ARC Review ~ The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Series: The Remnants Chronicles #2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length:  480 Pages
Publication Date: July 7th, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. 
Source: ARC via publisher (thanks Macmillan!)
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.
Everyone fears second-book syndrome. I knew the minute I opened this book that I'd have nothing to fear. I was wildly impressed with the artful creation of The Kiss of Deception, and it's no surprise that The Heart of Betrayal captivated my heart as well.

I know many complain that The Kiss of Deception is slow. I urge you, if you feel that sentiment, to read this book. It's a definite change of pace (as in faster), and there's so much more going on. Picking up right after the end of The Kiss of Deception Lia is brought to a place that she's heard only horrifying things about. Slowly she realizes everything as not as it seems, and that the Komizar is more dangerous than she could ever imagine. As she struggles to keep her wits about her in this harsh court, she uncovers shocking truths and dares to fight back.

If I had to describe this book in one word I think I'd use the word 'riveting.' I was so thoroughly engrossed in what was happening. We learn so much more about Venda and the culture. We delve deeper into each of these characters. Speaking of riveting, that Komizar! He's a bit Darkling-esque. He's power-hungry and vicious, yet he cares for his people. The complexity of his character was astounding, I loved it. Lia was fierce in this novel! She was her stubborn self and I loved her character growth. Rafe is perfection. That is all. We learn so much more about Kaden and his backstory. I liked him much better in this book. We also meet plenty of new, strong secondary characters.

Pearson's writing continues to be beautiful and filled with twists and turns. Stellar world-building, superb plot development, brilliant plot twists, immense character growth, smoldering romance, I was highly impressed. The storyline was so intricate, yet it was weaved in a way that didn't seem too busy.

The romance in this book was beyond spectacular. But first let me clarify something. This series does not contain a love triangle. Lia clearly favors one of them in the first book and sticks by her choice. It was such an immediate thing that someone who thinks this is a love triangle baffles me. That thought will be further crushed in The Heart of Betrayal. There are swoon-worthy moments and beautiful words exchanged. I was beaming and staring doe-eyed at the pages. No love triangle people, just love and I ship it!!

I'm half mad, half enthusiastic and pleased that I decided to read this book now. I can push it on you all very early, yet now I have to wait forever until the next book. I enjoyed The Heart of Betrayal immensely, and it has surpassed my love of The Kiss of Deception. I recommend you give this one a try.


  1. You're so luck you got an ARC version T.T I'm dieing to read this book and I'm so glad to hear it's good! I can't wait! :D

  2. My friend luckily won not only a hardcover of the first book, but an ARC for this one! I sadly have not been able to borrow it yet, but I will. Someday. Because everyone else has been loving it, like you!

  3. I am very ashamed to say that I haven't picked up the first book yet... Whoops. D: It's the most AMAZING feeling when you're just so immersed in a book and you just want to get deeper and deeper into the world. <3 Also I'm glad to hear that the love triangle isn't *really* a love triangle. I remember my best friend telling me that the "love triangle" was why she hated the first. >_<

    Awesome review, Rachel! So glad this one didn't disappoint you. :)

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

  4. I haven't even started reading the first book yet *hangs head in shame* Nonetheless, I love that you loved this book! And the thing about love triangles? Complete agreement. I believe a love triangle is a love triangle when the MC wants/love/lusts for both the love interests. But if the MC is fixated on one, and then a third person enters the scene...that's really not a love triangle at all. Maybe people are turned off at even the thought of another person interrupting an ongoing love story :P

    I'm so glad you loved this book Rachel <3

    Rhea @ Rhea's Neon Journal

  5. Wow, this book (series) sounds like something I need to start reading asap! Your review is great and I'm happy to hear there isn't a love triangle. :D

    - Rachana @ Addicted to YA

  6. YAY for no love triangle!! In the first book having Kaden thrown in there as a possible love interest was one of my very few gripes with the book and I do hope that we don't have to deal with that any more!
    Cannot wait to read this one!

  7. Woot! I have the first book sitting on my bookshelf that I started but haven't finished, and I'm very happy to know that the second book transcends it all ways possible. That's seriously motivation for me to get off my butt and crack the cover open and read it from A-Z. Also, good to know there is no love triangle! It's always better to have just one couple centered.

    Faye at The Social Potato

  8. Your paragraph about the romance definitely makes me feel better! I haven't started this series yet for fear of a triangle, but I think I'm going to give it a go now that I know it's safe. I want to love these books like everyone else has!

  9. Ahh I'm so jealous that you got an ARC of this! ;) I absolutely loved the first book, it's honestly one of my favorite books ever. And I'm so glad that there is no love triangle! I was kinda worried there with Kaden. Great review Rach!

  10. This sounds so interesting! I've never heard of it before and obviously haven't read the first book, but I'm definitely going to go and check it out because 1. your review is really lovely and 2. it sounds fairly well fantastic!
    Aw, now I have nothing else to say. Sorry for the short comment, I suppose, and it's lovely to meet you, Rachel! I'm new to your blog but I can see you're anticipating Queen of Shadows as eagerly as me! xx

  11. I love what you said about the nonexistent love triangle - so true! By the end of the book, I was like... good. No love triangle. I can't wait for book three! Fabulous review, Rachel :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  12. Yay! No love triangle. That was legitimately my worst fear going into this book (and the fact that it's a second book and I'll have to wait A YEAR for the third...but I digress). Ugh, I'm so excited to read this. It comes out so soooon :)

  13. This was definitely a faster-paced novel than TKOD was and I loved that! It was incredibly enthralling, and I could not stop reading. I have so much love for this series and these characters. And omg Rachel, WHERE IS THE 3RD BOOK? I NEED IT SO BADLY!

    I hope people who are pushing this off because of the love triangle give it a chance, because you're right, it's not one. It hasn't been one since the first book (there was definite exploration on Lia's part, but she clearly always favors the one, which is incidentally not the one I'm in love with but I digress). I really just can't wait to see where Mary takes our three characters in the finale. It's gonna be heartbreaking again, I'm sure, and intense, but I AM READY.

  14. Two guys like the same girl. I'd call that a love triangle.

    Lia, is only romantically interested in one of them. But we still have two guys interested in her.


    I Read The Heart of Betrayal. and I Am 100% Percent Sure That The Assassin is Going to Win.

    He Also had The Vision of Him and Lia With Their Baby. to Me That is a BIG Hint as To Who She'll End Up with. I Recently Read 2 Fantasy Book Series in Which One of The Guys Sees a Vision of The Future-Aka Together with The Heroine and Their Child. and in Both Cases, The Heroine Ends Up with The Guy Who Sees The Vision. Mark My Words, This Bombshell That He Dropped is Going to Change Things


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