Where The Kiss of Deception left off, Lia was in a very bad situation. Recently captured along with Rafe by Kaden and his men, she’s been carted off to Venda – a fate better than death, but presumably not by much.
The Heart of Betrayal is the second book in the Remnant Chronicles, and after getting a look at the first three chapters, I have to say I think I’m more excited for this one than the first.
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.
Already I can sense a huge change in Lia from the first book to this one. My first impression of her in this book was that she’s serious, that she’s stronger, steelier and more determined.
So far the story is centred around Lia’s arrival and putting us into the context of the Vendans and their culture. I have to admit, I’m most interested about the Vendans and their allegedly brutal ways. Even though Lia is no doubt going to realize that the stories she’s heard about them aren’t true, I don’t want them to be completely discredited and untrue: I like dark, grim characters.
One of the things I really loved about the first book was the writing: it was easily the prettiest style of writing I’d read last year, but it felt a little detached. In The Heart of Betrayal, it’s a little different. The writing seems less lofty and more grounded, so I feel more connected to the characters than I did in the first book.
I’m really hoping to see some hardcore betrayals in this book. The Kiss of Deception didn’t meet my expectations entirely with the deceptions. Lia obviously has some hard choices to make and it seems like Kaden doesn’t have it easier either. I hope that what they end up having to do will break my heart and have me raging at them.
You can read the first three chapters of The Heart of Betrayal by visiting Mary E. Pearson’s website here.