Initially, I planned to read this book back in April when Mary was at the North Texas Teen Book Festival. I wanted to get her books signed as well, but unfortunately, that never happened. By the time I finished getting multiple books signed by multiple authors, there wasn’t enough time to have Mary sign these books. Sad day!
However, I finally got to read the book, and I’m glad that I waited until after the third and final book was released. The cliffhanger at the end of this book was ridiculously. Now I’m going to try to breeze through my August TBR (haha) so I can read The Beauty of Darkness.
Spoiler-free review like always! 🙂
Title: The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Release date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Length: 470 pages (hardback)
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia’s life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.
Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There’s Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny.”
My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Seriously. Especially with that cliffhanger.
This sequel has to be one of the best I’ve read, and that’s really saying something. It doesn’t suffer from what some would call “second book slump” which is normally just a lot of info-dumping and characters don’t get anywhere. This book? Not like it at all. Sure, we get a lot of information but the main character, seventeen-year-old Lia, is in a new country. She’s brought to Venda, in front of the country’s leader, the Komizar, and with her is her would-be Assassin, Kaden, and the Crown Prince of Dalbreck, Rafe, under the guise of an emissary of the Dalbreck court.
I really, truly enjoyed this book. I loved The Kiss of Deception too but I love this book even more. The world building, the writing, the pure fantasy, made me giddy. To me, this is high fantasy at its best. I don’t mind the multiple POVs although I couldn’t quite understand the point of Pauline’s POV. I knowher chapters revealed vital information but she hardly had any, so I wasn’t as invested in her as I was with Lia, Kaden, or Rafe.
Pearson does a brilliant job weaving prophecy throughout the story. There’s a passage from a prophecy at the end of the book and I’m like, “OMG. WHAT?!” But I sort of saw it coming and I wonder if my suspicion is at all correct. We will see! I was a little confused in regards to Kaden and Lia’s connection. I wonder how it will affect the outcome in the third and final book.
Lia is a strong female character. She seems so much more mature than she was in the previous book. She has a sharp mind and always keeps her wits about her despite the Komizar using her. She weaves her own web of lies and deceit even for Kaden and Rafe and even towards the end, I’m not sure who she truly loves (though I’m rooting for Rafe personally 😀 ). At this point, I’m not even sure Lia wants to return home to Morrighan.
I hope the final book is just as good and even better! I can’t wait to see how the series ends!