I received this ARC from Publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2) by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #2
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on July 7th 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!
Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's 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 barbarians. Now that she lives amongst 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.
How do I even begin this review?!? There was so much I loved about this book. Basically there is no way to avoid spoilers for book one (they’re there in the summary!) so there will be some spoilers about The Kiss of Deception. Beware.
First and foremost: Lia forever. Lia for always. 100% Team Lia! I adore this girl. She is fierce. She adapts. She never gives up. In book one her world was turned upside down… multiple times! And the hits just keep coming. She is now a captive in Venda. All she knows about the kingdom is that they are barbarians. She witnessed their brutality first hand in book one. And I mean, she is a captive! Still, the author does an amazing job of subtly challenging Lia’s perceptions. As Lia spends more and more time in Venda she starts to see that some of the things she saw as barbaric and savage have meanings she never guessed at. (Shout out to fabulous world building and learning more about Venda!) Of course she still wants to escape and of course she has no love for the Komizar. But I love a book that challenges the characters and the readers to see the world in another light.
Rafe and Kaden are still very much present. Now that we know which is which (thanks to the end of book one!) we really get to know and understand more about these guys. Again, looks can be deceiving and things the reader (and Lia!) thought they knew may or may not be true. I was most interested in Lia’s interactions with Rafe. There is more of a history there that they never got a chance to discuss when Lia didn’t know his true identity. But Kaden! I’m so interested in his character. The Komizar has shaped so much of his life but he is really coming into his own.
This review is already getting super long but I have to quick mention the excerpts from the songs, stories, etc… from the kingdoms. This adds another layer to the story that kept me invested. And, stars! Do we learn more about this in book two!!
Danger! Romance! Mystery! Intrigue! What more could you want from a book?!?! The Heart of Betrayal is one of the strongest second-in-a-series books I’ve read. I cannot get enough of The Remnant Chronicles!