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The Remnant Chronicles #3

The Beauty of Darkness

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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.

684 pages, Hardcover

First published August 2, 2016

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About the author

Mary E. Pearson

42 books12.2k followers
Mary E. Pearson is the NYT bestselling and award-winning author of eleven YA novels and one novella. Her works include the completed trilogy, The Remnant Chronicles, which in a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly called “masterfully crafted.” Her favorite activities as a child were climbing tall trees imagining she was a hero in some fantastical world, or running along fence tops and roofs pretending she was a spy with a bagful of amazing gadgets. She was rarely herself. Amazingly, she never broke a bone until she caught a basketball in gym class. Catching real balls was not her forte. These days she continues to live in make-believe worlds she creates in her books. Her latest 2-book series, Dance of Thieves, allows her do all kinds of dangerous things without breaking any bones. So far.
You can learn more about Mary and her books at www.marypearson.com

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Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
545 reviews34.6k followers
April 2, 2019
This world, it breathes you in … it knows you, and then it breathes you out again, shares you.”

I don’t know why but I think this quote is so very suitable for the entire book. You’re drawn into this world and you live with the characters, want to know how it continues and what’s going to happen next and then after 679 pages you’re done with the book and it feels like it “breathes you out again”.

The only thing I haven’t decided yet is whether this is a good or a bad thing. *lol* Don’t get me wrong, I loved the world building in this series and Pearson didn’t just write something entirely different but also managed to surprise me multiple times, which is no small feat for a die-hard YA and fantasy fan like me. But still, after all the ideas and thoughts she put into it, after all the effort she made, I kind of hoped that we’d get something epic and amazing in the end.

I mean the ending was really fitting and harmonious but after all this build up it still felt kind of rushed to me. I know Pearson had her focus on the world and the characters that live in it, but this doesn’t change anything about the fact that the ending fell flat for me. Hmm I can’t even tell you what I expected but I certainly expected MORE. At least after reading all 3 books and the 679 pages of the last volume where they actually prepare for war.

Jeez! One week and I’m still not sure how I’ll rate this. >_<
Well, let’s continue with my review. Maybe I’ll figure it out until the end. ;-)

The plot:

”Lia, when we lose a battle, we have to regroup and move forward again. Choose an alternate path if necessary. But if we dwell on every action we’ve taken, it will cripple us, and soon we’ll take no action at all.”

The characters:

Beware of my spoilery characters section! ;-) If you haven’t read the first two books and if you still need to read the third you better don’t continue to read. If you’ve read the entire trilogy, don’t care if you’re spoiled, never actually planned to read the books and therefore prefer to be spoiled: Welcome to my character review, I hope you’ll enjoy it. XD


”I suddenly ached with the trying, ached for a way to belonging that was always out of my reach, ached for Pauline, and Berdi, and Gwyneth to be by my side, to hold me, a tight circle of arms that were invincible. Ached for a hundred things lost and gone, things I could never get back, including Aster, who had believed in me unconditionally. It was an ache so deep I wanted to bleed into the ground and disappear.”

Poor Lia has come a long way and it was good to see that the things that happened to her didn’t break her but shaped her instead. She became so much stronger over those last three books and I really loved her character development. I mean we had that shy girl who ran from her own wedding because she didn’t know if she’d ever love the prince she was supposed to marry and now we have that strong and amazing queen who’s not only fighting for her own people but also for those of Venda. Lia has matured so much and the way she changed was so beautiful to watch. Plus I loved that she put all those misogynistic men in their place! *lol* They needed to hear that, I swear! Especially the people of her own land and the Dalbreck soldiers. ;-)

”In spite of my utter disgust, instead of calling you an ignorant, delusional, pompous, self-absorbed buffoon, I am going to extend my hand and strongly suggest that you take it, because I will not let your patronizing insults nor my pride get in the way of saving Morrighan. As much as I may loath the idea, I need whatever miserable expertise you will bring to the table and so when we convene to plan our strategies at a time and place I shall designate, you will be there ready to serve your kingdom.”

