Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on July 7th 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.
I had to put The Heart of Betrayal down a few times because of its’ slow pace. This frustrated me a lot because I was very eager to see how Lia’s role in the prophecy – it’s not specifically called a “prophecy” but there’s no doubt whatsoever that Lia’s a “chosen one” – was going to play out.
Lia continues to surprise everyone in this book, Rafe, Kaden, and most definitely the Komizar, who we see a lot of. Let me just say – Hell Hath No Fury. The Komizar was not prepared to handle a powerful woman like Lia. Lia refuses to be a prisoner again so she takes a stand. She’s super badass, not letting her captors push her around anymore. The Heart of Betrayal made me love Lia even more.
The moments between Lia and Rafe were sweet, but heartbreaking. Lia is drifting away from Rafe in The Heart of Betrayal and it made me so sad. Lia’s arc grows stronger when she starts to realize that she was fated to make it to Venda. On the other hand you have Rafe, who throughout the book, mostly focuses on escaping Venda. His arc growth was pretty stagnant.
As far as Kaden goes, he has a rough time in this book. A line has been drawn and he struggles with picking a side. Like Lia, Kaden’s character also grows a lot in this book.
Venda was such a surprise. The citizens are not the savages we were originally led to believe. I loved learning about their history and discovering their true nature.
Although this book dragged occasionally, it was a solid sequel. I thought the ending was great and I’m very much looking forward to the final book.