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The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson ARC {3 Stars}

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson is the second book in the Remnant Chronicles and the sequel to The Kiss of Deception. There are some big surprises in The Kiss of Deception, so I recommend you check out my review of book one if you haven’t read it yet! The Heart of Betrayal continues the story pretty much exactly where The Kiss of Deception leaves off, with Lia and Rafe captive in Venda and trying to stay alive. I like pieces of The Heart of Betrayal quite a lot, but the emphasis ended up being on the pieces I didn’t enjoy, making this a sequel that couldn’t live up to book one for me.

Note: I received an advanced copy of The Heart of Betrayal from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson ARC {3 Stars}

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson (The Remnant Chronicles #2)
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on July 7th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 470 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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.

3 Stars


  • In The Kiss of Deception, we heard frequently about how barbaric Vendans are, so I really enjoyed seeing what Venda is really like through Lia’s eyes. It’s always a good reminder when fantasy cultures don’t actually fit the stereotypes that other countries assume about them and The Heart of Betrayal is filled with those moments. There are two sides to every action after all.
  • The Heart of Betrayal features some adorable new secondary characters that are urchins running around the palace and not always doing what they are told. Lia smartly befriends them of course and I’m just a sucker for cute kids!
  • I was worried that the love triangle in The Heart of Betrayal would drive me mad, but it didn’t end up being too angst-ridden. There is conflict, sure, but Lia isn’t really undecided on who she wants to end up with, just knows she has to play the game to stay alive.
  • We were only given small hints about Lia’s gift in The Kiss of Deception, so it was nice for a bit more development to occur on that front in The Heart of Betrayal. She has a number of moments where she is clearly seeing and hearing things others can’t, so either she’s crazy, or she really is some sort of chosen one ;-).


  • You know what this pseudo-love triangle needed? Another edge! That’s right folks, there is now a third guy going after Lia, I know we’re all thrilled.
  • I am not a fan of reactionary plots. It seemed like Heart of Betrayal was pretty much only Lia reacting to other people’s actions and never taking control of the situation enough to actually make progress on her goals. Reactions just really bore me, okay?
  • By the time I closed Heart of Betrayal, all I could think was, “What was the point of this book??” We found some stuff out about Lia’s gift and Venda, but I can’t point at any lasting consequences for the plot of the trilogy otherwise.
  • I really like plot twists, right? So I loved the twists in Kiss of Deception, but worried about how Heart of Betrayal could live up to such cleverness. I was right to worry, because there just wasn’t any revelation as clever as the previous twist.
  • There are a lot of references to things that occurred in book one without always helpful reminders. I don’t reread books like ever, so it’s been a while since I read Kiss of Deception and that was frustrating. If you were debating on whether you needed to reread before starting Heart of Betrayal, you really do.
  • Cliffhanger of DOOOOOOOOOOOM!


The Heart of Betrayal will likely appeal to readers who are okay with romance being the dominant plot of their fantasy, but I ended up feeling pretty meh about the majority of The Heart of Betrayal. I’m hoping this is just second book syndrome and book three goes out with a bang though!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I literally just got done reading this. I disagree with 3 stars.
    Spoiler comment**
    I thought there was a lot Lia did in this book. Her gift was huge in this story and her actual roots in the books she was studying. The prophecy is about her and she actually knows it now. She is living it now. I didn’t like the twist of romance but I did like the way she worked it all out for herself.
    I guess it is just to each their own. I am sorry you didn’t like this as much. I just finished The Kiss of Deception last week, so perhaps that helped me in the loving of this follow-up.
    Karen Blue recently posted…The Sunday Post #42- 5 Star WeekMy Profile

    • Anya can rate this three stars. That is how she felt. I’m sure you don’t want people coming to your blog telling you that your rating is not right because they didn’t just read the previous book first.

      Have some damn respect.
      Lyn Kaye recently posted…Epic Recs Review: I Am the MessengerMy Profile

      • Hey Lyn, I didn’t mean ANY disrespect, at all. I was just leaving a comment telling her what I thought about. She asked what I thought at the end of the review, so I was hoping we could talk about it. Really didn’t mean to sound rude at all. I am sorry if it came across like that. I am not saying her rating is wrong, just that I didn’t feel that way.
        Karen Blue recently posted…The Sunday Post #42- 5 Star WeekMy Profile

        • Thanks for clarifying! I have to admit that the tone of the comment hurt a bit since it seemed like you thought my opinion wasn’t valid, but I completely get that text doesn’t always make tone clear in comments :)

      • We can definitely all have our opinions ;-)

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it more than I did, though just because the focus was on Lia, that doesn’t mean she was actually doing much, just finding things out through others’ actions which is what annoyed me I guess.

      • My review of this goes up tomorrow. I am just excited to talk about it, so I didn’t choose my words well, sorry about that.
        I really loved that she was meeting all the towns people and her deciding to meet the people on the wall was kind of a neat idea. She earned favor from some people that way despite the fact that she was locked up. Yea, I guess she didn’t “do” much but she seemed to figure a lot out and what little wiggle room she had she seemed to use well. The love triangle thing is going to turn off a lot of people, I know. I usually hate that sort of thing. I just want to get back to what she is going to do with that information now that she has it. I hope the third book will have more action on Lia’s part.
        Karen Blue recently posted…The Sunday Post #42- 5 Star WeekMy Profile

        • I completely understand :). I’m really hoping the third book is action packed now that she knows what is really going on!

  2. “You know what this pseudo-love triangle needed? Another edge! That’s right folks, there is now a third guy going after Lia, I know we’re all thrilled.”


    That was my biggest complaint about book 1 – the romance tried to drive the novel into the ground, and to see that I have to go through it again….I don’t know if I am too excited to read this one.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Garden Gazette: June Wrap UpMy Profile

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