”Doubt was a poison I couldn’t afford to sip.”

”The truths of the world wish to be known, but they won’t force themselves upon you the way lies will. They’ll court you, whisper to you, slip inside and warm your blood, and caress your neck until your flesh rises in bumps. That is the truth whispering to you.”


”There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t wish I could steal back a few hours,” he whispered. “When I don’t wish I could steal back the taste of your mouth on mine, the feel of your hair twisted between my fingers, the feel of your body pressed to mine. When I don’t wish I could see you laughing and smiling like when we were back in Terravin.”

Oh, boy! Rafe had to put up with a lot of rubbish in that last book as well. I mean everything he did at the Vendan court, then saving Lia, arguing with her because she wanted to help her people, letting her go, the death of his father and mother. Poor, poor boy! And then even the people in his own rows that questioned him because he ran after Lia. To say they gave him a tough time would be the understatement of the century. And then as crowning finale even another arranged marriage with another girl that didn’t want to marry him. URGH! Seriously, Rafe deserves a hug! As much as I understood Lia’s decision to go to Morrighan I still couldn’t help but feel sorry for Rafe. They both had their positions and they were both valid, which is the main reason he let her go again. *sighs and gives Rafe a hug*


”Familiar, I had wanted to answer. Being a prisoner feels familiar. It was all I had ever been. My past held on to me today as strongly as it had when I was a child, my choices still limited, my steps still shackled. My life had been patched together with lies from the day I was born.”

Aww Kaden! I felt so sorry for him. I understood why he was on the Komizar’s side at first and considering how he was betrayed by his own father it’s no wonder that he thought he’d found something like friendship and safety in Venda. Still, the way he was treated when he first got there and how much he had to suffer… it’s just not fair! Kaden is my poor precious boy! I know he’s an assassin but he was made into one, his environment and his life gave him no other option than to become a killer and he had to do it in order to survive. There’s a lot of kindness in Kaden, a lot of love and gentleness. I really hope that he can settle down now and that his past won’t influence him as much anymore. He deserves happiness and I think he got it in the end. =)))


”He was a habit in my thoughts, not any more welcome than a rash, but I’d find myself thinking of him before I even realized what I was doing. Banishing him from my thoughts was like learning to breathe in a new way. It was a conscious effort.”

Another character that was drawn into things that were way too complicated to get out of them unscathed. It’s horrible that Pauline was betrayed like that and to have a child from the man you despise must be horrible. Still, she loves her child and I think she did the best she could do. To be in the middle of all this with a baby must have been more than just tough though and to be honest I’m just glad that she came out of it alive. I’m sure she’ll be a great mother and I have to say that I kinda love that new and tough Pauline. She’s kick-ass! *lol*

The Komizar:

”You don’t have to die. Come over to my side. Look at all I have to offer.”
“Servitude? Cruelty? Violence? You tempt me so, sher Komizar. We’ve talked. You can go back now.”

The Komizar was a disappointment in that one. Well, in fact the entire ending around the Komizar was a disappointment. I mean he invaded Morrighan with his entire army and there should have been all out war and strategies, cunning plans, schemes to undermine the enemies force. Plots to win Morrighan…. but all we got was one battle and I think it wasn’t longer than a few pages. Yes, that battle was awesome to read because it felt like you were in the middle of it all, but still, I just would have wished for… more. All the cunning and build up and then it’s finished in a few pages? It was just so disappointing. I mean where was his strategy? Did he even have one? A man like the Komizar of all people should have at least had a plan B, which he didn’t and that was just so… out of character. *sighs* I guess what it comes down to is that it would have needed a few pages more to be satisfying. It’s just my personal opinion though so if you think it was perfect the way it was then that’s okay too. =)

The relationships & ships:

Lia & Kaden:

”I know that you suffered, Lia, but I did what I thought was right at the time. I can’t take back what I’ve done. I can only try to make amends.”

