Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 470 (ARC)
Source: From Publisher for Review
Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!
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.
This book got me out of a terrible reading slump, and I am so thankful it did. But what else is to be expected when you combine a strong heroine with a crazy Komizar, a love-struck assassin, and a ridiculously intelligent and sneaky prince? PURE AWESOMENESS, THAT'S WHAT!
The Heart of Betrayal picks up right where book one left off and just throws us back into things. I have to say, one of the most interesting things about this book was the world-building and crazy power dynamics of Venda. It made this entire book one huge politicking game that was off its rocker and all over the place. Interesting and scary all at once.
But this was also the one negative of the book, if you ask me. In order to see the world with Lia and Rafe, prisoners of Venda since Kaden's few POVs were there to fill in gaps more than anything else, we had to get out of the Sanctum. To get out of the Sanctum you had to curry favor with people and bide time. So there was a lot of boredom pretty much while our characters bought themselves those allies and time. Sure, we learned about Venda, but we didn't get to see the action and adventure we knew were looming. Instead we dealt a lot with the creepy Komizar that has a thing for mind-games that constantly leaves readers sick to their stomachs. So many horseback rides and so much random wandering when there could be awesome action! It's sad that the pacing in this book was a little slow in the middle because the beginning and espescially the end were killer! BOOK THREE NOW PLEASE?!
And, as always, I have to mention the ship. This is one ship I desperately want to set sail. It is a ship worth rooting for that's crazy perfect and I love it. I want it. It's gotta happen. Book three now, yes? (How many times do I have to ask nicely before I get it?)
I was hesitant going into this one because book one blew me away, but book two stepped up to the plate and held its own. No sequel syndrome here, just lots of heartbreak and horseback riding and crazy cliff-hangers that leave you dying a slow and painful bookish-anticipation death. But, in all honesty, it's those reasons you have to read this series because it is so dang good!
Mary E. Pearson, you are a goddess!
FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation of any kind in exchange for my honest review