After enjoying the first two books, I expected quite a bit from Mortal Heart. I love the way the series uses history and blends it with myth and fantasy elements; I enjoy the way that it takes a unique look at the figure of Death and what, in fact, the god of death might be like. The first two books have shown us two aspects of Mortain, in the form of women called to serve him. This book shows us another, and perhaps the most intimate yet.
I was enjoying this a lot until the point where a certain reveal is made, and then it just felt… over the top, out of nowhere. It just didn’t feel like it fit. I mean, we know it’s a world where gods are real and their presence is felt, but… to this degree? I shouldn’t say too much about it for fear of spoilers, but that aspect definitely made this my least favourite of the trilogy, despite Annith being an interesting character.
This book also deals with the issues of the Abbess and what exactly is going on there — why she’s doing what she is, why she doesn’t seem to be serving Mortain (as the heroines of the previous two books rightly felt), and it also solidifies some of the connections between characters, and shows us them anew. It even manages to humanise the Abbess, a little, which is hard going with her actions in this book and the previous two.
Overall, I think this was the weakest of the trilogy, because that reveal jars and because I think I prefer Ismae and Sybella as characters. But it was still entertaining and hard to put down.