THE HEART OF BETRAYAL by Mary E. PearsonThe Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #2
Also in this series: The Kiss of Deception
Published by Macmillan on July 7th 2015
Pages: 480
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Dystopian
Also by this author: The Kiss of Deception
ARC provided by Henry Holt and Company, Macmillan

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Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape . . . and even less of being together.
Desperate to save her life, Lia's erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komisar that she has a magical gift, and the Komisar's interest in Lia is greater than either Kaden or Lia foresaw.
Meanwhile, the foundations of Lia's deeply-held beliefs are crumbling beneath her. Nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to her, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom she always believed to be barbarians but whom she now realizes are people who have been terribly brutalized by the kingdoms of Dalbreck and Morrighan. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her very sense of self, Lia will have to make powerful choices that affect her country, her people . . . and her own destiny.

The Heart of Betrayal, Book 2 in the Remnant Chronicles is finally here! What am I going to tell you without spoiling all the fun? I have to gush a little bit before I get to the review. This book was almost as good as The Kiss of Deception.

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**This review contains spoilers for the first book in the series The Kiss of Deception**

Lia finds herself in the city of Venda. Quickly she find that this is nothing like her home or even the place she tried to make her home. There is no escape from this city of barbarians. Lia is a curiosity to the peoples of this place. To some she is an angel coming to make things better, and to others she is a thorn in the side. She faces the Komisar who decides he has something better planned for her. Rafe is in their hands now, but so is she. Kaden is trying to keep Lia alive but her tongue is getting her the wrong kind of attention. Lia’s friend Pauline is on a journey of her own to try to save Lia from the grasp of the barbarians. With switching perspectives we get Lia, Rafe, Kaden, and Pauline’s experiences and trials throughout the story.

I found this fast paced follow-up just as riveting as the first book with a few things that irked me. Going right into the action, Lia is in so much trouble. She really can’t do much as a prisoner, but she still manages to get into even more of a mess. She holds some major grudges in this book and for good reason. I loved seeing her use her wit to gain favor with people and enact her vengeance on others. Rafe’s position is pretty precarious as well. He is an emissary, and not a trusted one either. We see him lie to save face and make a few enemies during is stay in Venda as well. There are so many lies in this book it is hard to know when people are telling the truth.

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But let’s get to the triangle that has formed. Somehow, things get even more muddled for Lia in this story. She only wants Rafe, right? Right? Bit then things between Lia and Kaden is starting to cross a line for me. Just then the Komisar steps in and thwarts everything. This guy does the unthinkable and everyone is going to end up with a broken heart. I have to admit, I almost rooted for the wrong team in this book. It was really fun to see Lia transform from the brat princess who just wanted to get out of arranged marriage, to a very crafty woman of the people. Lia spins a few lies to make Kaden fall for her and things get pretty cloudy with everyone putting on a show for everyone else. Her heart is not as confused as I am. I just don’t know what I would do in her position.

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Pauline makes a lot of progress in this story. I can’t tell you what she discovers or really anything about her tale, you just need to read this to find out. Her part of the story ending with her pretty angry, and I am sorry but I can’t say anything else. I am really worried about her though. Things back in Morrighan get kinda ugly and she is a wanted criminal.

The fantasy element in this world kicked up a notch as Lia starts to really understand and use her gift. She does a lot of pretending in the first book, but in this story, we see Lia really embrace her intuition. Her relationship to the barbarians in this place shifts into something I didn’t foresee. She begins to tell stories and gain favor with some, while others just want her dead. She might have to change her original role in this place. The Komizar expedites her popularity and keeps such a close eye on her that escape becomes impossible. Maybe she should just stay there. Or not. I don’t know.

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So the bad news is that the love triangle is still there, it might be worse than in the first book. Also, there is some indecision on my part as to how exactly Lia should live the rest of her life, either in Venda or try to escape with Rafe. This is probably just me. All in all, this was a pretty good second book in a series. But, because there are even more POVs it didn’t move forward as much as I wanted it to. There were a few instances when I was a bit confused because things just worked out favorably.

I would only recommend it to those who have read the first book, and I would definitely recommend it to those who read and liked the first book. So now I am like, ugh I just have to wait for the next book. I don’t think I can. I mean seriously, it doesn’t even have a title on goodreads yet. What am I suppose to do with myself until it comes out? I just…

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My Rating

4kisses

About Mary E. Pearson

Mary E. Pearson is the award-winning author of The Jenna Fox Chronicles, The Miles Between, A Room on Lorelei, and Scribbler of Dreams. She writes full-time from her home office in California where she lives with her husband and two golden retrievers.

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I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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