For the first book to be such a challenge to get into, The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2) by Mary E. Pearson, was a giant step forward in the right direction!
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.
- The Komizar – I love a really fleshed out bad guy, who’s complicated and evil in the most intense ways. The best bad guy is the one who doesn’t realize that he’s the bad guy, the one that truly believes that what he’s doing is the right thing. If you’re a fan of The Darkling from The Grisha Trilogy or The Mage in Carry On, then you’ll appreciate the Komizar too!
- Lia’s character development – Lia was pretty strong and independent in the first book (I mean she did run away from her own royal wedding), but she came into her own fully in this book. Watching her accept her life in Venda and connect with it was really fascinating.
- Plot – Instead of focusing on the romance and keeping Lia hidden, this book finally dove into the politics of the three kingdoms. We were able to learn more about this world itself, and how the past was connected to Lia and her Gift. You could definitely tell that this book was leading up to something really big.
- Rafe – I felt that Rafe kind of had a Tamlin moment in this book. I understand that the situation was very intense and dangerous, but I don’t think it justified him becoming so controlling. He stopped trusting Lia and wouldn’t try to understand what her connection with Venda was.
- Slow start – As was the case with the first book, The Kiss of Deception, this one was a little slow in the beginning. For the first 100 pages or so, not a whole lot happened. It wasn’t as bad as the previous book, but I feel like there was still some room for improvement there.
I know I was a little hesitant to continue this series after my struggle with the first book, I am really glad that I stuck with it. This book definitely grabbed my attention and made me hungry to see what was going to happen next. And really, what else can you ask for in a book?
Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars
What are your thoughts on this book? Do you agree or disagree with me?