Title: The Heart of Betrayal
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, #2
Format: Hardback, owned
My rating: 4 / 5
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.
-- As seen on Goodreads
This review will probably end up being a little vaguer than I’d like: I’m afraid of spilling huge spoilers everywhere, and I really want to make this as spoiler-free as I possibly can for The Heart of Betrayal! So, yes, this will be kind of vague, and a bit shorter than I expected.
I really enjoyed reading this book, but not quite as much as its predecessor. The writing style is as awesome as ever, and I really loved the way Venda was described. I was really looking forward to finding out more about the kingdom and their customs, and if the rest of the trilogy is set there, I’ll be very happy. But… in comparison to the first book, the story didn’t hold my attention as much as I was expecting. I was completely wrapped up in the mystery between the Prince and the Assassin, and now that that little dilemma has been taken care of, the anticipation has evaporated. In honesty, I thought the story was a tad plot-light overall, and if it wasn’t for Kaden’s awesome characterisation, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much. We get to see quite a bit of his backstory, and it only helped confirm that he’s my favourite character in the trilogy.
On the surface, Lia is a great character that I should love with all my heart, yet I don’t know why I have such a love/hate relationship with her. She can be so awesome, but also insanely infuriating and stupid. She’s a masterful liar and manipulator, but I can’t help feeling she’s lying to herself more than anyone else. She tries very hard to convince herself of her own lies, and they become truths in her mind. Take Rafe, for an example. Maybe I’m completely wrong, but she takes every opportunity to convince herself she’s in love with him. If she’s really in love she won’t need to remind herself every five freaking minutes! And honestly, I’m surprised she wasn’t killed a half-dozen times in this book. Thank you, Kaden, for putting your neck on the line yet again. And speaking of Kaden, don’t get me started on how she treats him! … Oh okay, twist my arm. Why is she so unwilling to forgive him? Umm, I hate to point it out, Lia, but he’s an assassin – being able to deceive is part of his job description! Yet Rafe, the jilted Prince, told twice as many lies, and he gets forgiven straight away? Guess its twu wuv then. *Rolls eyes.* I was sort of neutral toward Rafe going into this book, but after reading, I’m not on Rafe’s side. I can’t put my finger on why, exactly, but I don’t trust him. Something just doesn’t feel right about his character. Just a feeling though, I’m probably wrong.
I guess, my feelings about The Heart of Betrayal, and for the final book in the trilogy, will come down to two different directions the story might go in, and which one I personally want to read about: Option A: The Princess falls in love with the Prince, and they live happily ever after. Or. Option B: The Princess falls in love with an Assassin from an enemy Kingdom, the entire world is plunged into chaos, and the only hope of peace rests in the hands of the two star-crossed lovers. Gee, I wonder which option I’ll choose…
Overall, The Heart of Betrayal was an enjoyable continuation in the Remnant Chronicles, but it didn’t quite live up to the highs of its predecessor. This book did end on a really explosive note, though, and can’t wait to find out how it all concludes. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention a certain little vision. That better happen! *Rubs hands in anticipation.*