Jul 9, 2015

Review--The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

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.

It didn't take me long to devour Mary E. Pearson's The Heart of Betrayal, it was the kind of read you can't put down and totally forsake Twitter for! Once again, I found myself lost in this fantasy world she's created and love every minute of! 

Naturally, I was a little sketchy on the details of what happened in The Kiss of Deception, but the gist of what I remembered was, the Assassin and Prince are totally not who I initially thought they were! LOL! Kaden, the Assassin, has brought both Lia and Rafe to Venda's Komizar, the ruler. He still doesn't know that Rafe is in face the prince of Dalbreck, but knows he has a connection to the prince. Rafe claims to be a messenger of sorts basically. And Lia, well, Lia is Lia. But Kaden claims she has the gift. He says this in order to save her, for Venda doesn't take prisoners.

Once again we have the points of view of Lia, Kaden, Rafe and occasionally, Pauline. I'm always thrilled to have Kaden's point of view, because he's the Assassin! And yes, we capitalized that because he's that good! That Kaden fell for Lia strikes a chord with me. The big, badass falling in love, which the "wicked" see as something so trivial. I have a soft spot for him, but alas, I do find myself liking Rafe the most! But Kaden, badass that he may be, is still a good man at heart. He goes to great lengths to protect Lia while she's a prisoner at the castle. He's never cruel to her and when he does start getting pissy, Lia is quick to put him in his place!

The story of this book is basically Lia and Rafe trying to plot their escape. They can't stay here, though the Komizar does have plans for Lia, they will lead to nothing good. Escape is essential, but they must wait for Rafe's crew to come along and help them out. And as the days go by, persistent danger is the only thing arriving!

For the longest time, this one was starting to read like a contemporary-fantasy. Yes, that's probably a conundrum, but there wasn't much "magic" going on to make things...magical. Though we do get glimpse of it rising. Or at least, I like to think so. Lia is supposed to have the gift, but what said gift is, is not something I feel I have a grasp on yet. There's still excerpts from long ago scripts and texts that seem to be steering us in the direction of Lia's fate.

The ending, oh the ending was quite spectacular. And decidedly, cruel in some ways, because we have yet another cliffhanger. Though it was definitely an intense and hair-pulling screaming kind. Because there is one more book to have! Goodreads shows a third untitled book to release next year, so this is not the end my friends! Remember that once you start screaming!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars


  1. I literally just finished this like... a minute ago. While I did love the book, I felt that not much actually happened over the course of almost 500 pages. Was that just me? It seemed like: they're in Venda, and then the rest of the story was mostly mundane, but told really spectacularly. Maybe that was just me.

    I agree about the Kaden chapters. They're amazing and truly insightful into the Assassin that he is. I literally laughed out loud on page 359-360 when Rafe was talking to Governor Obraun. Anyway, great review!

    Christina @ Books & Prejudice

  2. Jessica, let's discuss how it took you 36 hours to finish this book. HA.

  3. Awesome review!!! This sounds like a series I need to read but I haven't read the first one. I might need to get to it because your review has confirmed I'm missing out. Thanks for sharing!

  4. NOOO not another cliffhanger. Why must she do this to us. I am so very excited to read this book. I really really want it!

  5. Dammit cliffhangers!!! *hangs head* At least it's good to know when you're gonna face one so you go sort of prepared... I really need to read this one soon!!


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