THE HEART OF BETRAYAL
Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #2
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release date: July 7th 2015
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.
We made it this far.
The Heart of Betrayal picks up right where The Kiss of Deception left off, and it still carries most of the problems I had with the first installment. The main character is reckless, the love triangle continues to be the focus of the novel, the slow pace at the beginning makes it feel like nothing is happening, and things only pick up during the last few chapters.
Mary E. Pearson is a good writer. The short chapters and narrative are very easy to follow, making this a book one can easily read in one sitting if they enjoy the story. The problem is that the plot and its execution do nothing for me as a reader, and the only exciting parts happen only at the very end.
I’d say this book is only slightly better than the first one because the stakes are higher and there is a definite feel of danger throughout the entire story, as Lia and Rafe find themselves taken prisoners and brought to Venda. And the ending is also very exciting and kind of scary as well.
Otherwise? This is just as boring as its predecessor. There are a lot of dinners, clothes shopping, more dinners, talk about clothes… During the first half of the book it just very much seems like nothing of worth is happening.
Lia as a main character is still very difficult to like. At the very beginning of the book it seemed like she’d get some character development and stop being so reckless, but that is quickly dismissed as she continues to have no common sense.
And I guess, the thing about this series is that its entire focus seems to be on the love triangle between Lia, Rafe, and Kaden. It takes over most of the plot, as Lia goes between one of them to the other. Things get even more complicated between the three of them as one of the subplots develops, which is not a positive aspect in this book.
We get very little about the world-building and what’s been happening, although there are some good descriptions about the city of Venda. This also makes the love triangle element kind of a mess, since there are obviously more important things for Lia to be worrying about than boys.
So overall, I’m still disappointed with the series as a whole. It is going in a direction I don’t very much care for, and I didn’t connect to any of the characters. I might give the third installment, The Beauty of Darkness, a chance, at least to see how it all ends. I will say that YA Fantasy fans who like love triangles and romance-focused books should definitely pick this up, though, as they might fall in love with the story in a way I, sadly, didn’t.