This one started out slow for me, really picked up at about 50%, then ended pretty well. I do think it's one that a lot of people are going to like, aThis one started out slow for me, really picked up at about 50%, then ended pretty well. I do think it's one that a lot of people are going to like, and I'm super happy about the kissing that happened at the end. Thanks for that!...more
I really enjoyed this. I had a moment of wondering if I could deal with some of the physical abuse Gryphon displayed, but I'm hoping he didn't know anI really enjoyed this. I had a moment of wondering if I could deal with some of the physical abuse Gryphon displayed, but I'm hoping he didn't know any better and now that he does, he'd be ashamed of himself. Zo was such a great mix of strong and weak, courageous and afraid, despairing but hopeful. It's not often you see that balance. Can't wait to see what happens next!...more
I am excited to announce that the sequel to The Kiss of Deception rocks. In fact, I liked it even more than the first book in the RemnantThe Overview
I am excited to announce that the sequel to The Kiss of Deception rocks. In fact, I liked it even more than the first book in the Remnant Chronicles (if that is possible). My love was different though, more deep-rooted. There might not have been some spectacular deception aimed at us misguided readers that Mary E. Pearson planted (like in the last book), but our heroine did her fair share of acting and lying for survival in The Heart of Betrayal too. Intrigue, playing the enemy, provoking romance, standing-up for the oppressed, and embracing identity were all elements in this spectacular high fantasy novel.
Now if you haven’t read Kiss of Deception yet, just pause to check out my post on this book, which just must be so profound and important considering I compared this story to one of my favorite Starbucks drinks. What I Loved
As lists are so much easier to read (and write), I’ll break it down for you like this. I loved:
Kaden Kaden Kaden Did I mention Kaden? Ah, Kaden, I am in love with you. I just am and I can’t help it. I don’t even care than you are a misguided assassin. You’re just trying to be a good guy helping your country and were unfortunately rejected as a child. I get that. I forgive you. I will marry you (except you are fictional and I am already married). Lia: I was impressed with how much she grew up and became so much smarter in this book. I even compared her to Kestral in Winner’s Crime (to Andye’s horror, as she is determined to believe in Lia’s idiodicy). Lia was simply naive before--in The Heart of Betrayal she rises to the occasion. The people and clans of Venda: I can see why Lia loves them too, as they twine around our hearts. Calantha: With a mysterious vibe, she had me guessing the whole time. The rescuers: Brave and lighthearted, they were. The labyrinth: Every good book needs intertwining tunnels to who-knows-where. The plot: I feel so conflicted with what Lia should do. Essentially, she has three kingdoms whose future is directly and accidentally (or is it fate?) fallen into her hands. At first Lia is just thinking in all capital letters S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L., but at some point her concern switches to being beyond herself, as she recognizes that her survival and her choices shake the world. No pressure or anything, Lia. Lia’s destiny: The prophecy and spiritual implications the Gift and the weird ghosts of Venda add to the story, tying things together. The world: The city of Venda and surrounding territory was pretty cool. I wish I had a map to go with it, as my mind attempts to retain a 3D version.
What I Hated
Here is the flipside of what I didn’t love:
Rafe: I know I should like him, our Lia, after all, thinks she loves him. Although I remember liking him so much in The Kiss of Deception, there is nothing except his basic goodness to be a draw this time. No depth added, no real character development, in fact, he seems a tad stupid. The Heart of Betrayal doesn’t make me fall-in-love with Rafe all over again. Komizar: His intelligence, power, closeness, and all-around evilness makes me cringe. Let’s all cringe together! The book is better while being familiar with the first: Although I think you could read this without touching The Kiss of Deception (unlike many sequels), I kinda feel like I would have gotten more out of it if I had just finished The Kiss of Deception, rather than reading the first book in the series more than a year ago. The drastic back-and-forth schizophrenia between Rafe and Lia: One minute they are snogging, the next they act as though they hate each other. The fact I don’t really like Rafe makes all this play acting miserable to watch. Child workers: Also evil. I know that life is tough in Venda and there are “no children” where death is everyday and survival is life’s goal, but whether it is children having to steal to eat or are manipulated to believe their leader’s war is the only hope, it breaks my heart. It just reminds me that children can’t be children over the majority of our globe.
