Author: Mary E. Pearson
Source: ARC - received a copy from the publisher at NTTBF which does not in any way influence my review of the novel.
Release Date: July 7th, 2015
Rating: 5 Major Stars
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. -Summary from Goodreads
Wow! That was my first thought when I turned the last page (well, that and: AAAHHHH!!!!). This book was so beautifully and powerfully written, I couldn't get enough of it! I was lucky enough to pick up an ARC at the North Texas Book Festival in March and could barely stop hugging it enough to read it! The Remnant Chronicles is easily one of my favorite fantasy series ever. It made me laugh and swoon. It clenched my heart and kept me anxious to find out what would happen next. Lia is forever cemented as one of my favorite heroines and the cast of character in this book were phenomenal.
Lia really is amazing because not only has she the strength to survive the emotional trauma carried over from the first book and her captivity, but she makes the best of it and has the ability to adapt to almost any situation. Growing up as a princess, she is armed with an understanding of “court” life and how to maneuver through it. She also has the unconventional education that her brothers gave her which come in handy in some humorous ways. There were a couple times I was just laughing out loud from something Lia did that was obviously a result of her older brothers’ influence.
The romance was perfection. It had enough bickering to make me smile and sweetness to make me swoon. There is still a bit of a love triangle if you squint but it was done in such a believable and heartbreaking way I couldn’t get mad at it. I love romance's that bloom under these intense situations. I think it makes them even more beautiful.
There’s nothing that I didn’t like about this book, but one of my favorite things to read was Kaden and Rafe’s POVs. Now that almost everything is out in the open we get to what they think about each other as enemies as well as rivals for a certain maiden’s heart. Their interaction is much more tense and very fascinating to read.
I even liked the villain of this book. The dreaded Komizar. Okay, so “like” may not be the right word, but I felt he was the best kind of villain because he was charismatic but ruthless. He cared for his people but had no room for mercy. At times you believed him and felt for his cause, but then in the same scene he could send a shiver of fear into your heart. I think that me, as a reader, had the same trouble as Lia when trying to figure this guy out and that made is so much more intense because you never really knew what he was going to do.
The world building is superb and is beautiful even in the rough lands of Venda. I didn’t want to leave it and had a major book hangover after I finished this book. I don’t know how I’m going to survive until the next book!