I’m so glad they finally became friends and trust each other unconditionally. I always knew that their ship would never sail and that’s okay. Kaden needed a good friend and I think he found it in Lia, plus he also managed to become friends with Rafe and his men so that’s quite an achievement if you ask me. I love them as friends and I hope it will stay that way for a long, long time! =)

Lia & Rafe:

”You’re afraid you’ll taint my reputation?”
An evil grin pulled at the corner of his mouth. “I’m afraid you’ll taint mine.”

I loved the easy banter between Lia and Rafe and I was so happy that we finally got to see a few lovely and sweet moments between those two. Heaven knows how long I’ve waited for them to be together and even though they argued a lot they still never stopped to love each other. I think that’s a very beautiful thing. I mean no matter how hard things got, in the end they always found back together and tried to make it work. They never gave up and if you truly love someone, if your heart belongs to a person, you never give up. You fight for that love, you hold on to it, you go through the bad and the good times and you give your best to keep it going. It’s really amazing that Pearson managed to convey this so good and the realistic love story between Rafe and Lia is definitely one of the best things in this book! =) Well done, Pearson!

”You are what matters to me, Lia. If you don’t know that already, I’ll find a hundred more ways to show you. I love you more than a port, more than an alliance, more than my own life. Your interests are my interests. Are we going to let the conspiracies and schemes of kingdoms come between us?”

”You’re looking better than you did last night,” he said.
“Thank you for coming to help.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t come sooner. I guess I was waiting for a note.”
“I recall you telling me not to send any.”
“Since when have you listened to me?”
“Since when have you paid attention to my notes?”

”There were no questions, no pauses, no room left for anything more to be stolen. There was only us, and everything we had ever been to each other, the days and weeks when only we mattered, our fingers lacing together, holding, fierce, his gaze penetrating mine, and then fear and desperation faded, our movement slowed, and we memorized, lingered, touched, swallowing tears that still swelled in us, the reality settling in – we had only a few hours.”

Pauline & Kaden:

”His eyes bore into mine, and I saw a hundred questions behind them I hadn’t seen before. Would I ever forgive him? Had he gone too far? Was I all right? But mostly I saw the kindness in them I had seen the first time I met him. Silence and dust motes hung in the air between us.”

I LOVED THOSE TWO!!! Plus how cool was it that Kaden was afraid of Pauline? Haha! I had to laugh so hard when Lia realized that the fearsome assassin of Venda was afraid of a pregnant girl! XD But then again he had every right to be. He didn’t really treat her well when he abducted Lia and we all know how fierce Pauline can be! *lol* When I read the first book I always shipped Kaden and Pauline but I never knew if anything would actually happen between those two. I mean Kaden was in love with Lia and I doubted that he’d ever see Pauline again, so I was really, really happy when they met at the house and started to talk! XD Guess a baby as a buffer worked wonders for them. *lol* Anyway, I really liked their slow burn and I loved that Kaden got a chance to show his true nature and his kindness. =)) Pauline brought out the best in him and that was so sweet to watch. =)) Oh and can we acknowledge that moment when he barked at Mikael and indicated that he’s the father of Pauline’s baby?! Awesome! So, so awesome! <333

I couldn’t look away. My breath was suddenly trapped in my chest, and I was afraid of making wrong choices too. All I could see were her lips, her eyes, everywhere, only Pauline.
“Kaden,” she whispered.


I really enjoyed “The Beauty of Darkness” and I liked the little snippets of wisdom that could be found throughout the entire book. All told it was a really good ending for an amazing trilogy and even though I would have expected a little bit more it was still a very suitable finale. I guess all in all it’s 3,5 stars rounded up to 4. (We really should get a half star rating!! *lol*) With this in mind: Happy Reading!
Profile Image for Katerina  Kondrenko.
498 reviews842 followers
December 30, 2020
11 out 10

Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blog
Living A Thousand Lives
(please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)

Laura Jansen feat. Ed Harcourt – A Call To Arms
Andrew Belle – Pieces
Onyay Pheori – No More Waiting

Genre: post-apocalyptic, fantasy, upper-YA
Stuff: politics, war, hope, sacrifices, love and a lot of more
WOW: world-building, writing style, characters, twists
POV: 1st-person, multi
Love-Geometry: seeming and subtle

"Some things last. The things that matter."

