Mary E. Pearson

The Heart of Betrayal

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The Heart of Betrayal Summary

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The Heart of Betrayal is the second fantasy novel in the Remnant Chronicles series by Mary E. Pearson. The series follows main character Lia, a princess who dreams of escaping the fate that her position in society has forced upon her. The main characters of the story are Lia, the prince whom she has been promised to through an arranged marriage, and an assassin who has been sent to kill her. The Heart of Betrayal continues where the previous novel, Kiss of Deception, left off – Lia, Kaden, the assassin, and Rafe, the Prince of Delbreck are headed into the Kingdom of Venda. The Heart of Betrayal is followed by a third and final book in the trilogy, The Beauty of Darkness.

The series began with Lia running away from her parents to escape an arranged marriage and her duties as the princess, which she had no interest in fulfilling. Along her journey, she is introduced to Rafe, the Prince of Delbreck, whom she discovers is the man that her parents have arranged for her to marry. She and Rafe are then kidnapped by Kaden, an assassin from the rival kingdom of Venda, who has captured the two royals but, because of his own conscious, was unable to complete his mission to kill them both.

The three characters arrive in Venda, where Lia meets the leader, the Komizar. Lia and Rafe, locked in a prison cell, come up with a story about their reasons for traveling alone – Rafe decides to masquerade as a messenger from the Kingdom of Delbreck, though he is, in fact, the prince. Lia is nervous about Rafe’s ability to lie to protect them, but he manages to convince the Komizar. Meanwhile, Kaden is worried about protecting Lia. He knows that Venda rarely spares prisoners.

Back in the countryside, Lia’s friend and servant from the Kingdom of Morrighan, Pauline, is traveling with one of her friends to try to get an audience with the King of Civica, the land where Lia is from. Pauline is hopeful that the king will help Lia, rescuing her from the vengeful Vendans.

The Komizar soon leaves town, and Kaden takes the opportunity to remove Lia from the prison, getting her new clothes to wear and giving her a brief tour of Venda. Kaden teaches Lia some Vendan customs to help her get around; Lia and Kaden bond.

Lia has a gift of prophecy, which Kaden uses to her advantage to convince the Komizar that Lia should not be killed. The Komizar agrees but embarrasses Lia by parading her around in a short sackcloth and making her feel ashamed. The Vendans are brutal and mostly poor, and the longer Lia spends in Venda the more she learns about this culture that seems so alien to her. As she spends more time in Venda, Lia makes new friends – a woman named Calantha and a girl named Aster who helps Lia sneak around the catacombs, where she finds ancient books carried by monks in long robes. The books seem to hold secrets to Vendan life, but Lia can’t decipher them.

The Komizar shocks everyone when he reveals that he wants to marry Lia. Kaden is distraught, because he cares for Lia and knows that the Komizar is a brutal man who won’t treat her right. Lia and Rafe are also upset, because they are in love with each other and hope to escape together from Venda. Kaden knows that Lia is not meant to be with the Komizar – he soon reveals that he also has the gift and that he has known of Lia for longer than they’ve known each other, which is why he wasn’t able to kill her. However, the Komizar is convinced that he should marry Lia against her will, and preparations for the wedding begin.

Pauline soon discovers that Lia has been captured by the Vendans and that she is being forced to marry the Komizar, king of the barbarians. Pauline is desperate to rescue Lia, but in the process, she learns that Lia lied to her about the death of her lover Mikael. Pauline is torn between rescuing her friend and repaying her for lying about Mikael, whose baby she will give birth to in only two months. Love also blooms in Venda, when Kaden declares his love for Lia and his gift of the sight. Lia has also had visions of the two of them together, but she loves Rafe and doesn’t want to give in to the prophecies she and Kaden have seen. Kaden tells her that he has seen Rafe escaping Venda without her. Lia isn’t sure what to believe.

The novel ends with the Komizar locking Lia in a tiny room to stop her escape plans the day of the wedding. However, Aster finds a key and rescues Lia. Unfortunately, the Komizar catches Lia, and murders Aster for her treasonous behavior. During the fight, Rafe, Kaden, and Rafe’s men arrive. Lia stabs the Komizar in the chest with a dagger.

Lia escapes with Rafe and his men on a raft, but while the raft drifts away, she is shot with two arrows fired by the Vendan army. She falls in the water, and the last scene is Rafe pulling her out of the water and walking with her in his arms out of Venda.