Book Review: The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Hi my lovelies, this weeks the review is of cause the fabulous... the amazing, The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson. I seriously enjoyed this which is why I am giving it a 4.75/5 stars. Please be warned that this review contain spoilers for The Kiss of Deception and The Heart of Betrayal, however ones in the Heart of Betrayal are minor and in italics, so if you can still read, if you have not read The Kiss of Deception you can check out my 5 star review of it here.

Title: The Heart of Betrayal
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt
Pub. Date: July 2nd 2015
Date Read: Tuesday 29th March 2016
Pages:  470
Rating:4.75/5 stars
SummaryHeld captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia's life, her 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 savages. 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.


Loyalty. Revenge. Death. Ambition. 

A few choice words which pretty much summarize the main themes of the novel. The Heart of Betrayal starts straight after where The Kiss of Deception ends, with Lia and Rafe being held captive by the Vendan army. It follows Lia trying to stay alive whilst living in the enemy camp and Rafe convincing people that he is not the Prince of Dalbreck, instead his own emissary. I couldn't go into to detail too much in the last review, but I was so happy that Raffe ended up being the Prince and Kaden the assassin, as it meant that I did guess correctly. All the while trying to keep the '' aka their ruler happy, in order for him not to send them to death. Lia's powers came a lot more into play in this novel, from her having to fake it in various scenes and from her actually having visions. This was really good for me, as in the first book it was mentioned a few times and the terms were never really established for what the power is and this still was not answered this time! All we know is that various characters have the gift, but they all have various different gifts and some are obviously stronger than others, but it is all to do with these ancient, which we don't actually know that much about, only bits that we have taken from the various excerpts of The song of Venda and Morrighan. I did find these passages between every couple of chapters quite annoying in the Kiss of Deception, however these ones provided great foreshadowing and when I finished the book, I did find myself going back and reading them to check I had seen all of them. It reminded me of the sort of book that would be fantastic to analyse in English Literature, as their was plenty of foreshadowing and various quotes that my old English teacher would love. 


I found the first hundred pages or so quite difficult to get into, however this should not scare you away! Once you have gotten through them you find yourself wrapped back up in the world. 


I didn't find any of the characters, whether they were point of views or not tedious or annoying, which is a positive, as I tend to find most characters like this. However, due to the point of view change in various sections, it gave the novel a fresh perspective and gives the reader an idea about what is going on outside of the bubble that is Venda.


Lia seemed to be battling herself in this one, from trying to harbor her gift more at the same time as ignoring it. She is put in a very procarious position, as there is Rafe who lied to her, but is in the position he is, as he is trying to save her, and then there is Kaden, who was sent to murder her, however decided to save her instead. So now she is left with no real allies, which gives her the only option of creating them with who ever she can.  The second half of this book mirrored the first half of the first book quite a lot with Lia, as she put in similar positions, except this time the consequences she faced were a lot more dangerous. 

Kaden was now back on his own turf, except instead of having it to his advantage it made Lia despise him more, as more of his usual personality came out. We also delved more into his past and how he got to become an assasin, and get as close as he is to the Komizar. 

Rafe on the other hand had to gain the trust of the Komizar and pretend to be his own emissary in order to stay alive, whilst watching Lia get herself into countless troubles and trying to escape Venda as a whole. All the while not having a clue what is actually going on outside of Venda. 

The Komizar is motivated by power and control and i'm not really sure what else to say about him, as he was not really a note worthy character for me. Gris is one of the characters that keeps you guessing through out the novel, as he does various things that makes you wonder exactly what is going on in his head. Aster pushes a lot of the major points of the plot forward and gives you an idea of what the people of Venda's life is really like. Aster is pretty much the Rue (from the Hunger Games) of The Remnant Chronicles. 


Paulines chapter gave us the escape of Venda, that we so desperately needed at times and also fave us a view on what is going on in the outside world. As it was only about 3/4 into the novel, did they find out that -- had died, whereas this had happened in the middle of the first novel. It also gave us an idea of what some of the characters, who we only briefly met, were doing with their part e.g. Lia's mother and the Scholar. 

Lia's mother left you with a whole load of questions about what is really going on. The first book has you believing that she hid Lia's powers in order to protect her, even though she knew exactly who she gave birth too, then in book 2 we see that she strongly believes that Lia has betrayed them all and she is seen conniving with the scholar, so we are left wondering what is her deal? I'm hoping that she just wanted some more background information on who Lia is to become.  

The scholar also seems to have a underlying role in everything, through the stole books and the fact that we have also learnt more of his past relationships e.g with e and through that how nobody can really be trusted and you must always question where peoples loyalties really lie, which is a question bought up in both kingdoms. 

 I do not believe that 'the dragon' which is mentioned various times is the one, who we are led to believe it is as their are various problems within Venda and in Morrighan itself at the end of the novel. Something I really like in this trilogy is that everyone has their own motives, no matter who they are, whether they are a small or important character, for me this makes the book seem more real and also allows me to relate to the characters more. And finally I really enjoyed how characters that didn't seem important or that you brushed off as not even a character, became a lot more important and I always enjoy reading books like that, which interweave little things between the series to always keep you guessing.

Relationships (aka the triangle)

In the first book I was all for Lia ending up with Rafe and would have been quite annoyed if she ended up with Kaden, however after reading this I honestly don't mind who she does end up with. Although it does seem as if there is more chemistry between Lia and Rafe, as Kaden does seem to like her a lot more than she does him. However this was not shown to be a traditional love triangle, of Lia never really deciding which one she wants. Instead, (well as far as this novel) she chose one and seemed to stick with him (so far)


Wow. That was a nail biter, the last two chapters were just action packed, although positively it does not have a cliffhanger!

Would I recommend this? Hell yes. 

Read now. However I do recommend you read this straight after reading Kiss of Deception (like I did), as I have spoken to various friends who read this and noticed myself that there is not a lot of recapping of the first novel, instead it only occurs when it is desperately needed. 
Thank you for reading my lovelies, this is it for this week, if you would like to see more of what I am currently reading you can check me out on GoodreadsInstagram and Twitter

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