Title: The Heart of Betrayal
Author: Mary E Pearson
Publisher/Year: Square Fish 8/2/16
Length: 300 Pages
Series: The Remnant Chronicles
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 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.
So, to be completely honest, i’ve totally forgotten all about this series since i had received the first installment via Netgalley. When i looked back at what i thought of the series then, i have to say that i was willing to give book 2 a chance. My issue though is that i really had no idea what was going on since i couldn’t quite remember all the details but at least the gist of the story came back to me.
So here we are, with Lia finding herself in the hands of the leaders of Venda, with Rafe along with her being captured. What i needed a second to remember though is that Rafe is the prince that Lia was supposed to marry – and whom she fled from because she hadn’t known him before her wedding day and didn’t want to be married off to someone that she didn’t know. Interesting enough that they find that they have a true attraction to each other, but a shame that they are now in the situation that they are in right now.
So we find them in the hands of the ‘enemy’ – one who killed Lia’s brother so she’s even more enraged. All she wants is to find a way to keep Rafe safe, and keep his secret identity safe. Kaden proves to be a huge help, yet he has alliances with the Komizar (the leader of Venda) and that makes things all that more complicated.
So the journey in this second installment is one of survival – how will Lia, Rafe and Kaden survive all that’s going on. What’s the final hope for Lia – in the sense of will she get home and if she gets home, what will she find there since her family thinks that she’s a traitor because of running away along with them hearing news of where she is now.
The Komizar also proves to be an interesting person. The way that Venda is run, to become the ruler, you have to kill the standing ruler and that’s what he has done already. He’s feared by everyone, yet there are bits of the story that we learn that make you wonder if there actually is a nice guy in there. You start to warm to him at some moments, but when he forces Lia to do things that she is truly against, spinning his story instead of her own, and then forcing her to marry him – well you know that things are going to go downhill.
The other side bit of this story is that we see a plan being hatched – Rafe has 4 of his guards on their way to save them both, and while that seems like a lost cause since we know that Venda has hundreds of thousands of soldiers being trained to take over the land, we can hope that maybe they are skilled enough and sneaky enough to be successful. Their identities are only known to each other and Rafe – at times Lia is still in the dark.
There are a few things that are really interesting to me about this story – there’s the ‘sense’ – the magic that Lia seems to possess that few have and many are afraid of, yet she doesn’t seem to have full control over her visions. there’s also the fact that the ‘Song of Venda’ and all of their folk lore talk about sisters and a girl named Jezelia who will be able to bring down Venda’s horrible ruling body and make them flourish once again.
So we’re seeing a lot of foreshadowing on what will be coming, and we can only hope that Lia survives whatever the Komizar has in store for her so that she can bring down their kingdom, some how get back to her family, and be with Rafe all in the end. There are flipping alliances throughout this story which make things confusing. Characters that we think are on one side turn out to be on the other and there are supporting characters that prove to be incredibly valuable that you want to be as invested in them as you are Lia, Rafe and Kaden even.
So on that note – i hope you guys take a read and enjoy. I’ve got the final book in the series to get to one of these days and i hope that it brings the story to the conclusion that it deserves. Enjoy!