Title: The Heart of Betrayal
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #2
If even possible – the sequel outdid the first one!
This review will contain mild spoilers, so if you haven’t read the first book yet, The Kiss of Deception, then avert your eyes!
Here we go!
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.
(Thanks to Goodreads for the blurb)
It is quite common that the sequel in a series is not as good as the first one or the ones after it, but sometimes you find these rare gems where they story is propelled forward, action ensues, pages are flipped in eager anticipation of what’s to come and The Heart of Betrayal is no exception – It is phenomenal!
We start off right where we left off at the end of The Kiss of Deception and flung right into the Sanctum – the centre of the Kingdom or “Komizardom” of Venda, where our hero Lia and her heart, Rafe, are forced apart, having to keep up lies and deceit in order to stay alive.
Lia is kept in Kaden’s chambers, much to her dismay, but the time spent alone together the two manages to get closer to each other, but sadly not for the same reason.
So this series is another one of those love triangles (there is one more guy involved in this book, but let’s shush about him because, well, he’s technically not really a contestant) – we have Kaden and Rafe, both vying for Lia’s heart, yet us readers, who knows what Lia’s thinking and feeling, already know there’s not really a competition, which in turn, in my case at least, makes me feel sad about Kaden’s attempts of capturing the fallen Princess’ heart.
The pacing of the story in this book is steady, though compared to its size, not a lot of time passes. The most important things happen in a span of a week, but that also makes you eager to get to the end because you have the feeling that something big will happen – basically it can go of either two ways at the end of this book and a part of me wanted the other thing to happen. Yes. I’ll leave you with that.
As for the characters, we get more in depth with both Kaden and Rafe, but I felt we got a bigger piece of Kaden, because there was a lot of his backstory to discover to make us understand him and his actions a lot better – and boy did we get juicy intel on our complex assassin.
For Lia, it was her time to get more in tune with her gift, to understand it better and when to expect it, as well as discovering unsettling things about her home, but most importantly, what is to come of it after the Komizar has revealed his plans to her.
Which brings us to this new fella – the Komizar and ruler of Venda. This dude rules with an iron fist, has no apparent emotion and could be a bit of a masochist, but all combined with his interest in Lia, makes him that more exhilarating and exciting to read about.
I mean, there’s a reason why bad boys are a hot commodity in YA novels, making him an ideal villain.
Overall, a strong sequel to an already incredible trilogy and I am over the moon excited to start on the third and final book, The Beauty of Darkness, to find out how it all ends, because with the size of that brick book, A LOT is bound to happen – and I can’t wait!
So, do I recommend this book?
Duh – HELL YES!
For obvious reasons – to those that enjoyed The Kiss of Deception like myself.