Synopsis: 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
Date Published: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
No. of Pages: 470
Date Read: March 2016
Source: Fully Booked
Great character development and a gripping ending.
The Kiss of Deception sure was included on my Top 14 of 2014, so it is just right to continue on with the series. I loved how Mary Pearson was able to toy with the readers’ emotions, how not all cards were immediately laid out – there was always the element of surprise. That’s what made me fall in love with The Kiss of Deception.
The Kiss of Deception left us with a cliffhanger, the kind of torment readers crave. To be upfront, before I started reading The Heart of Betrayal, I searched the ever reliable internet for the summary of the first book, checked my review and others’ as well, just to refresh my memory who is who, what is what, and what events transpired that are very crucial to the story. After being confident enough to know the necessary details, I proceeded with The Heart of Betrayal. You see, second books in a series can be tricky, they can either surpass the greatness of the first book or fell short. The Heart of Betrayal fell a little short for me. But don’t take this in a whole negative way. I still loved and enjoyed the book just maybe not as much as I did The Kiss Of Deception. I found it a little slow-paced for my own liking, majority of the book was written to explain the back story of the Vendans, which I really appreciated. I appreciated that the back story wasn’t compromised, but then again I’ve been craving for some action, but this craving wasn’t really satisfied not until the end part of the book, which made a lot of difference, I think I held my breath more than humanly possible because of that ending. It was intense and gripping, it sure made up for all the dragging parts of the book.
The character development is definitely not one to miss. This is what I liked most about the book, the characters really evolved into something greater. Now that they need not pretend as to their real identities anymore, it helped a lot to show their real characteristics, their true potential and what they are capable to do. But there are also some more deception that was happening in the entirety of the book, with Rafe’s men, as to the true identity of Rafe as he wants Komizar and the rest of the Vendans to perceive him. It was this cobweb of deceptions and lies one after another, and it worked just fine in the book. It didn’t look as though it was forced, and it did give me that uneasy feeling that their deception will be revealed any moment. It was another plus point for me, again toying with my emotions. The Komizar reminded me of Johny Depp in some weird way, his character perfectly fits that of Johnny Depp. Calantha on the other hand, I was picturing Theresa Palmer all along. I wish to read more about Calantha, I wish there would be some novella about her. Her character is very interesting. Lia on the other hand became more badass than what I gave her credit for, she truly came out of her shell, her chapters are always pleasant to read. She has become a strong female protagonist, a true development from her character as a tavern girl in the first book. Rafe on the other hand, hmm, I was expecting more from him, I just think that he was not able to show his true capabilities, which was perfectly understandable since his hand are tied quite literally and figuratively, with him being a captive in the land of Vendans, one can only do so much. Now Kaden, don’t get me wrong I have been Team Rafe since the beginning, but after learning more about Kaden, I now understand why many are rooting for him. I loved that he respected Lia, and truly loved her. Also his backstory is really a shocker, I love to know more of it.
There are parts that were predictable, a stark contrast from the first book which deceived me for the better part of it, but still, I repeat there is some element of surprise to it. I cannot also discount the fact that there are a lot to consider and to look forward to, that’s the beauty of this book, it will leave you wanting more, demanding answers, but sadly we all have to wait until August 2016 for that last book in this trilogy, I’m not ready for it to end. I can’t let go of them yet!
So until then, let’s all hold hands just to get through this whole ordeal of waiting for the third book. May we all survive this.
“Confluence-a coming together by chance.. Together they become something greater, but it isn’t delicate or sweet. Like a raging river, a confluence can lead to something impossible to predict or control… Yet sometimes the coming together, the confluence of destinies, seemed not to be by chance at all.”
― Mary E. Pearson, The Heart of Betrayal