Blog Tour: Mortal Heart | Robin LaFevers | Interview | Giveaway

Welcome to our stop on the MORTAL HEART blog tour. We are thrilled to once again host the amazing Robin LaFevers and the His Fair Assassin series

Interview with Robin LaFevers
Author of Mortal Heart

OUaT: Welcome back to Once Upon a Twilight. We are beyond thrilled once again to feature His Fair Assassin series on the site and you of course. Tell us in a quick summary, what has happen since the release of Dark Triumph (book 2) last year until now, which would include the release of Mortal Heart (book 3)?

I’m assuming you mean within the world of the book? (Because in real life, the answer would be a big, fat NOTHING except being (happily!) chained to my computer trying to meet my deadline!)

One of the tricky things about writing about three different heroines is needing to maintain both continuity AND momentum,yet still begin each book where the individual character’s story actually starts.

For Sybella and the start of Dark Triumph, this meant overlapping a bit with the events at the end of Grave Mercy, because that was when the current arc of Sybella’s story began—when she risked herself to warn her friend. The same sort of ‘rewind’ occurs with Mortal Heart—it overlaps in with both Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph. However, it’s not the same events told by another narrator, but entirely new events and interactions that the other narrators did not have access to. What was going on at the convent while the others were out on assignment? What did information did Annith have access to that fueled her hastily written letters to Ismae? What pushed her to make such (seemingly to Ismae, anyway) radical decisions?

OUaT: Im sure if I google any of your past interviews from other sites I would find the question I am going to ask next. But I am hoping you wouldn't mind answering it one more time. What inspired or gave you a cause to write about young girls that were trained to become assassins and serve as handmaidens to Death?

You know, there are just so many different threads that lead into any given story idea, it’s hard to pin it down. One of the things I remember is taking a writing class and having the instructor ask the question: If you were allowed to write only one book for the rest of your life, what book would it be? And I realized if I could only write one book, I would want all my most favorite things to go into it. So then I started thinking about what those would be, and once that ball got rolling, I got the itch to write the book. Plus, I think the instructor made an excellent point—we need to write what we’re most passionate about.

For me, those favorite things turned out to be an epic romance with lives and kingdoms hanging in the balance. I wanted there to be hard, gut wrenching choices and forgiveness and redemption and honor and loyalty and duty and faith. And I wanted to set it against a place where the edges of reality and fantasy seemed to meet—thus the middle ages, when superstitions, folk tales, and the Other were part of the everyday fabric of their existence. Plus, I’ve just always been obsessed with the middle ages.

I also knew I wanted to take a girl who felt utterly powerless and take her on a journey to full empowerment—not just physical strength or skill, but emotional and mental strength as well.

Then I stumbled upon a few things in my general research that crystalized the assassin nun idea. One was learning that some noblewomen preferred joining a convent to their other societal roles because it gave them more freedom and autonomy. Second, was learning that Brittany had a 12 year old duchess who inherited the kingdom and had to try to fend off France, and lastly, that Brittany held on to its pagan roots far longer than other surrounding areas. After that, the idea just sort of gelled.

OUaT: I am a huge fan of the series and still to this day I hear different folks saying that His Fair Assassin series is either historical romance or high fantasy. What would you say is correct genre for your books?

Well, I’m no expert, but I always refer to it as a historical fantasy.

OUaT: Now that Grave Mercy, Dark Triumph and Mortal Heart are out in the real world, tell us from Annith (Mortal Heart), Sybella (Dark Triumph) and Ismae (Grave Mercy), who did you enjoy writing the most? who was the most difficult? who kept you up at night? or what emotions did these girls cause while writing each of their books.

Ismae was the most sheer fun. I loved being able to walk her through that powerless stage and watch her grab on to these amazing gifts and opportunities she’d been given. Then, just when she thought she had life all figured out, I threw Duval at her and watched her mental gymnastics as she tried to restructure her world.

Writing Sybella’s story was a dark and tortured time for both of us; I will not lie. Those were ten of the longest, hardest months I’ve endured. But one of the things that kept me going was knowing the ending I had in store for her. That and getting Beast on the page with her, because he always brought lightness to her life.

Annith’s story was the hardest for me to write though and kept me up many, many nights. I feel I took the biggest risk with her story—not only wanting to meet all the high reader expectations, but in a fresh, unexpected, some might call subversive, sort of way. That felt very risky and scary.

OUaT: As far as the series goes, do you think if it would have been written as an adult book, would much have changed in your writing style or stayed as they are written? Even though they are young adult books, I feel as if the reader goes through some tough situations and scenes as a YA series.

Interesting question! I think they would probably have stayed much the same, although perhaps I would have kept the door open a little longer on some scenes. :-) But yes, there are some very tough situations in these books. But the truth is, there are many, many teens who face these sorts of situations—and worse—every day. I am not one who believes teens should be protected from reading about these situations as I think reading about them can be hugely enlightening and empowering.

OUaT: You shared with us what happen between last year's book release until Mortal Heart's release. But now can you tell us what we can look forward to from Robin LaFevers in the near future?

Well, definitely more books! And most likely, more books about teen assassins in medieval France because I feel like I’ve only just begun to explore that world.

OUaT: Thank you taking the time out to answer these questions and we wish you continue success.

Mortal Heart
His Fair Assassin #3
Author: Robin LaFevers
Release Date: November 4th 2014
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

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. Really looking forward to this book and the upcoming tour. My daughter and I are going to the Chapel Hill stop and we're both super excited.

  2. Thanks for the giveaway! I haven't started this series yet but I love the sound of these!

  3. I'm excited to conclude this series. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Hi Robin! Thank you for the giveaway!

  5. I really enjoyed Grave Mercy, and then REALLY loved Dark Triumph. Now all I have left to read is Mortal Heart, and I can't wait to get a copy of it! :) Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  6. Can't wait to read this book!!! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  7. I can not wait to read this one! Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph were fantastic! Thank you for the giveaway!

  8. This is hopefully going to be my next audiobook! I love this series so hard!

  9. I am very curious about this series! The new book has a beautiful cover and I can't wait to read them all soon! Thanks!

  10. I've never read this series, but it sounds like one I would like.

  11. I'm so excited to read this! I absolutely adore this series and the strong female characters they feature.


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