Buddy-read with my beloved friends Vira aka Vendan and Nastassja aka Morrighan (Dalbreck is my baby!). Thank you for giving a chance to one of my favorite series ever, for your open hearts and raw emotions. You're the best!

When I finished the book, I went to my sister to retell her the plot (she doesn't read in English, so I had to give her at least a short story, or else she wouldn't understand my tears for no reason during a few next days xD). But once I started my exposition, I got that The Remnant Chronicles isn't a straight line, it's a network. You can't go through it using only one thread, each of them demands to bring another, plus you should keep in mind the first one. My mission failed, but I was overwhelmed with how hard Mary Pearson worked for such an intricate result.

First of all, YES, the ending did satisfy me. Maybe not for 100, 'cause a true fan is always eager for more, but I feel happy. Though you have to know this happiness isn't about only a few last pages, my feelings embrace the whole series. The Remnant Chronicles is a journey, during which we experience a lot of different things, strong emotions and fuse with the world, the characters and their lives. So 100% or not, I had no chance to go through The Beauty of Darkness and end up being grumpy. Miserable? Yeah. Devastated? Indeed. But ungrateful for the colossal work Mary Pearson has done? Never.

The following text would contain SPOILERS, so be warned and don't read it before you finished the book.

Let's start with the world-building.

We have a post-apocalyptic era, people of these times consider us - their ancestors - gods. And that's understandable. If you are a medieval person and hear that someone could fly among stars, you think of this someone as of a really mighty fellow. What's scary is that the concept is so well-developed, you can't help but think about many civilizations that ceased to exist before we came and that we aren't the last as well.
"No one is too great to fall."

Thus one world falls, the other rises. Endless circle. That's also the mainline of the story. History has a way to repeat itself. The folks of this world think that the earth is flat - so did we a long time ago - just because they have no means for distant travels (I remember them having a port, a sea, but I can't remember anything of new lands), though if they managed to come from barbarians to medieval people... I'm sure they eventually would transform into us. Again.

By the by, that's really disturbing how people were fooled by a wrong knowledge, how their history turned out to be almost a lie. How much of our history is a fruit of misunderstanding or disinformation or even somebody's imagination?

Sorry, I lost my focus. We were talking about the world. All these verses, songs, legends are such a treasure. Mary Pearson created a future full of rich details, and this future seems very real, palpable. Languages, cultural nuances, mindsets... When you read this series you see how different all the people in it are, that various names for kingdoms and nations aren't just names, that the author made up A WORLD with everything any world is supposed to have. That's incredible.

Now to the places. We have three big kingdoms and a lot of lesser ones, I suppose there are more, but since our medieval babes don't travel much, who knows.

Morrighan. It's a beautiful place which is humble and great at the same time. Jafir and his dear Remnant-girl would be amazed by what became of a place they decided to stay on centuries ago. And a true heart of betrayal is actually beating here.

Venda. I have sympathy for this kingdom, but sympathy isn't love. Venda has very interesting traditions, as well as a cruel history, but my feels toward it are similar to Rafe's. Understanding. Empathy. Anger. Venda stole something vital from my ship. I know all the reasons but ache all the same.

Dalbreck. We didn't see much of this kingdom but met its people and that was somehow enough. Given that, people make countries and grace places, sometimes they are more than enough to understand their homeland. And I understood Dalbreck. Moreover, I fell for its inhabitants. I'd never forget that even at military outposts there are splendid clothes, delicious food, sparkling jewels, and lovely balls. Darlbretch combines beauty and strength. And honor! Only their kingdom had no traitors after all. They can play around each other, but never against. At Lia's place, I would come with Rafe. For me, Dalbreck is like Venda for her.

