for some reason they feel like they take forever. Maybe I needed help from the Recaptains to remember what exactly was up with Sybella in GRAVE MERCY — But for whatever reason, I was SO BUMMED that I didn’t enjoyed DARK TRIUMPH as much as I had hoped. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, because I really did; I just hard a hard time getting into it as easily as I fell into GRAVE MERCY.

I was incredibly excited to jump into the Sybella’s story in DARK TRIUMPH since her side of the story seemed much darker and mysterious than that of Ismae in GRAVE MERCY and I was not disappointed with the tragic details of Sybella’s past as well as her difficult current assignment for the abbey. For some reason I just had a really hard time getting totally sucked in like I had with GM. I honestly feel like if I had read this as a hardcover instead of ebook, I would have had a better time with it. It sounds stupid, but I just felt like I was not making any progress with it on my Kindle (which is another reason I sometimes have a hard time reading ebooks) at a point where I felt a lot of reading pressure, and I really felt like it wasn’t fair to the book. Excuses aside, I still felt like I should have felt more enthralled than I was.

A few of my closest blogging friends absolutely loved this one, so I know it’s not that DARK TRIUMPH was a bad story — Aw hell, even I don’t think it was a bad story, BUT Sybella’s life is very different from Ismae’s. Once her life starts to intertwine with the fate of Beast (remember him? Duval’s light-hearted right hand man?), the reader can immediately see the potential for a romance there, but the romance just didn’t capture me as much as I had hoped it would. Since Sybella & Beast are quite different than our original romantic couple, Ismae & Duval, their relationship develops in a vastly different way and I felt developed even slower than the slow burn of the first book. I think I felt like it took a while for that romance to start and although I wasn’t keen on rushing it, I also think I needed a bit more of that earlier on to really tug on my heart strings and pull me in.

The other issue I had was the chase. Why is there always a chase in book two? WHY? Our beloved characters are on the run, fleeing injustice, hiding from bad guys, and camping in the woods… And clearly this is something in books I have come to loathe. I think it’s the act of not having a grounded setting? Maybe? I’m not 100% sure, but characters on the run creates a lot of action, but scenes that just don’t hold my attention. Unfortunately, this made up the first half of the book, so maybe that’s why it took me so long to get into DARK TRIUMPH.

All complaints aside, DARK TRIUMPH is another great addition to the collection of books that make up the HIS FAIR ASSASSIN trilogy. Robin LaFevers does a great job with this historical fiction (considering that’s not usually a genre I enjoy at all) and the language is easy to understand considering it’s written as the 15th century and there’s quite a bit of humor as well. Although book two didn’t quite sell me as much as I’d hoped, this was clearly a personal issue (stress? personal preference? Kindle?) and not a plot or character issue so I think GRAVE MERCY fans will still fall in love with DARK TRIUMPH!

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Sybella: Sybella definitely has a crazy and difficult life. Even after seeking shelter in the abbey, she still doesn’t quite fit in. She’s never been accepted wherever she goes, so it was really interesting to see her reactions to various predicaments in DT. I really enjoyed how different she was from Ismae and that Robin LaFevers was able to create such a different POV for the readers to follow and enjoy.
Beast: I’ve always loved Beast! He’s just so much fun, he’s honest, he’s fierce. Beast is a pleasure to read about and it was great to see his interactions and developing relationship with Sybella too. I was really glad we got to see him in the spotlight in DT!

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Buy it!

GRAVE MERCY is still my favorite so far but I really enjoyed DARK TRIUMPH as well! I think I need to re-read these books someday after they’ve sat for a while. I’d love to see how my feelings change or stay the same with a re-read!

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE DARK TRIUMPH

     Grave Mercy      Born Wicked

Top Ten Tuesday – February 26, 2013: Top Ten Authors on My Auto-Buy List

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It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish!

TOP TEN AUTHORS ON MY AUTO-BUY LIST
(Young Adult)

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No doubt about it that Gayle Forman is my number one answer to the question “Which authors are on my auto-buy list?” I have adored all of her works and after each book, I’m left dying for the next or to go back and re-read every book that’s come before it!

