Review: The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson

Published: July 7th 2015 by Henry Holt
 Rating: 4 out of 5


Available from: DepositoryBarnes and Noble



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.



I read this in a day and I was gripped by the story of Lia and the Komizar, and how Kaden and Rafe would each play a part at the downfall of Venda. But, as always, nothing was it seemed.

I was pleasantly surprised by this sequel as, mostly, sequels tend to run out of story and use fillers to even the flow. But Ms Pearson used the story of Venda to open up our characters minds to the givings and misgivings of its leader and the people. And both are very different from what our main character, Lia, thought in good ways and bad.

Lia is glorified prisoner, staying in Kaden's chambers. She knows the Komizar is only keeping her alive because of her gift so she fakes it a few times to keep herself alive. She's found new allies in the Vendan people. Gradually, as she learns Vendan history is a close cousin to Morrighan's, she begins to understand the story she's being told thanks to her gift. She believes the Vendan people are good and starts telling them stories from a very old text book. The crowds of Vendans soon grows and soon she has a great deal of clout against the Komizar. The Komizar decides to even this faith out he must marry Lia. She, seemingly, agrees much to Rafe and Kaden's horror.

Rafe is pretending he's an emissary of the crown prince of Dalbreck, which is who he actually is. His job is to stay alive also by quietly colluding with the Komizar to gain favour. He witnesses Lia's change, but also begins to realise how much he loves her and their romance expands. Secretly his men are infiltrating the city and at the right time he will escape with Lia far beyond Vendan borders.

Kaden is the Komizar's brother in arms, a Rahtan, a chosen elite guard who the Komizar rescued from a young boy. The problem is the Komizar holds this over Kaden's head at every opportunity. Kaden holds his allegiance despite his feelings for Lia, but when the Komizar announces his plans to marry Lia, Kaden believes the Komizar has stepped too far and breached their friendship.

Now, with Lia telling the Vendans the true story of their past, and Rafe and Kaden both looking for opportunities to remove Lia from a hostile palace, the clock is ticking. Will Lia get out in time? Will the Komizar descend Venda into war against Lia's own people. Will they get out alive?

As always with high fantasy you have to read the whole book, and to keep the story straight in your mind, you cannot skim this one. The swing between tales of ancients, the Venda story, and Morrighans own sad tale begins to take president in Lia and her gift grows exponentially. She's now more devout than ever, a true believer, and the Vendan people love her for it. For once they see a leader who believes in them and the root of who they are.

While those three are playing politics in Venda, Pauline and Gwyneth secret get into Morrighan. The King is dying of grief, after the news of his eldest son's slaughter and stories that Lia has betrayed her kingdom and also killed her own older brother. The stories are coming from deceivers inside the royal palace. Pauline knows she has to get to Lia's brothers and tell them the truth before they officially confirm Lia as a traitor. Pauline and Gwyneth play their own game of intrigue outside the palace.

In HoB there is a lot going on, sometimes all at the same time so the narratives do overlap giving us the opportunity to see things from two sides. The story doesn't stop, get boring and momentum picks up and up and doesn't stop until the final page.

HoB is definitely more earthy as if you can live and breathe with the people from Venda, and out of all I've read so far, I actually enjoyed this book more than the first. Whilst the spiritual side of Lia's growth didn't interest me it was the combining of the old stories and new, a short telling of history repeating itself, which I enjoyed the most.

As for the romance, Lia has chosen her side and no one is in any doubt. She loves Rafe, and he really loves her. But what of Kaden?

The dramatic ending will have you reaching for the next book, and hoping all our favourite characters actually live. Once things for sure, nothing is for sure.



About the Author

Mary E. Pearson is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of ten novels.  Her works include her latest trilogy, The Kiss of Deception, The Heart of Betrayal, and the forthcoming The Beauty of Darkness which will be published in August. The Adoration of Jenna Fox, and the other books in the series have been optioned for film, and A Room on Lorelei Street was a Golden Kite Award Winner. She writes full-time from her home office in California where she lives with her husband.

You can find Mary E. Pearson here:


Follow and Like to Read More Bookworm Blogger #YA Reviews:


No comments:

Post a Comment

I love hearing from fellow readers. Write a message!