Tuesday, August 23, 2016

#Tuesday Review - The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson (Young Adult, Fantasy)

Series: The Remnant Chronicles # 3
Format: Hardcover, 679 pages
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Lia and Rafe have escaped Venda and the path before them is winding and dangerous - what will happen now? This third and final book in The Remnant Chronicles is not to be missed.
In The Remnant Chronicles a princess must find her way in a reborn world, through cultures built on myth, fairy tale, and the disconnected pieces of a world gone by. It is a story about the resilience of humanity and the short reach of history. But mostly The Remnant Chronicles is about Lia, and her timeless story of love and sacrifice.
Lia, Rafe, and Kaden's story comes to an epic conclusion in the final book in The Remnant Chronicles.

The Beauty of Darkness is the third and final installment in author Mary E. Pearson's The Remnant Chronicles. Picking up right where The Heart of Betrayal left off, Pearson once again weaves her way through FOUR separate narratives as she has done in the previous installments. The narratives are from Princess Lia of Morrighan, Crown Prince Rafe from Dalbreck, Kaden, the notorious assassin from Venda, as well as Pauline, Lia's handmaiden who has been left behind to deal with Lia's disappearance and being named an enemy of the state. 

The Beauty of Darkness takes our characters from Venda, where Lia and Rafe, with the help from Jeb, Tavish, Orrin, and Sven have managed to escape in the most incredible way possible. To Dalbreck, where Rafe must face a kingdom in disarray, a challenge to his leadership, and a choice between saving Dalbreck which may or may not face a rather large Vendan army incursion, or helping Lia with her own issues. Finally, to Morrighan where Lia's actions have come home to roost, and where her final showdown with the Kamizar, her parents, and those who have supported the Kamizar's attempt at taking over her country remain at large.

This really is the first time that readers have seen Dalbreck even for a brief moment. One could also say that about Morrighan as well, but we do get more of a feeling of the cutthroat politics of both nations. 
Dalbreck is the place where Lia was supposed to be Queen of after events prior to this trilogy were set in motion. It is a place resplendent in riches and beauty. It is also the place where Rafe has to find himself and lead a country that has been shocked by the deaths of the countries monarchy. This is the place that Rafe left behind in order to chase Lia all the way to Venda and back when he could have returned home.

Readers, you have to really give Rafe a whole lot of credit for his patience like Job. At any point in this trilogy, he could have told Lia to stuff her self, and walked away. At many points in this book, he should have done just that because Lia was making mistakes left and right without thinking first. Yet, in the end, he goes above and beyond the call of duty and makes Lia's decisions look a whole lot better than they should have been. Lia ended up being a better character in this book, than in previous installments. She's more of a take charge person and damn if she didn't have a whole lot of issues to take charge of.

I am happy that Pearson did away with the silly love triangle. I would say that Kaden and Lia are better as friends, than as romantic interests. I loved Kaden in this book, as well as his friends Griz and Eben. I am happy that Kaden becomes someone Lia can rely on rather than someone she needs to fall in love with. I am happy that Pauline found a slice of her own happiness after being left behind to deal with Lia's disappearance. I even liked who Pearson gave her a happy ending with. Shocking to say that I won't spoil that point. 

I loved Orrin, Tavish, Jeb, and Sven. They were Rafe's brothers in arms, and Lia's protectors when she needed them the most. I have to say that I felt really awful for the Vagabonds who Lia met in The Kiss of Deception. But, I am happy that at least one of the characters, Natiya, got a chance to do her part. The Beauty of Darkness isn't a joyful novel. It is filled with despair, and bloodshed, and deaths of those who have been around since the beginning. It is a novel of reunions, backstabbing, prophecies, gifts, and characters who shine when the darkness is about to sweep over them. The ending leaves some unanswered questions, but overall, I can freely allow my mind to wander into the realm of what could possibility happen next.

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