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

the heart of
Title: The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publish Date: July 7, 2015
# of Pages: 470
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(**Warning** Possible spoilers)


(From Goodreads) Held 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.


The Heart of Betrayal is mostly set in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, where Lia is pulled between three men: the Komizar, Kaden, and Rafe. Still a prisoner, she works with Rafe and his men to plot their escape. Add in the romance between her and Kaden, and the growing interest of the Komizar, and you have one intense book!

Everything about this book was awesome. Rafe, as per the last book, is still one of my  favorite characters. His loyalty and unfailing love for Lia is charming. He’s sly, clever, and an impressive actor. I enjoyed watching him and Lia interact in this book, since they are each playing different roles in a dangerous game.

I liked Kaden just fine in the first book, but I really liked him in this book! Learning more about his childhood and what the Komizar did for him made him a much more sympathetic character. Kaden wrestles with loyalty to the Komizar and Venda and the growing loyalty he feels towards Lia. In the end, his loyalty to Lia wins out. I’m eager to know how his character is spun in the third book!

Venda itself is not what Lia had imagined. It’s a barbarian kingdom with real people and real problems. Lia grows more and more sympathetic towards the people and their plight as the book goes on. I like that Lia is such a compassionate character. She’s fiercely loyal and has a strong sense of what she feels is right and wrong.

The plot in the last half of the book races by quickly. So much happens, and there are so many unexpected twists and turns. Part of me expected the ending and the outcome with the Komizar, and another part of me was shocked. I thought eventually the Komizar would come around to Lia’s side. While the Komizar is a twisted character, he has his own compassionate streak and rules his people from the ground–not a tower. I found him to be a likable antagonist.

I can’t wait to read the next book!

Book Stats



“The wind, time, it circles, repeats, some swaths cutting deeper than others.”

“When you think you’re at the end of your rope, give it three more days. And then another three. Sometimes you’ll find the rope is longer than you thought.”

“Taking another life, even a guilty one, should never be easy. If it were, we’d be little more than animals.”

Buy It

Check this book out at your local library, or buy it here* on Amazon.

*Note: this is an affiliate link


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