The Beauty of Darkness

Title: The Beauty of Darkness
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, book 3/3
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: August 2nd, 2016

Note: This post reviews the third book of The Remnant Chronicles. You may like to read the first two books in the series, The Kiss of Deception and The Heart of Betrayal, before reading this review.

Lia and Rafe have escaped from Venda, assuming the Komizar to be dead. They struggle across the wilderness, until finally they reach a stronghold of Dalbreck, Prince Rafe’s kingdom, where they are able to rest and regroup. Both Dalbreck and Morrighan are in danger of Venda’s wrath. Lia has seen the Vendan army for herself, and knows the real threat they pose to the other countries. Even though she is considered to be a traitor by her own people, Lia feels that is her duty as a First Daughter of Morrighan to warn them of the impending attack.

But Rafe, relieved to finally have Lia to himself and out of danger, cannot support her decision to leave Dalbreck and return to her country that has disowned her. Being true to her heart, despite her love for Rafe, Lia leaves him for the sake of her kingdom. Kaden, who was taken as a Dalbreck prisoner and later freed, accompanies her, having his own problems to face back in Morrighan.

This stunning climax of The Remnant Chronicles did not leave me disappointed. I finished all 679 pages of the beast in less than 24 hours – it was that good! The author wrapped things up so well, and didn’t destroy her beloved characters in the process, a recent trend I have seen in YA fiction. The Remnant Chronicles will forever be one of my favorite series!

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The Heart of Betrayal


Title: The Heart of Betrayal
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, book 2/3
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: July 7, 2015

Note: This post reviews the second book of the The Remnant Chronicles. You may like to read the first book in the series, The Kiss of Deception, before reading this review. 

Mild spoilers.

 
This first book left us with Lia and Rafe being taken captive in the kingdom of Venda. Lia has discovered that Rafe, the man she has fallen in love with, is the very same prince she jilted on her wedding day. Lia feels betrayed by Rafe, who knew she was his betrothed all along.
 
In an attempt to spare her life, Kaden presents Lia to the Komizar, the cruel ruler of Venda, claiming that she has the gift – a sort of magical power that has been passed down through the royalty of Morrighan. The Komizar is intrigued by Lia, and allows her to live as his prisoner, degrading her at every chance he gets. He is not convinced that Lia does in fact have the gift, but he thinks she could yet be useful to the kingdom in other ways.
 
At this point, we have all three men in the story interested in Lia, each for his own reason. Rafe and Lia love each other in a complicated way; Kaden loves Lia, but Lia does not feel the same way; and Lia despises the Komizar, who begins to see that if they were to wed, it would be a hugely advantageous war strategy. 
I loved this sequel to The Kiss of Deception and I recommend it for young adult fantasy readers.
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The Kiss of Deception


Title: The Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, book 1/3
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: July 8, 2014
 
I am continuously looking for the book. You know, the book with characters that are so easy to love, a plot that grips you from page one, a thrilling adventure, a breathtaking romance – the book that you feel was written just for you. This book, The Kiss of Deception, did it for me. I feel like this is the book I have been waiting for my whole life – like this is the book I was meant to write. Even though I wasn’t the one who got to write it, I’m happy that I got to read and enjoy it. Having said that, you can continue to read my review below, or better yet, just go get a copy of the book and experience it for yourself. 

Lia is the princess of the kingdom of Morrighan, and it is her duty to secure a marriage between herself and the prince of the neighboring kingdom of Dalbreck. But Lia, independent and headstrong, does not wish to be treated merely as another soldier in her father’s army – she wants to marry someone for love, a theme we have seen time and again in fairytales, and yet still rings true. O
n the day she is to wed this prince she has never met, she does what any of us would do if we were trying to escape an inevitably unhappy marriage – she runs away. By fleeing the kingdom and defying her father the king so blatantly, she has committed an act of treason.  

Shortly after Lia settles in Terravin, two men – Rafe, and Kaden – arrive. It is clear that both men have an interest in Lia from the start, but for vastly different reasons. One is none other than the jilted Prince of Dalbreck, still offended from the rejection of the princess, yet equally intrigued by her. The other is a highly trained assassin from the kingdom of Venda, sent to kill her, preventing Morrighan and Dalbreck from forming an alliance. But what he does not expect is Lia: likeable, beautiful, fierce. Lia knows nothing of their true identities, assassin and prince.


One of the many things I loved about this book is that the narrator alternates between Lia, the Prince, and the Assassin, changing points of view and letting us see a bigger picture. The writer cleverly keeps us wondering which man is which – is Rafe the Prince or the Assassin? She intentionally keeps you guessing. My assumption was entirely wrong and my jaw actually dropped when I realized who was who. That’s one sign of great writing.

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