LO

Lauren Oliver is another author that I would follow to the ends of the Earth. I’m a little scared to be reading Requiem right now, but so far I’m enjoying it! I’m just praying the series wraps up well because I just always get scared when series end!! Anyway, Lauren Oliver’s writing is gorgeous and reading her books is always amazing!

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I fell in love with Sweet Evil over the summer and now I’m anxiously awaiting Sweet Peril! Before I knew what fangirling really was, I was fangirling for Sweet Evil! You can bet when SP comes out, I’m buying it immediately!

LDS

I just finished the last book in The Chemical Garden trilogy, Sever. I really enjoyed how Lauren DeStefano wrapped the series up (although I heard a lot of mixed reactions from people) and I look forward to purchasing anything else she writes!

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Anna and the French Kiss became an instant favorite when I read it. Although I wasn’t as big of a fan for Lola, I’m definitely buying any new books from Stephanie Perkins the nanosecond they come out!!

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I never expected to like a fantasy book so much so when I read Shadow and Bone, I was blown away. I loved Leigh Bardugo’s writing and you can bet I’m barely able to contain my excitement for Siege & Storm!! I’ve also been able to meet Leigh Bardugo a few times and knowing that she’s such a genuinely nice person and how much fun she is makes it that much more exciting to pick up her books!

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I’ve only read The Sea of Tranquility but the sheer beauty of the book and the amazing characters that Katja Millay created has made me a believer! You can bet I’m getting this book when it comes out in print so it can have a home on my shelf and I’ll be buying any future books from this amazing author!

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What a fun debut from Lauren Morrill!! I had just a blast with her characters and a really great story line. I’d be happy to buy any new books from her!

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Okay, admittedly, I haven’t actually purchased any of Richelle Mead’s books. SAD. I know. I borrowed all of the Vampire Academy series from the library since I was zipping through them and I then I quickly caught up with Bloodlines in anticipation of The Indigo Spell. Richelle Mead technically hasn’t been an auto-buy author but she’s definitely an auto-read author for me!!

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Same with Robin LaFevers – I borrowed Grave Mercy from the library, but absolutely plan on buying it because I loved it so much! I have Dark Triumph on my Kindle right now, but I’ll be buying that too when it comes out!!

 

So those are my auto-buy authors! Anyone we have in common? Looking forward to see other people’s picks this week!!

 

 

Shout Outs for my Fav Adult Auto-Buy Authors:

1. Meg Cabot (Yes, I know she writes YA too but for some reason I’ve only ever read her adult books)

2. Lisa Lutz

3. Janet Evanovich

4. JD Robb

TGIF – August 10, 2012

It’s time for TGIF again, thanks to Ginger at GReads!

I’m actually on vacation right now, but I figured I’d schedule a TGIF post so you didn’t miss me too much 🙂

This week’s TGIF topic is:
Unexpected Books: Which books did you have reservations about reading, but ended up loving once you did?

  1. Of Poseidon by Anna Banks – I’m not really one for mermaids or mermaid-type stories, but Anna Banks does a fantastic job of this! It’s so different and I love the twists and turns she takes with it. Plus, I love her sarcastic and witty sense of humor! I really ended up liking this one a lot! Now if she’d only write the Sasquatch love story…
  2. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins – Okay, so I figured I’d like this book. I didn’t think I’d end up falling in love with it! You can check out my fangirl review and that pretty much sums it up!
  3. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – I borrowed this book from a friend. She said she really enjoyed it. I was pretty skeptical! But this was pretty different from the typical vampire stories. I actually liked it a lot and got totally sucked in by the second book.
  4. Graceling by Kristin Cashore – I really not a big fantasy/high fantasy person, so when I read all of the awesome reviews for Graceling, I was hesitant, but decided to pick it up. Turns out, it’s a lot easier to relate to than I thought! I really loved it!
  5. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers – Another historical fiction type book but it’s got such great paranormal element to it! And apparently almost any book with a kick-ass heroine will have me sold. I really, really enjoyed reading this one, and highly recommend it!!