A few words about prophesies and stuff. I think there was no prophesy at all. Only a plea, a message from ancestors to future generations. The story teaches us that there are no special 'chosen ones' to solve war and hatred among people; only those who can choose to become a 'chosen', to 'sacrifice' themselves for the greater good. And that the result wouldn't last forever. Wars would be back. Hearts would be tested. But someone would bring hope. Why not you?

The gift. That's a weird thing... I wouldn't call it magic, but it's not a simple intuition either. Songs of Venda could refer to any conflict between men, the name Jezelia could be a mere trigger for descendants, but kavah and its details can't be explained like that. One had to literally foresee it to be so specific in his or her predictions. And then there are Kaden's, Lia's, and her mother's visions which are like psychic abilities. Not magic, but supernatural much.

The characters. This series has so many wonderful heroes! And Mary developed as good as possible even the secondary ones. That's a dangerous thing, though. 'Cause war takes people's lives, it doesn't give a damn if you already care about them. The most painful losses to me were Darbretch soldiers and generals. As I said before, I have a soft spot for men from this kingdom. That's why I wanna start my character-talk with Rafe's closest comrades:

Orrin aka Hang-Me-If-My-Name-Isn't-The-Best, Jeb aka Cruvas-Linen-Shirts-Are-The-Best, Tavish aka My-Strategies-Are-The-Best and Sven aka My-King-Is-The-Best ARE THE BEST . I was intrigued by them in book #1, amazing in book #2 and I don't know how to live without them after book #3. You have no idea what a river I've cried after Jeb's death. I still can't believe he's gone. If Mary would ask me, 'Okay, Kat. If not Jeb, then who?', I wouldn't be able to answer. No one? I know that 'no one' is for fairytales and The Remnant Chronicles are far from tales.

Vendan guys. I mean, Griz and Eben. Thank you Mary for saving these two! All of my favorite Rahtan are alive (including Kaden), yay! A mountain of a man and a wolfling of a boy deserves a lot of beautiful tomorrows.

Vagabonds and Natiya. The former I liked from The Kiss of Deception, the latter became a really stressful factor in this book. I knew that Lia had to stay alive because of Kaden's vision, but one can't be so sure when it comes to the series' finals. Natiya seemed as if Lia's a substitute for the case of her possible death.

Morrighese girls. Berdie, Gwyneth and Pauline plus the Queen and Lia's aunts. I adore these women. Each has a different kind of strength, and each is a good example of feminine badassery. One can be a beauty, a mother, a simple girl and a warrior at the same time. No matter what battlefield they fight on.

Lia. Oh, how I wanted to slap her not once and even not twice during this book. A million times I was ready to rant in a status-update, but my irritation with Lia never lasted long. She managed to be opposite things within a few phrases. One second you curse her name, the next you sing dithyrambs to her person. I still disagree with many of her decisions, but I can't deny that the girl gained my respect. That's more than a blind love for a character. More and deeper. The one thing I won't forgive her for is her willingness to give up on Rafe. I know, long partings mean a lot of tears, she merely tried to prevent more pain, but fuck her reasons. When it comes to Rafe I just go nuts. All in all, Lia is a complicated character who exists in a grey area. We always ask authors for someone like her, but not always ready to deal with such heroines.

Rafe. Even when we relate with a few (or more) characters in a book, there's always a special one whose side you're on no matter what and whose feelings are yours. For me, that character was (and still is) Rafe. I went through The Remnant Chronicles in his shoes. That's why I tolerate (and sometimes love) Lia. That's why I'm not very fond of Venda while mad about Dalbreck and have respect for Morrighan. That's why I love his people more than other characters. But my love for him came from another source: his actions and way of thoughts. Try to process what this young man had been through the whole series. How duty fought love in his heart, how longing fought responsibility. How many times he turned upside-down the world for Lia. His love was that big that he let her go. Then came to her side. And helped, asking nothing in return. Lia might be a hero, but without Rafe, there would be no Lia. Also, in this book, we see Rafe's true self. In The Kiss of Deception he 'was' a farmer, in The Heart of Betrayal - an emissary. Now we've got a chance to see a Prince and a King. No more pretending, no more false attitude. Only raw passion and great honor. I have to stop, or else my review would turn out into Rafe's praising. Just mind that this character is my favorite male-lead among favorite male-leads.

