Thursday, November 24, 2016

Series Review: His Fair Assassin books 1-3

His Fair Assassin by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy published 2012--55o pages

Dark Triumph published 2013--385 pages

Mortal Heart published 2014--444 pages

publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

I'd seen this series around and heard vaguely positive things about it without actually knowing any details.  And if you know me, you know that's how I like to go into a book.  I had all three in my classroom library, but hadn't even registered that there are three distinctly different young women on the covers.

The whole "beautiful young lady assassin" trope has certainly be done before.  From Poison Study to Poison to Graceling, we've seen it over and over.  Then again, I like all of those, so I figured I could at least give book one a try. I liked the mysteriousness of the convent, and it took me awhile to figure out whether or not the girls were really fathered by death or if it was just a superstition.  In other words, is this historical fiction or fantasy?  Well, as it turns out, both.  The romance was inevitable, but charming, and it was nice to see Ismae develop into a more confident and assertive person.

When I picked up the second book, I was delighted to realize that it is about a minor character from book one.  I also liked that it overlapped slightly with the other book, then moved forward from there.  While I gave all of the books the same rating on Goodreads, I liked Sybella's story best, dark and twisted as it was.  She had a lot to overcome, and she found such a grand ally in Beast.  The middle of a trilogy is not generally its strongest point, but since each protagonist had their own full arc, the rule didn't really apply.

Annith's story didn't do as much for me, although I sure like Balthazar.  Personality-wise, she reminded me too much of Ismae.  I'd been wondering how this series would reach a happy ending, since it's no spoiler to say that France won over Breton at some point, and I thought that bit was neatly handled.

I read through the books pretty steadily, finishing the series in about a week, which is my favorite way to read a series, since I have a tiny memory.  There wasn't anything that blew me away, but I enjoyed the books and cared enough about the characters to keep reading.  While the romance factor was high, there was enough depth to the books to keep my mind engaged as well.  

3/5 stars overall--3.5 for Dark Triumph.


1 comment:

  1. Nice sum up. I periodically think of diving into books two and three since I've only read the first one, but I liked Ismae. I liked the convent too, and was also curious as to whether there were mystical elements or it was just hist fiction- it felt like hist fiction until the mystical element came along late in book one, so I've been curious if that was explored further in the other ones.


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