Hello everyone! Today I spent the entire day binge reading this novel in my favourite chair by my window watching the snow fall with coffee! It’s a bittersweet moment because I loved this book, but I’m sad that the series is over. If you haven’t read the Kiss of Deception or The Heart of Betrayal, this review and discussion may contain spoilers.
Though this book is really long, 679 pages to be exact, I think this was absolutely necessary to conclude the series, and wrap up all that needed to happen. This novel contained political tension between kingdoms, love, romance, friendships, death..basically it had everything in it that a good book should have.
I had high expectations for this book because the Heart of Betrayal was amazing, and this novel didn’t let me down. I would argue that as the series goes on, the better the books get!
The individual character development and their development in their relationships with other characters in the novel is phenomenal! The reader gets to see Lia take on the role of a fearless leader, and transform herself into a complete warrior princess, which was really interesting to compare her at the beginning of the series, in the Kiss of Deception, to how she has developed at the end of the series. Lia has become the epitome of going beyond all expectations of a princess, as she participates in combat, and even doesn’t view herself as being above being a tavern maid.
I give this novel 5/5 stars because though I’m sad that this series is over, it will remain one of my favourite series of all time. Lia serves as an inspiration as she overcomes fears, becomes a leader, and can separate her emotions from her responsibilities and duties.
Some of my favourite quotes from the novel:
“There’s something else that’s unfinished. I need to know. Do you still love him?”
“I knew what he was like when I met him. I thought I was that one girl special enough to change him. I was a happy fool living in a fantasy. I’m not that girl anymore.”
“You’re right. It’s probably for the best.” Bitterness rose in my throat. I hated things being for the best. They never really were. It was a phrase that sugarcoated the leftover crumbs of our options.”
“Love didn’t end all at once, no matter how much you needed it to how how inconvenient it was. You couldn’t command love to stop any more than a marriage document could order it to appear. Maybe love had to bleed away a drop at a time until your heart was numb and cold and mostly dead.”
“It was only me, a thousand blinking stars, and the beauty of darkness stretched to the ends of the universe, snuffing out the endless games of courts and kingdoms.”
“It doesn’t matter how many universes come and go, I will always remember who we were together.”
“I know hundreds of miles separate us. I know you have your endless duties here and I have mine in Dalbreck. But we’ve done the impossible, Lia. If we can find a way to end centuries of animosity between the kingdoms…surely..we can find a way for us.”
warning: do not read ahead if you haven’t read The Beauty of Darkness, or don’t want to be spoiled!
At the end of The Heart of Betrayal we were under the impression that the Komizar was dead, though I was still kind of surprised that he was still alive after Lia stabbed him, I kind of had my suspicions that he was still alive because no one actually saw him die.. and I happened to be right! I’m so relieved though that the Komizar is finally dead, and that centuries of animosity between the kingdoms has ended and finally peace brought to the kingdoms.
I just wanted to express how happy I was that even though Lia now the ruler of Venda, and Rafe the King of Dalbreck, have their busy and chaotic separate lives, governing kingdoms, at the end they still kept their vow that kingdoms couldn’t come between them, because I’ll be honest I was seriously starting to doubt their happy ending until the very last page of the book. I know so many people shipped Kaden and Lia together, but Rafe and Lia were my OTP and I feel like though Lia and Kaden had a connection because they were both from Morrighan, Rafe and Lia just belonged together because of their strong personalities, they were natural born leaders. I’m happy though that Kaden and Pauline developed a cute relationship, as Kaden is now taking care of Pauline’s baby that she had with Mikael, that was unforeseen for me, and was pretty unexpected but I still think that they make a really cute couple.
I also loved the relationship that Kaden and Rafe have in this book, we see them trying to be civil toward each other because of their mutual love for Lia, and I really respected how they tried to be friends for her sake!
I really want a novella or maybe even a spin-off series or fan fiction because I want to know what happens, if Lia and Rafe and Pauline and Kaden get married, if their children will become rulers of the kingdoms etc… I loved the world that Mary E. Pearson created, and the politics involved in maintaining stability between the kingdoms (it reminded me a lot of the balance of power theory, as Dalbreck and Morrigan made alliances to ensure that the Komizar didn’t take over the other kingdoms). Overall, this has been one of my favourite series! 🙂