Kaden. He grew on me after a long trip from book #1, but my feeling toward him never been passionate. Sorrow? Sympathy? Kindness? Whatever. 'Cause any feeling had been shadowed by jealousy (Rafe's emotions, remember?). I started to actually like him once I got that my ship was safe. I know, bad Kat. But I couldn't bring myself to let him in my heart before. I was (and still am) madly in love with Rafe. In this book, Kaden is somehow softer. The final of the previous installment had changed him. Blood of his kin, betrayal of Lia, the end of the old life. Kaden always wanted two things: to be loved and to belong. But he was searching for it in the wrong place, was asking the wrong person. Until he wasn't. And you know what? Without mooning around Lia Kaden became a million times better, stronger, and way more intriguing. I loved to see the world and other people through his eyes. I loved to find another thing aside from Lia, and of course Venda, in his head and heart. But it grieves me that this Kaden did show up this late, I would love to spend more time with such a wonderful man.

Relationships. This series is not about only one kind of love, but of many. Parents and children, siblings, friends, partners, mates, fellows, comrades, and, yes, lovers. This story is about all of them and their bonds. And how weak or strong these kinds of bonds do make us. There are a lot of sweet and bitter and bittersweet moments between the characters. And one of them (or even all) would strike you hard. 'Cause there is no man with a heart on this earth who would remain indifferent while a child is missing his mother or a father is losing his son or a friend is dying on your lap or a lover is leaving you for the best.


Lia and Rafe. WHAT A ROMANCE! What had started as seeming (or not so?) instalove grew into a passion and then into deep love. What's interesting in such a situation? Where's intrigue? Calm down. Love and desire to be together don't guarantee anything. Mary Pearson didn't play with triangles, misunderstandings, and dances around confessions, 'cause she had other ways to prolong readers' torture. You can love as long as you please a king of another kingdom, but what if you have your own duties and can't join him in his realm? What if he has a lot of problems as well and can't put you first his own country? What if you both know that nothing would change even when all the problems are gone? Lia and Rafe have different paths to take and one love to share. Sometimes their ship would play off fireworks in your heart, sometimes the play would go on with knives. And until the very last page, you would have no idea how their story ends. Here's your intrigue. Try not to go grey.

Goodreads limited review characters to 15k only, so I lost about 4k after editing this one. Please read the rest of it in my blog .

Paviamma, my friends.

The Remnant Chronicles (Хроники выживших):
Morrighan (Морриган) #0.5/3
The Kiss of Deception (Поцелуи лжецов) #1/3
The Heart of Betrayal (Сердца обманщиков) #2/3
The Beauty of Darkness (Прелесть тьмы) #3/3
Profile Image for Mikee (ReadWithMikee).
203 reviews1,308 followers
February 10, 2017

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Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
❝I cry out and fall to my knees,
unable to go on,
weeping for the dead,
weeping for the cruelties,
and a whisper calls to me from far away,
You are strong,
Stronger than your pain,
Stronger than your grief,
Stronger than them.

And I force myself to my feet again.❞

I can't believe that this is the end of one of my favorite series of all time. If I could stay in this world forever, I would. I wish it never had to end. This world, these characters, these books have slowly crept their way into my heart and I know without a doubt, that that's where they'll always stay.

Going into The Beauty of Darkness, my expectations were through the roof. I had so many plans in my mind of how I wish things would play out in the end. I was a bit wary though because a number of reviews gave me the impression that I would be left dreadfully unhappy with the ending or even the book overall. Fortunately enough, I was fairly satisfied with the way The Remnant Chronicles came to an end. It wasn't what I wanted exactly but it was good enough for me.

