The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson 

It’s fair to say I wasn’t massively impressed with The Kiss of Deception, the first book in The Remnant Chronicles. I usually love fantasy novels, but I just couldn’t get into the story, and I found it difficult to connect with the characters. 

I bought beautiful hardback copies of all three books in the series, so I decided to give the series a chance and read the second novel.

From the blurb:

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’m going to start off by saying that this is so much better than the first book! It was addictive, and I couldn’t put it down.

The story picks up where we left the characters at the end of book one; Lia has been kidnapped by Kaden, the Vendan assassin. Rafe, Prince of Dalbrek allows himself to be captured so that he can protect Lia. 

Rafe & Lia are forced to be part of an act, a deception to fool the Komizar, the leader of Venda. If the Komizar finds out that Rafe is the Crown prince of an enemy kingdom, and that Lia is in love with him, all of their lives will be in danger.

The character of the Komizar is a brilliant introduction to the story, the reader really needed a villain to provide some conflict, and I love to loathe that guy!

In the beginning of the book Lia acknowledges that she is using Kaden’s feelings for her to manipulate him, and even though she is fond of him, it is Rafe that she loves. I was really glad, because I get fed up of long drawn out “love triangles”, where the heroine yoyo’s back and forth between two men and refuses to choose (yes I mean you, Stephanie Plum -it’s obviously Morelli, stop dicking around with Ranger). 

I became imersed in tbe story straight away, and picked up book 3 immediately after finishing Heart of Betrayal, even though it was 1.30am and 672 pages long! Eek. 

I still think the world and back story could be fleshed out a bit more. I want to know more about the ancients, the event that transpired, the significance of the first daughter and what “the remnant” actually is. My understanding is that the remnant is literally the remains of civilisation, after some sort of catastrophic astronomical event wiped out most of the people on Earth, but it is never fully explained. 

Let me know your thoughts on this series in the comments below.


Stephani Xxx

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