If you enjoy books that challenge notions of love, loyalty and truth, and then make you grapple with how to harmonize them, this series, The Remnant Chronicles, is for you! The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson is book two.
SUMMARY FROM BACK: 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.
WHAT I THOUGHT: In book two, we see Rafe and Lia’s love deepen as they share in their imprisonment by the Vendans. They have a lot of time to think about their situations and each other. Rafe’s character is deepened considerably in this book and through it we see how much he really loves Lia to the point of sacrificing himself for her.
The author did a great job of world building as the imagery comes to life in a way that brings to story along.
I love how Lia is forced to confront long held, but unexamined beliefs about another culture. She had been taught the Vendans were nothing but low-lifes and assassins, but as she spends time in their prison, she discovers all she believes may not be true. I love how the author plants the idea of examining areas of our own lives, unexamined beliefs that may or may not help us produce the future we seek.
I also enjoyed Pearson’s treatment of Kaden who must find his way between his love for Lia and his loyalty for the Komizar, his boss. It’s an issue we must all face at some point in our lives and the struggle that played out did this conflict justice.
I will definitely be getting the third book in the series when it’s available…not soon enough 🙂
Buy Heart of Betrayal (Book Two) (Amazon)
Review by YA fantasy author L. R. W. Lee
FB: LRWLee Author
IF YOU ENJOYED THIS POST, be sure to leave a comment to let me know what you thought.
FREE EBOOKS: I also invite you to download the free ebooks of the award winning Prequel and Book one in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age epic fantasy series.