It’s time to revisit everyone’s favorite teenage assassin nuns! By that, we mean the characters of Robin LeFevers’ His Fair Assassins trilogy. We have already read and reviewed Grave Mercy (here, here, and here) and Dark Triumph (here, here, and here). In a nutshell, we’re in 15th century Brittany, following the stories of three novitiates at the convent of Saint Mortain, a.k.a. the god of death.
Yeah, it’s bizarre. Just go with it.
The third book of the series follows Annith, who has grown up at the convent after being dropped there as an infant. She is bright, deceptive, and deadly – and she’s determined to find out why her two less skilled friends Ismae and Sybella have already been sent out on missions to save the Duchy of Brittany while she remains on a tight leash at the convent.
Until she sneaks out to find some answers.
Amanda: Did you start Mortal Heart?
Holly: Yes! While I was slow to warm up to the first book, I’m totally hooked by now. I want to know what Annith is going to find out! And, I love her. She is smarter than Ismae and has much better people skills than Sybella. Game on.
Amanda: I tried to explain this book to J, and he was not happen with my description. There is no Catholicism, right?
Amanda: Cool. How far are you? [Trying to see if my sister has already gotten to where Annith has snuck out of the convent and is running around with the hellequin.]
Holly: I wish I could remember some details about the first two books since there’s some overlapping. I am trying to remember if we should know these hellequin.
Holly: [Has not read these yet. Don’t tell my sister.] I am worried about the hellequin. I think they might be dead guys.
[Reads furthers and googles]
The name Harlequin is taken from that of a mischievous “devil” or “demon” character in popular French passion plays. It originates with an Old French term herlequin, hellequin, first attested in the 11th century, by the chronicler Orderic Vitalis, who recounts a story of a monk who was pursued by a troop of demons when wandering on the coast of Normandy at night. These demons were led by a masked, club-wielding giant and they were known as familia herlequin (var. familia herlethingi). This medieval French version of the Germanic Wild Hunt, Mesnée d’Hellequin, has been connected to the English figure of Herla cyning (“host-king”; German Erlkönig) Hellequin was depicted a black-faced emissary of the devil, roaming the countryside with a group of demons chasing the damned souls of evil people to Hell.
Yes, these are definitely dead guys.
Amanda: Well I’m a bit more nervous about the hellequin I have to say. I think Annith is awesome and I can’t wait to see her get a chance to kick some ass!
Now I really don’t want to talk anymore – I really need to get back to reading this. (Alternating with Dumplin’ and I’m doubly in love!)