Book Reviews, Fantasy, Romance, YA

The Heart of Betrayal- Mary E. Pearson

“Sometimes winning is not only a matter of knowing the rules, but of making your opponent think he knows them better.”

mary e pearson – the heart of betrayal

Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Square Fish
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pages: 496
Dates Read: June 7-8, 2019
Format: Paperback

๐Ÿ“– “Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Liaโ€™s erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komisar that she has a magical gift, and the Komisar’s interest in Lia is greater than either Kaden or Lia foresaw.

Meanwhile, the foundations of Lia’s deeply-held beliefs are crumbling beneath her. Nothing is straightforward: there’s Rafe, who lied to her, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom she always believed to be barbarians but whom she now realizes are people who have been terribly brutalized by the kingdoms of Dalbreck and Morrighan. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her very sense of self, Lia will have to make powerful choices that affect her country, her people . . . and her own destiny.” ๐Ÿ“–


This book surpassed the first one, and The Kiss of Deception was wonderful. Political intrigue, unending devotion, mythical whimsy, sizzling romance, and an awesome magical Princess. This is a MUST READ. But please do pick up The Kiss of Deception first!

I already know the first thing you are going to ask, and the answer is YES- the love triangle is still going… sort of. In some ways I would say that it isn’t really a triangle at all anymore, as Lia has made it well known where her heart lies. It is more like two…three? men vying for her heart, and she has already given it away to one of them.

Lia was super tough and fierce in this book. She has grown a bit more and I believe that has a lot to do with her seeing more of the world she lives in. She is more open to learning and is so compassionate to these other cultures. I loved that she got to see a more wide world view.

Rafe was WOW. I liked him before, but I LOVED him in this sequel. He was loyal, cunning, and swoony. The sacrifices that he makes to keep Lia safe are amazing and he is #1 in my book. I only wish that we were able to see more from his POV in this book! I would have loved to have seen more of his thoughts and feelings throughout being prisoned in Venda.

Kaden was more intriguing in this book as well. I felt badly for him, but he also had me confused and frustrated from his POV. We get a lot of background info on him which sort of helps explain who he is, but I had a hard time understanding how he could justify some of his decisions if he ACTUALLY loves Lia.

There was so much manipulation and plotting, It was fun to see the plotting from all 3 POV of the MC’s. They were all in some way playing another person to get the things that they wanted. There were also so many cool secrets that were revealed and big WOW moments. Especially that ending. THAT.ENDING.THOUGH. I couldn’t even handle myself and I HAD to pick up the third book immediately. I had to see where the ending was going! It reminded me a lot of reading The Winner’s Crime. This book packed a punch in the last 100 pages and left you reeling for more.

We meet some new characters in this boo, including the Komizar–the villian you will hate. More like love to hate because he is THAT evil. He has to be one of the worst villains i’ve ever read. He was such a complex and critical character in the novel. He is egotistical, cruel and willing to do anything to gain more power. He was a good baddy. Props to Pearson for her excellent character development once again.

Also- the world building is ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ. As we view more and more of this world, I find it so amazing. I really love the origin stories woven into the book, and I am intrigued to see where this is going, and what more we can discover. The pace of the story was also great. I was never bored and I was able to zip through this 400+ page novel.

The Heart of Betrayal was an outstanding sequel to The Kiss of Deception. I honestly don’t have anything negative to say about it.

Lia was at her very best โœ”๏ธ
Villian was at his best โœ”๏ธ
The writing and world building was at their very best โœ”๏ธ

I honestly don’t know how Pearson is going to top this, but I am already reading The Beauty of Darkness because I couldnโ€™t resist.

This is most definitely (so far) one of my favorite series.

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