Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication Date: July 2015
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.
Goodreads link: The Heart of Betrayal
Oh, boy I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did! The second book of the series focuses on Lia and Rafe being a captivities of the Komizar in Venda. During this time we get to know more about the Venda people, their culture, their story and their secrets, which makes for such an interesting book.
In more details what I like and didn’t like. Warning might contain spoilers.
Things that I liked:
- In stories, in general, I love when we see more about the “villains” in a story. I love to know more about them and get to see their version of the events. And this is exactly what we get in the book. We get to follow Lia as she gets to know the Venda people, how they are, what’s their story and we slowly understand that there are not the “bad guys” in the story but the actions and choices of the Komizar make them the “villains”. We see Lia slowly falling in love with those people and I felt in love with her, and I couldn’t ask for more.
- As we the Venda people we get to know more about Kaden. His past, how he used to be and how he became how he is now. We see his bond with Lia getting stronger and that made my heart melt.
- As with the first book, every one of Lia’s action has a consequence and that’s nice to see.
- We had a lot to twists and turn some that you can see coming and others not necessarily.
- The end of the book was also very nicely done, packed with actions and consequences.
Things I didn’t like:
- Kaden is supposed to be the Komizar’s assassins, everyone is terrified of his and he’s supposed to have killed a lot. But we get told that a lot and never show. We never see his as this terrifying assassins, unfortunately, which makes it difficult to believe. Maybe the author decided not to show us that layer of him for fear that we might not like him as much as she wanted us to, fair enough, but by not doing so I felt that Kaden wasn’t that bad and I couldn’t understand and relate to the fear of all the people around him. Even when he had opportunities to show as the assassins within him he didn’t do anything mainly for Lia.
- I didn’t like Lia misleading Kaden. No, just because I like Kaden but because this is a behaviour that I despite in general.
So those are the things that I like and didn’t like in this book. Hope you find this helpful!