A few weeks back I had the utmost pleasure of reading and reviewing The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson.
Given that I fell absolutely head over heals for the world Pearson spun, it should come as no shock that upon finishing The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1), I began reading its sequel, The Heart of Betrayal.
Did The Heart of Betrayal live up to its predecessor? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
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The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt (July 7, 2015)
Print Length: 470 pages
Audiobook Length: 13 hrs and 45 mins
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 Heart of Betrayal is one of those rare sequels that takes what the previous installment established, turns it on its head, and is a better book because of it.
Taking place directly following the conclusion of The Kiss of Deception, The Heart of Betrayal follows Lia, Rafe, Kaden, and Pauline as they try to come to grips with the events of the last novel while doing everything in their power to survive in a world that conspires against them.
As far as plot goes, The Heart of Betrayal kept a decent pace the entire way through. I understood the inclusion of somethings while others kind of fell by the wayside. The only thing I’m a little apprehensive of, given that it wasn’t show to have much clout in The Kiss of Deception, is the ‘gift’ subplot. In the first novel, Lia fakes the gift, only for it to become somewhat tangent in The Heart of Betrayal. Hopefully in the conclusion to ‘The Remnant Chronicles’, The Beauty of Darkness, it makes sense as to why Pearson chose to include this when so many other subplots were just as interesting.
Pearson really stepped up her game when it came to character growth in The Heart of Betrayal. Lia took all the qualities that made her a stand out protagonist in The Kiss of Deception and exemplified them further. She faces some pretty tough decisions in this novel, most coming with pretty steep consequences, but is able to approach them logically for the sake of herself, those she loves, and the country she is trying to protect. The love triangle between Lia, Rafe, and Kaden, while very much prevalent in this sequel, started to lean towards an endgame that I was happy with. Rafe and Kaden’s characters continued to take strides towards ‘The Remnant Chronicles’ conclusion, but I want to speak specifically about two characters for a moment, Pauline and the Komizar.
First things first, while I understand the inclusion of Pauline’s chapters are to show how Lia’s decisions are directly impacting events taking place in Civica, I felt as if Pearson could have saved Pauline’s perspective for The Beauty of Darkness instead of muddling up an already busy novel such as this. I just hope that in the concluding novel Pauline is able to shine more, instead of just being a plot devise used to relay to the reader small snip its of goings on in Civica. The Komizar on the other hand did his job and got completely under my skin. With an already established love triangle the inclusion of the Komizar really pushed my buttons. He was abrasive, abusive, and crass. Because of these reasons and more I absolutely loved how the novel ended. If only more villains got their comeuppance the way the Komizar did.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
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And that is my review for Mary E. Pearson’s The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2). Have you read any well loved fantasy series? Leave your recommendation below and help my TBR grow.