By Mary E. Pearson.

 

This is the second book in a trilogy, and I started this trilogy mistakingly thinking it was already finished. Luckily, the third book is out in less than a month and I won’t have to wait that long to see how it all ends.

I really suck at explaining plots, so I’m going to let the GoodReads blurb do it for me:

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.

I had heard a lot of complaints about the first one being boring and having a terrible love triangle, but I didn’t find either of those claims to be true, and it’s certainly not true of The Heart of the Betrayal.

Despite her circumstances, Lia came around to see the way of the Vendans and created ties with the people there, while still hating those who kept her a prisoner. I think this is a beautiful part of the book, and it made me like her even more. The discovery of the Vendan version of Morrighan’s story was also well done – there’s always two sides to a story, always two points of view, and sometimes both are equally important.

Rafe and Kaden shared “screentime” (booktime?) with the Komizar, and I enjoyed that as well. There was just enough of everyone, and not too much of anyone.

In the end, we were left with some good setups for the next book, but done in a more subtle way than we usually see in these types of books. I liked it, and will read the next one as soon as it’s out.

 

3 hearts out of 5

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