Author: Robin LaFevers
Pub. Date: November 4, 2014
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 464
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

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...

About Robin:
Robin LaFevers was raised on a steady diet of fairy tales, Bulfinch’s mythology, and 19th century poetry. It is not surprising she grew up to be a hopeless romantic.

Though she has never trained as an assassin or joined a convent, she did attend Catholic school for three years, which instilled in her a deep fascination with sacred rituals and the concept of the Divine. She has been on a search for answers to life’s mysteries ever since.

While many of those answers still elude her, she was lucky enough to find her one true love, and is living happily ever after with him in the foothills of southern California.

In addition to writing about teen assassin nuns in medieval Brittany, she writes books for middle grade readers, including the Theodosia books and the Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist series. You can learn more about those books at

Where you can find Robin:


1) Can you tell my readers a little about Mortal Heart. Mortal Heart is the story of Annith, one of the most skilled assassins the convent has ever produced. Annith has to decide whether to shrug aside everything she has ever known and believed in to claim her own life and destiny or to settle for the unwanted life the convent has chosen for her. Adventure, hijinks, and romance ensue.

2) I believe Mortal Heart to be a perfect ending to this series. What will you miss most about it? Oh, everything! I have had so much fun writing this series and am really sorry to leave it behind. I’ve been through so much with these characters—they are absolutely like real people to  me. It’s hard to imagine life without them. I will miss Sybella’s dark humor, and Ismae’s blunt view of her duties. I will miss Annith and her struggles to be both good and strong.
And the world—it’s hard to leave when I feel I’ve only barely tapped the surface of the stories it offers.
(And I’m thrilled that you think it was the perfect ending!)

3) Of the three sisters (each wholly unique) Annith, Sybella and Ismae: Which was the most difficult to write, which was the easiest and which did you enjoy writing the most.
Ismae’s truculence and determination came easily, as did Sybella’s white hot anger. Annith’s resentment was also easy to tap into.
As for what was hard—trying to convey why Ismae would be so willing to completely and unquestioningly believe in the convent—and the abbess. And then, what would cause that unquestioning faith to wavier.
With Sybella, one of the hardest things was trying to show the tender side that she kept so hidden—even from herself.
My biggest challenge with Annith was to show how hard it was for her to chose to act rather  than just simmer. To show how all her life she’d been raised to deny or quiet those very instincts that now told her to act.

4) What is your favorite Quote in Mortal Heart?
Oo! That’s HARD. Well, today, I think it would be:
“We are all of us, gods and mortals, made up of many pieces, some of them broken, some of them scarred, but none of them the total sum of who we are.”

5) Mortal Heart is expertly written as a historical fantasy novel. What amount of research went into making this novel that creates a new story while tying up elements from previous series novels.
Much of the research had been done with the previous two books, but for Mortal Heart, I was bringing more of the mythology to life, so I had to research the Celtic roots of Brittany and what and who they may have worshipped and in what ways. That was a lot of fun.
I also had to study how the conflict between France and Brittany was resolved, then find a way to not only seamlessly weave my characters into it,but make it appear as if they had caused those historical events. All the while remaining true to the actual history itself. Not an easy task! (P.S. Do NOT Google this unless you want a whole lot of spoilers!)

6) What storyline in Mortal Heart surprised you the most? Probably Father Effram. He just showed up on the page one day and I was like, Ohhhh!

7) Can you share what you are working on next?
Well, I cannot lie: I am reluctant to leave the world of His Fair Assassin behind! I am noodling around with some other story ideas set in this same world. So many assassins! So little time!

8) Word Association:
Ismae - determined
St. Mortain - darkly complex
Seeress - window
Sybille - fierce
Annith - shatter
Abbess - tainted love
Duchess - grace under pressure

9) What did want your readers to take from reading your novels?
I want girls to know that they are the heroes of their own stories; not mere accessories to someone else’s story. Not even those who might claim to love them. I want girls to see how hard it is to step into one’s own power, but also to be inspired to do just that. I want them to see what healthy, balanced relationships between equals looks like. And lastly, I want them to know that they get to decide for themselves what sort of life they will live and that they get to define what love, honor, loyalty, duty, and faith mean for them. They don’t have to take on other people’s definitions of those things

10) What was your most memorable fan experience?
I am beyond thrilled any time a reader connects emotionally with the books, but perhaps the letters that have meant the most to me were ones I received for Dark Triumph. Many, many readers wrote to tell me that, due to their own pasts, how personally healing Sybella’s journey was for them to read about, and that touched my soul in ways I can’t even articulate.

11) If you could cast the characters for this novel in a movie adaptation whom would you choose, past or present, alive or dead?
This is really tough because they are all such real individuals in my head, it’s hard to replace them with actors. Hmm, let me see. I think Eva Green would make a killer Sybella. Or maybe a young Catherine Zeta-Jones. Willa Holland of Arrow has something of the look of Ismae about her. I think Dakota Fanning would make a good Annith—she has that haunting, fey look to her and those big, thinky eyes.

12) Do you have a soundtrack that you listened to while writing this novel? and if so could you share it with us.
While this isn’t a complete soundtrack, these are some of the songs I listened to a lot while writing Mortal Heart.

Broken Crown - Mumford & Sons
Holland Road - Mumford & Sons
Demons - Imagine Dragons
Whispers in the Dark - Mumford & Sons
Stubborn Love - The Lumineers
It’s Time - Imagine Dragons
I Will Wait - Mumford & Sons (Honestly, sometimes it feels as if they wrote songs just for the HFA series!)
Kingdom Come - Coldplay
Theme from Harry’s Game - Clannad
After the Storm - Mumford & Sons

Giveaway Details:
(1) One winner will receive a rustic arrow necklace, a leather bound notebook and a hardcover of MORTAL HEART! US Only. 

Rafflecopter Code:

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
10/27/2014- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
10/28/2014-Katie's Book BlogReview
10/29/2014- Once Upon a TwilightInterview
10/30/2014- Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsReview
10/31/2014- Reading YA RocksGuest Post

Week Two:
11/3/2014- Mundie MomsReview
11/4/2014- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderInterview
11/5/2014- The Starry-Eyed RevueReview
11/6/2014- Step Into FictionInterview
11/7/2014- ParajunkeeGuest Post


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