Synopsis provided by Goodreads: (The Remnant Chronicles, book 3)Lia has survived Venda—but so has a great evil bent on the destruction of Morrighan. And only Lia can stop it. With war on the horizon, Lia has no choice but to assume her role as First Daughter, as soldier—as leader. While she struggles to reach Morrighan and warn them, she finds herself at cross-purposes with Rafe and suspicious of Kaden, who has hunted her down. In this conclusion to the Remnant Chronicles trilogy, traitors must be rooted out, sacrifices must be made, and impossible odds must be overcome as the future of every kingdom hangs in the balance.
Review Rating: 3/5 stars
I want to start this review off by mentioning how I came upon this series and that was from a book club that I was a part of on Goodreads that has now withered and faded away. However, one of the first books that I read with that group was the first book of this series, Kiss of Deception. After reading KoD, I was completely in love with the story and delightfully refreshed by Mary E. Pearson's take on the love triangle. She was able to keep the idenitities of both Rafe and Kaden a secret, so you were constanlty trying to figure out which was the assassin and which was the prince. As a writer and avid reader, it's hard to find things that feel original, or at least not played out, and the way that she told the first book did that for me. So, after finishing the first book in a matter of days, I commented in my book group and moved on to book two.
Again, the story line of Heart of Betrayal was great. I was interested in the customs and characters that greated me in Venda. The Komizar? I mean, come on, how villainous can you get? It was clear that Pearson was building a well planned world and had some interesting characters to propel it along, and although I was rooting a little bit for both Rafe and Kaden, it didn't feel like it was just a love story. It had the elements of something more serious and I like that, because the love stories can git a bit tedious if that's all you have. Again, finished within a couple of days, so within a few weeks, I was immersed in this world, ready to see what would happen to the characters, but was faced with what all book lovers eventually face, a year long wait till the next book. So I waited.
And waited. And marked it on my calendar (because I'm kind of a nerd and I do things like that). And I waited some more.
And then it was finally time for The Beauty of Darkness. That being said, I had a lot on my plate and didn't actually get to pick it up until after NaNoWriMo (check out my thoughts about it here). So, after all of the anticipation (and word crunching), I was definitely ready to submerge myself into the world of Venda, Dalbreck, and Morrighan again.
Despite my previous experiences with the jam packed plot and interesting dialogue and character building, BoD felt a bit, stale. I truly struggled, in the first hundred pages or so, to remind myself why I had felt connected to the characters in the first place. It was that difficult. I was so surprised and truly disappointed that Rafe and Lia, and even Kaden felt shallow and not as passionate as they were before.
Along with that, the plot of BoD just had so much in it that it felt rushed. Even the final confrontation between Lia and the Komizar didn't go the way that I thought it would. I didn't feel the type of closure that I wanted after HoB. It felt rushed and at the same time, not as satisfying as it could have been.
That being said, there were some definite positives to the book and the series in general. The attention to world building and culture that Pearson has is definitely something that I am envious of as a writer. She created a world with a rich, diverse history and included passages from holy texts that she created herself that provided the historical background and basis for the characters and their beliefs and ways of life. It was one of my favorite things about the series. I loved the way that she tied it all together and created a solid experience that immersed me as a reader and that will have me taking notes as a writer. That combined with the writing style and craft put into the story were really good things, in my opinion.
For all of the reasons above, and probably more that I can't think of right now, I rated the final book of The Remnant Chronicles, The Beauty of Darkness at 3 out of 5 stars. Would I recommend this series? Yes, even if only because I liked the first two so much. Would I recommend this writer? Yes.