I received this book for free from ARC Tour in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #2
Published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers on July 7th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: ARC Tour
Buy the Book •
Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!
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.
Last summer I joined in with the hype and read the first novel in this series, The Kiss of Deception. It had everything I look for in a fantasy novel- wonderful world building, mystery, a little romance, and a strong female lead. This sequel was much of the same, but also so much more!
A small little recap on what we found in The Kiss of Deception – our main character is Lia, a princess who has run away to avoid a marriage with a prince she has never met. On her travels she meets two men, Kaden and Rafe. The bulk of the story was told from Lia’s perspective, but the author was very clever and added in the points of view of the two men, one an assassin sent to kill Lia, and the other the very prince she was to wed. But their identities were hidden to Lia and us. It was exciting and mysterious to not be 100% sure which character was what as they both fell for our Lia. And Lia had her eye on one in particular. But who was he really?
So I really don’t want to spoil the plot at all, because trust me you want to discover all it’s little secrets yourself. But I will say that The Heart of Betrayal picks up right where we left off in the first novel. We get to learn more about Venda, the very kingdom that wanted Lia’s death and sent the Assassin. The world building was so beautifully well done. The way the author was able to capture the feeling of such a destitute land and people, truly amazing. We get to meet the Komizar, the ruler of Venda. A horrific man but a pretty spectacular villain. As well as some minor secondary characters I couldn’t help but love, even if I wasn’t sure just how much I could trust their intent.
Lia continues to hold her own and impress me with every move she makes. She is very smart and almost calculating, knowing just what to say and do to try to get the upper hand. But she has a vulnerability about her as well, which just seems to drive her more. She has a huge capacity to love and is basically the total package you hope for in a fantasy read. As far as the love triangle aspect, it is pretty clear who has her heart. But I can’t deny that I have a special place for both of them in mine, despite their mistakes.
It’s always a good idea to refresh your memory on intricate tales like this. A reread of The Kiss of Deception is a good idea BUT there is also a great summary you can find HERE instead (which is what I did). There are a lot of details to keep up with, and some that went over my head, and occasionally the pacing could be a little slow, which are my only little issues. But oh man, the last 15% or so of the book was SPECTACULAR! Action, suspense, death, destruction… it had it all! And it is exactly what made me love this sequel even moreso than the first!
Any fantasy fan would salivate over this series and I implore anyone who hasn’t started the books to pick them up, ASAP!