It’s been a while since I read The Heart of Betrayal, so I had to read an in-depth recap of the events of the last two books. Good thing, too! So much stuff happens in this third and final book!
Title: The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles #3)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release date: 687 pages (U.S. hardcover)
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “Lia has survived Venda—but so has a great evil bent on the destruction of Morrighan. And only Lia can stop it.
With war on the horizon, Lia has no choice but to assume her role as First Daughter, as soldier—as leader. While she struggles to reach Morrighan and warn them, she finds herself at cross-purposes with Rafe and suspicious of Kaden, who has hunted her down.
In this conclusion to the Remnant Chronicles trilogy, traitors must be rooted out, sacrifices must be made, and impossible odds must be overcome as the future of every kingdom hangs in the balance.”
Wow, this book was long. Okay, so I listened to it via audiobook, and definitely enjoyed it. There was a different narrator for each of the four main characters: Lia, Rafe, Kaden, and Pauline.
What I loved most about this was how amazing Lia was! She’s a fantastic female heroine, and I love how she stood her ground and did not take anyone’s crap! She has such confidence in herself, which I quite admire. Her romance, too, with Rafe is quite steamy, and I loved every minute of it, hehe. But worst part in all of this is how Lia and Rafe lack to communicate in the earlier chapters. Granted, Rafe does get a lot put on his shoulders all at once, which changes the dynamic a bit, but Lia does not put up with any of it. She has a goal and is determined, and won’t let anyone get in the way of it.
So, Lia does eventually return to Morrighan, after being branded a traitor and has a prize on her head and for anyone who knows her whereabouts. Pauline, one of Lia’s trusted friends, is also in Morrighan and knows the dangers of Lia’s return. Honestly, I’m still struggling to understand the point of Pauline’s situation. I mean, I liked how she got over her prejudice about Vendans (thanks to Kaden, I imagine). I understand she’s a good friend to Lia as well, but other than that, I don’t really care for her.
One of my favorite characters was also Kaden. He goes to Morrighan with Lia and wants to know more about his past since he was born in Morrighan. He finds more than he bargains for, that’s for sure, but he hones his hatred for the better.
There’s a lot of politics, in terms of intrigue, scheming, and games. But it’s used to Lia’s advantage. Those who saw her only as the princess and nothing more are proved wrong multiple times over. Even the preconceived notions Lia had about her own parents are turned on their head and vice versa. Lia is also smart, so she is able to work her way around the advisors and people whom she thought were for her.
I enjoyed the world-building. It’s rich and vibrant, and I’m even more excited to see what else Pearson has in store. Her next novel, Dance of Thieves, is set in the same world as The Remnant Chronicles and speaks of a Queen of Venda… So I wonder if it’s the person I’m thinking of… Anyway, that brings me to the ending… It definitely didn’t go where I thought it was, granted I knew that Lia wouldn’t go along with Rafe. Truthfully (and kind of spoiler-ish), she doesn’t really go with Kaden either in the romantic sense. She forges a path of her own, completely different than what others had planned for her.