The Best Part
Well, I did get a tweet from the author herself when reading this, which made me feel super special:
But mostly, the end of The Heart of Betrayal rocked. I figured that something like what did happen, would. But there were so few pages left, I just couldn’t figure out how Pearson could manage concluding the book!
She did it with a snap and a slice, thrilling, dripping, and full of suspense. I am so excited to read the next book in the series and I hope this tickled your readers fancy to pick it up as well! Enjoy!
The pacing The characters The banter The romancES The witThis book is everything!
Why? Why is this book everything, you ask?
Well, let me tell you.
The pacing The characters The banter The romancES The wittiness The humor The intelligence The cleverness The twists The Ocean's Elevenness The World-drivenness The Plot-drivenness The Character-driveness
This book literally has every single thing that I could possibly want in a book, and it is aggressively awesome. I mean, it hit me right in the gut with it's awesomeness.
If you like short reviews, really that's all you need to know. Just trust me and pre-order it now.
For those that want more, I will go into a little more detail.
From beginning to end, Six of Crows is an intriguing and wonderfully paced story. There was never a moment that I was bored as there was always something going on. I have to categorize it as plot-driven, being a heist story with clear goals, successes, failures and consequences. I love heist stories (Ocean's Eleven is one of my favorite movies), as they make you question the right and wrong of it all. You know these people are technically criminals, but you just can't help but to love them and root for them to succeed. With all the twists and hardships that surface, this story never lets go of your racing heart. Ever. And Leigh Bardugo has masterfully planned out this incredible book in a way that you never know what direction it's headed, or what's going to happen next. It was honestly brilliant.
But I changed my mind. Because this book was obviously world-driven. The world-building that Leigh magically constructs is a thing of beauty. You may think she would be lax on this since she already set up this world in the Grisha Trilogy, but that's not the case at all. Fjerda and Kerch are completely different than Ravka, and so different from each other. Ketterdam is like the Vegas of this created world (another thing that made it feel like Ocean's), and Fjerda is just something else entirely. I love that it has it's own map. I swear I looked at it constantly while reading (even though it's going to change in the final copy). With these new countries, we encounter new cultures, new creatures, and new magic. It's overwhelmingly amazing, and I just want so much to live in this world!
Of course both of those are wrong, though, because if there ever was a story that was character-driven, it was this story. (I'm going to bring up Ocean's Eleven again.) You know that the story is awesome, and the heist is so cool and mind-blowing and all that. But the thing that makes that movie . . . and this book . . . so extraordinary, is the characters. The way they interact with each other. Their banter, their fights, their hatred, their love. How you can be on the edge of your seat, thinking someone is about to die, when Jesper suddenly says something that makes you spit food out of your mouth in the middle of a restaurant. The way Matthias and Nina's animosity for each other is palpable, but not quite a palpable as their desire. The devotion of Inej and Kaz, the banter between Kaz and Jesper, and Jesper and Wylan. The girl-power that is owned by Inej and Nina. The way each chapter is told from a different view-point, but I never got confused about who was telling the story. These characters, their lives, their stories, are beautifully and wonderfully written. I love them. I want to be friends with them. I want to slap them when they're being stupid and hold them when they're hurt. They're real to me, and what more could you possibly ask for out of a story?
Obviously, this book has literally everything I love about an amazing story. I knew Six of Crows was going to be a good book. I had no idea that it would be one of the best books I've ever read. I adore it, I will read it over and over, and I just can not wait to find out what happens next.
Thank you, Leigh, for sharing this world with us. Thank you, Macmillan Publishing, for sharing it with me!
For those wondering, you don't need to read the Grisha series first, but it does make it a little more rich as there are nods to former characters and a history that is mentioned. Plus they're awesome.