Title: The Heart of Betrayal
Series: The Remnant Chronicles
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date: July 7th, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
At the end of The Kiss of Deception all was revealed. Kaden is actually an assassin. Rafe is the prince of Dalbreck. And all three are headed into Venda—the barbarian kingdom where Lia and Rafe have little chance of survival or escape.
I thought some parts of the first book were very generic and surface, but Mary E. Pearson’s writing in The Heart of Betrayal book is phenomenal. Her wording is eloquent, descriptive, and just really fits with the old-word fantasy setting. The only comment I can make is the pacing could’ve been a little faster.
This book is very different setting-wise than The Kiss of Deception. It takes place almost solely in Venda—the supposed barbarian kingdom. And I say supposed because in this book it becomes apparent that a lot of what has been told about Venda are myths or misunderstandings. The kingdom was actually really interesting, and I enjoyed the setting more than that of Terravain in the first book. First, just the general structure of the Sanctum—the capitol of Venda—was described beautifully—full of old dilapidated buildings and markets. There’s also a unique power system of Komizar, counsel, and clans. Plus, Venda has these really unique and meaningful customs.
Seeing Lia in a hostile setting was great—it really pushed her to keep developing. Her main goal in Venda is survival, and she does so by any means. She learns to keep what she cares about close to her heart where the ruthless Komizar can’t see it, and to deceive even those closest to her. That being said, she’s still kind to those who deserve it. Her kavah and gift intrigue the clans people and Lia quickly gets adopted by a few.
Speaking of Lia’s gift, it appears full force in this sequel. She understands it a lot more and isn’t just playing at having the gift. It starts with just sentences and words of advice but quickly turns into more than I think anyone ever thought of. Related to the gift, Lia has translated all of “The Song of Venda,” and it appears to be the really interesting prophecy aimed at her.
The Komizar was an amazing villain. He’s cruel, calculating, and hungry for power and status. As I mentioned he is the ruler of Venda. You find out that Venda is not a monarchy, but rather their ruler is picked by who kills the previous ruler. The current Komizar has the longest reign in Venda’s history. He also has a history with Kaden that makes them very loyal to each other—a potential problem for Lia.
Rafe manages to get into Venda under the guise of an ambassador from Dalbreck. This doesn’t fool Lia though, and she quickly uncovers that he is the prince. The deception and all the “ifs” get to both of them and put tension on their relationship. I liked Rafe, but I didn’t love him in this book. I just feel like I saw both Lia and Kaden more. My feelings for him really didn’t develop past what I felt for him at the end of the last book.
I loved getting Kaden’s backstory in The Heart of Betrayal. I knew there was so much more to him after the last book, because he didn’t treat Lia like the rest of his group. I didn’t necessarily start rooting for him to be Lia’s love interest, but the farther I got into the book the less I minded the idea of him ending up with Lia.
The Heart of Betrayal is by far one of my favorite sequels. I was on the edge of my seat, trying to figure out how my favorites were going to survive and escape. You can find it on Amazon and the author at marypearson.com. Give it a read and let me know what you think in the comments. Plus leave recommendations for my next book!