Heart of Betrayal: Mary E. Pearson
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 Kiss of Deception seriously made me fall in love with historical fantasy books. As someone who was always apprehensive of the amount of fantasy given at one time, I reveled in these books as Mary E. Pearson just delicately sprinkles just the right amount of fantasy in the plot. This book is just as amazing as Kiss of Deception in the number of swoons, the beautiful friendships, and the shocking moments. If you liked Kiss of Deception, you will love Heart of Betrayal. It is a kick-ass second book following an amazing first book!
Lia is a ball of freaking fire in Venda. She refuses to be suppressed and that comes with a lot of consequences. She has been betrayed by both Rafe and Kaden, so who can she really trust? She has to trust her instincts and she's not even 100% sure where they are coming from. At this point, Lia wants to get revenge for her brother and get the hell out of Venda. But when she meets other people in Venda that don't seem to be as barbaric as she thought they were going to be, she realizes she may need to help more people than herself.
“We were told to watch for it, that it was the promise of a new day for Venda
- the claw, quick and fierce; the vine, slow and steady; both equally strong.”
Now for what everyone has been waiting for … Rafe and Kaden! Now, I could never decide between them in book 1. I literally loved them both! While I still do love them both, I think I have made up my mind on Team Kaden! We learn more about Kaden's backstory and I'll just BE DAMNED if it doesn't BREAK your heart! The ending left me with so many feels between both of them like no spoilers but why … how … :(. This really is a love triangle for the books because Lia isn't a petty teenager who keeps going between the two of them trying to decide. She thinks she has her mind made up, but maybe fate has a different opinion for her?
“Do you always dance with the girl you plan to murder?”
We meet some new characters in HOB! One being Komizar! The Komizar … surprised me. When we first met him I was picturing him like a bad guy but not ACTUALLY bad like Klaus from The Originals or Eric Northman from True Blood. He kind of seemed like he was a lot of bark and not a lot of bite. Alas, I ended up just hating him. We also meet Aster, who is so young and tries to help Lia in every way possible regardless of thinking about what the consequences will be for herself.
If you loved Kiss of Deception, or fantasy or historical fiction I highly recommend this book to you! Lia is everything you want a hero to be. She's not perfect by a long shot, but she fights like hell! The Heart of Betrayal is one of my favorite 2015 reads, and the best fantasy book I've ever read. Mary. E. Pearson is sure to be one of your new favorite authors.