The Heart of Betrayal by Mary. E Pearson
Book 2 in The Remnant Chronicles trilogy
Genre: YA fantasy
Format: hardback, library
I really enjoyed The Kiss of Deception, and I was excited to start The Heart of Betrayal. Unfortunately, I didn’t think it was quite as great.
The intricacy and fast pace from the first book was maintained in this one, but I feel like parts of the originality were lost. Not very much of Lia’s gift was explored, but it was more prominent than in The Kiss of Deception — although it seems to me that it’s made Lia into an average protagonist with a special gift meant to save everyone. It was also revealed what the Komizar was planning, and both the plan and the reasoning behind it felt like something I’d read before.
I’m happy to say that my love and respect for Lia increased in this book. She was witty, calculating, and a considerably better fighter. She was also far less reckless, but she still had a hint of rebellion. She wouldn’t be Lia if she didn’t. 😛 I admired her courage, especially toward the Vendans in the beginning, but really just throughout the book. I also loved the card game scene; it was one of my favorites for some odd reason, even though I predicted the outcome. I think my favorite thing about Lia, though, was that she was still kind to the servants and people in general, so long as they hadn’t done anything to her. After finishing this book, I can say that she’s slowly but surely making her way up my list of favorite female protagonists. 😀
I also liked Rafe. He was cunning and quick on his feet, but he was also loyal and never lost sight of his end goal or his feelings for Lia. I have to say, though, that I didn’t start to feel this way until a little over halfway through the book. Until that point, I was neutral toward him. The exception to that was occasional irritation whenever he tried to tell Lia what to do. Regardless, he definitely redeemed himself, and I hope he doesn’t mess that up. 😉
I didn’t like Kaden nearly as much. He was also quick and cunning, but I found him considerably more irritating. I also thought that he was the Assassin more through title than action in this book, because he was so head-over-heels in love with Lia and dedicated to protecting her. That also confused me — he was so worried about her, and yet at times he seemed to not care at all, or say things just to spite her. He didn’t really change until the very end, and by then I just couldn’t bring myself to like him.
My least favorite character was the Komizar, the new antagonist. He was a strong character, but I despised him. He was cold, menacing, and power-hungry, and he only treated Lia well because he wanted her to help his cause. While he wasn’t my favorite antagonist, he was one that you loved to hate, and I think he definitely got what he deserved. The fact that Lia tricked him into it made it even better. 😀
I also want to mention that Aster was by far my favorite side character. She was so shy but so sweet and determined to help Lia, and I loved her. What happened to her was really sad, and especially because she only ever had innocent intentions. ❤
This book took place entirely in Venda, and it was described very well. It was a poor, starving, vicious country built on ruins and full of twists and turns. It was a huge contrast to Civica and Terravin, and definitely my least favorite of the three. However, I have to admit that it seemed to be pretty in a twisted, terrible sort of way, and I think it would be beautiful if it was in better condition.
Friendships were few and far between for Lia, but she did form a bond with Aster and I loved it. They became good friends in a short time, and I think Lia thought of Aster as both a friend and a younger sister. ❤
There was also a love square in this book, between Lia, Rafe, Kaden, and the Komizar. For the majority of the book I didn’t like the idea of any of them with Lia, but in roughly the last quarter of the book I liked Rafe more and more. Currently he’s my favorite of the three, and the one I hope Lia ends up with. I don’t think Kaden deserves Lia after getting her into this mess in the first place and treating her poorly throughout this book, and I never thought the Komizar did. While reading the last chunk of the book, I came to realize something — the Komizar was roughly 17 when he came across 8-year-old Kaden. Kaden is currently about 19, which puts the Komizar in his mid or late twenties, and Lia is only 17. The idea of him and Lia together seems kind of weird to me, given their age difference of 8+ years. Did that occur to anyone else? Or am I missing something and completely wrong?
This wasn’t a really wild ride. It was more of Lia learning about Venda and strategizing, so not too much happened. However, there were still two things I considered twists — Kaden’s backstory and Lia’s action in the very end.
I was surprised to learn about Kaden’s past, but I didn’t think it was very original. It felt like he was trying to use the tragedy he’d gone through to excuse the position he’d taken up, and I didn’t like that.
What Lia did in the end made me happy, and although that probably makes me seem twisted, I think it was definitely the right thing to do and I liked her more after she did that. 😀
I’m not including the Komizar’s proposition to Lia because I did see that coming, so it didn’t have the effect on me that it was likely intended to have.
If you’ve read The Kiss of Deception, you’ll know that Pauline set off to do something dangerous in the end. There were only a handful of chapters from her perspective in this book, so I didn’t get to find out as much as I’d wanted to about how she was doing. I was kind of disappointed by that, because I really liked her.
There was also something that kind of confused me — the Vendans had servants. That might not seem like a big deal, but it’s mentioned plenty of times that the country is struggling and that they don’t have royals. So even if they aren’t paid, why do they have servants? I thought only royals had servants, and I also wondered why everyone wasn’t taking care of themselves. Vendans are supposed to be brutal and barbaric, but they don’t get their own food? It just seemed odd to me.
The Heart of Betrayal was a good book, but I thought the plot lost some of its originality, the love interests were hardly appealing, and nothing happened that surprised me. I have to admit, this sequel was slightly disappointing, in my opinion. I may or may not pick up The Beauty of Darkness when it’s released.
my rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? If you have read it, what did you think? I’d love to know! 🙂
I’ll be starting The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton next! 😀
Until next time…