Review: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. PearsonThe Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #2
Published by Henry Holt BFYR on july 7, 2015
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Pages: 470
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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four-stars

Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's 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 barbarians. Now that she lives amongst 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.

The Kiss of Deception was a lot of fun to read, but I had the strong feeling that this series was either going to get better or become terrible. The Kiss of Deception relief heavily on the mystery of which boy was the prince and which the assassin. Without that gimmick, would Pearson be able to keep me turning those pages? The short answer? Hell yes. The Heart of Betrayal is a long book that didn’t feel long at all, because I was reading it so quickly. The stakes are raised way higher, and The Heart of Betrayal doesn’t lean solely on the love triangle.

Though I’m going to call The Heart of Betrayal a love triangle, in some respects that’s not entirely accurate. The thing is that a love triangle can mean a lot of different things. There are three main characters, two of them hot boys who fancy themselves in love with the heroine, Lia. By one definition, this is the most love triangley of love triangles. However, viewed another way, it isn’t really a love triangle so much because Lia’s been pretty consistent about where her heart resides. In this book, Lia’s primary focus is so much on survival with the boy drama coming second.

gif you mock my pain princess bride

That said, I actually remain unsure which ship I want to board. I’m opposed to neither, and I admit my shippy heart is confused because she has to fake date bachelor number two in this book, and that just does things to me. This is one of those series where the romance could really go either way, and that’s something that I enjoy. I mean, sometimes, even though she’s confused between the two, you totally know where her heart will end up, but I really don’t know what the romance endgame is here.

Lia is both literally and figuratively the star of The Heart of Betrayal. She is sassy as can be, something I’d somehow forgotten. Even though she’s a prisoner of Venda, she never loses her dignity. She’s scared, but remains pride and determined to live up to her own principles. Sarcastic and clever, she calls people on their bullshit and is always trying to make a new plan for how to deal with her circumstances.

gif please consider me as an alternative to suicide princess bride

The one thing that didn’t really work for me in The Heart of Betrayal was the multiple POV storytelling. While I loved the prince/assassin gimmick and enjoyed those POVs in the first book, I was always sad to leave Lia in this book. Still, I was okay with Rafe and Kaden. What I do not understand is why Pauline had a POV at all. She has just a handful of chapters, and they convey very little information, most of which I feel could probably have been delivered some other way or left out without negative impact. Most likely she’ll become very important in book three, but her inclusion in this book was baffling.

gif inconceivable princess bride

There are some novels that I affectionately term “crack fantasy.” They’re generally not the best fantasy, but there’s something about them that makes them so absorbing and impossible to put down. I very much had The Remnant Chronicles pegged as crack fantasy, and the pages are certainly laced with that magic that makes you want to keep binging. However, the ending of The Heart of Betrayal was really intense and awesome, so I think things are looking way way up. I’m so excited for the third book like you don’t even know. Of course, I have to wait a year, which sad.

It takes talent to make a book that’s almost five hundred pages and not written in verse feel like a breeze to read. The Remnant Chronicles are so much fun to read, and I want the next one like right this moment.

gif please princess bride

Favorite Quote:

“The rules of reason build towers that reach past the treetops. The rules of trust build towers that reach past the stars.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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4 responses to “Review: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson”

  1. Hannah says:

    Ah, gosh, I love your review. I was a bit on the fence with the first book, even though I enjoyed it – am so glad the second book isn’t a flop! And I love it when the girls place survival ahead of silly love issues! Although my shipper heart is confused – I suggested that the two boys should just run off together instead, which would solve the problem 😛
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    • Christina Franke says:

      In all respects, I actually think book two is much stronger. The love triangle gimmick worked for me, but it wasn’t really solid fantasy. I was afraid it would fall on its face without that, but the plot really takes hold. Also, the MC is sassy as hell which I love. Or maybe all three of them should run off together. 😀

  2. I was also wondering whether The Heart of Betrayal would still be as fun, without the big mystery there. I’m happy thatyou did like it, because now I do look more forward to reading it. I haven’t chosen my ship yet, and I have a feeling the Heart of Betrayal will make that choice even orse.

    Great review!
    Jolien @ The Fictional Reader recently posted…Get Me These Books. Now! (A Very Late TTT)My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      She totally stepped it up! I’m not sure who I ship still, but I kind of liked that the romance took a back seat to the plot this time around.

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