{Review} THE HEART OF BETRAYAL by Mary E. Pearson

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

    I had thought that was all it would take.
    A knife in the gut.
    A firm twist for good measure.
    But as Venda swallowed me up, as the misshapen walls and hundreds of curious faces closed in, as I heard the clatter of chains and the bridge lowering behind me, cutting me off from the rest of the world, I knew my steps had to be certain.
    It was going to take many acts, not just one, every step renegotiated. Lies would have to be told. Confidences gained. Ugly lines crossed. All of it patiently woven together, and patience wasn't my strong suit.

“When you think you’re at the end of your rope, give it three more days. And then another three. Sometimes you’ll find the rope is longer than you thought.” 


WAIT, STOP!!!! Did you read the first book in The Remnants Chronicles, THE KISS OF DECEPTION, yet? IF YOUR ANSWER IS NO, read this review instead!

If you read about THE HEART OF BETRAYAL before you actually read the first book, you'll severely spoil the story for yourself....and it's such a good series that you don't want to do that!!!!

And EVERYONE should check out this fun interview with Mary E. Pearson!

OKAY, NOW WE'RE ENTERING THE BOOK 2 SPOILER ZONE. With, you know, as few actual SPOILERS as possible. But spoiling Book One? Oh yeah, it's on!!!!

THE KISS OF DECEPTION was one of my favorite novels of 2014, and THE HEART OF BETRAYAL was one of my favorite novels of 2015--and had one of my favorite kissing scenes of the year! I love The Remnant Chronicles so much, and am so sad that it's ending this year. When I went to grab and re-post my review, I was shocked to see that I'd never reviewed it the first time around. How that happened, I don't know. (My guess would be that I got greedy and read the ARC super early, then couldn't remember enough to cobble a good review together. But I just re-read it, so I'll rectify that injustice now!)

While THE KISS OF DECEPTION started off slow and focused on mystery--Who was the prince and who was the assassin?--THE HEART OF BETRAYAL drops readers straight into action--and there is action throughout the book. Deception is still running high, but this time, it's a fight for survival. Lia must convince the court and Venda's  Komizar that she feels nothing for Rafe, who foolishly followed her to her death. And Rafe must convince the Komizar of his importance if he wishes to survive in order to orchestrate an escape. Kaden, on the other hand, is toeing the line of the Komizar's good graces. He wants to protect Lia, but he also wants to serve his country. The web of lies that these characters tell themselves--and others--is getting tighter, and the outcome is becoming deadlier.

One thing I really love about The Remnant Chronicles is the breath of tradition that Mary E. Pearson brings so vividly to life. From the intricacy of wedding kavahs to the way Venda honors the bones of fallen animals before meals and creates words with intricate meanings such as Paviamma. I love the way these moments flesh out a culture and make everything seem more genuine, pulling me even further into the story.

There really isn't much I can say about this book without giving so much away about the characters and their motivations. I've read this twice now, and it has taken my breath away both times and made me so incredibly eager for THE BEAUTY OF DARKNESS. If you love fantasy that keeps you guessing or that builds upon itself, I highly recommend adding The Remnant Chronicles to your TBR!

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG13 ( kissing; innuendo. Lia is held captive and forced to live in Kaden's bedroom, but nothing happens and he only implies it does when people ask )
Language: PG ( some innuendo about wedding nights, etc. )
Violence: PG13+ ( Non-graphic, but depictions of the ways traitors are tortured and killed,as well as deaths during an uprising. )
Other:  --
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

These covers are so pretty!!! I really like the series/title treatment. It adds a little "special" to these covers.

 I also like the way the only color is the dress, and everything else is bleak and drab. It makes so much sense for this book! And that setting that she's looking at...!!!! 

I really enjoy this cover!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Mary E. Pearson
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt // Macmillan
Received: Originally For Review,
but I just re-read my own purchased copy
& am reviewing that version!

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.