The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Summary 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.
In the heart-pounding sequel of the Remnant Chronicles, Lia, Rafe and Kaden will try to survive in the depths of Venda with enemies all around them and secrets about the world's past which are shown through Lia's eyes.
This book! How well developed and good it was! With many secondary characters and many hidden secrets! There is definitely no SBS (Second Book Syndrome) here for which I am glad. I am sure that the Komisar had his reasons to hate the rest of the kingdoms but never to the point of insanity. While Rafe has sacrificed his freedom to keep Lia safe, Kaden on the other hand is doing everything he can to keep her alive.
Some may persume that there is a strong love triangle here, which is not true. I don't think it was shown like other YA where obviously the heroine wants both of the male characters, because Lia had much more important problems to deal with than swooning over the men.
The ending was epic with action and fighting. And a cliffhanger I really liked! Recommended for its stunning worldbuilding and well-developed characters!
And don't miss the rest books of the series!
About the author:
The Adoration of Jenna Fox, and the other books in the series have been optioned for film, and A Room on Lorelei Street was a Golden Kite Award Winner. She writes full-time from her home office in California where she lives with her husband.