Even with my feelings and preferences aside, I believe that this book deserves all the stars in the world just by Mary Pearson's writing alone. The Beauty of Darkness was 680 pages of pure stress and frustration but her writing just lures you in and keeps you hooked until the next thing you know, you've already devoured more than half of the book within a few hours! It truly blows my mind how fast I could get lost into this world. Your blood pressure may skyrocket in the meantime but Mary Pearson makes it worth it. XD

Reading this book wasn't always sunshine and rainbows, let me tell you that. THIS BOOK WILL FRUSTRATE YOU. Oh, yes it will. IT WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO THROW YOUR BOOK ACROSS THE ROOM. Hell yeah freakin right it will! I honestly didn't know who to be pissed at more: Lia for being stubborn. Rafe for holding Lia back. Everyone for being close-minded. Or what. I don't even know. At one point, it felt like they were all acting out of character and it made me want to rip my hair out. Thankfully, everyone got a hold on themselves and we were able to get back to the story.

Lia's development in this book was outstanding. I absolutely LOVED her. She was fierce, relentless, and just straight up badass. She went full on WARRIOR PRINCESS on their enemies and suddenly all was right in the world. Lia has came a long way from how she was since the very beginning of The Kiss of Deception and I couldn't be more proud.

As for Rafe, I felt like we did see a bit of his ugly side. I did feel at one point that he kept holding Lia back, much to my dismay since Lia and Rafe are my OTP in this series. But we also get to see him for the great ruler that he was and the love he truly has for Lia. His character does take a downturn in certain areas but he makes up for it and more in other ways.

I thought that Kaden was sort of pushed a little bit to the side in this book. Although I don't ship him with Lia, I still loved their friendship and teamwork. However, I felt like he was more of an important background character rather than one of the three main characters in this story which was a bit sad since he adds so much depth to the series.

The Remnant Chronicles will always be one of my favorite series of all time. I really can't believe that this is the end. After so many late nights binge reading, months of waiting, this is finally it. These characters will always stay with me and I know I'll always look for a piece of them in every book I read and every character I read about. Thank you Mary Pearson for such an amazing series! You've truly carved your mark and will forever be one of my favorite authors. I look forward to many more of your books in the future. Paviamma.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews842 followers
July 24, 2016
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
Book Three of the Remnant Chronicles
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Rating: 1 star
Source: eARC from NetGalley


Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

Bestselling author Mary E. Pearson's combination of intrigue, suspense, romance and action make this a riveting page turner for teens.

What I Liked:

I'm writing this review in lists, people. Usually I do this in paragraphs but I am too infuriated and frustrated by this book write now. This section is my "What I Liked" section, otherwise known as the reasons-why-I'm-not-giving-this-book-zero-stars, in this case.

- Technically, the ending IS a HEA. You'll see below my full thoughts on the ending. But technically, technically, we have a HEA. Lia, Rafe, Kaden, Pauline, and other major characters get a happy ending. I liked Rafe's ending, though I wished for more for him.

- The love triangle is gone - ish? It is. But then, the romance is pretty much gone in general, so there's that. More on that below.

What I Did Not Like:

- Lia is a complete and utter b***h in this book. Honestly, I don't know how I liked her in the previous two books. She certainly wasn't this bad in those books, I can tell you that. Lia turns into this raging crazy person. I think Pearson wanted to make Lia seem "bada**" and commanding and alpha female or whatever. It came across as CRAZY. And rude. And hurtful. For about 75% of the book, Lia is HORRIBLE to Rafe. And then in the last 25% of the book, she's horrible to him in a different way, more subtle. She literally does nothing to fight for their relationship.

Let me stay on this topic for a little bit. Lia treats Rafe so badly in the first 75% of the book. It's like she isn't grateful for him saving her life... over... and over... and over. She uses him, and she makes demands and expects him to do all of these things when SHE KNOWS he has duties in this or that.

Did I mention that she doesn't fight for their relationship? It's like she loves him but doesn't care enough to fight for the relationship, when things get tough. HE fights for them, but not her. You know why, partly? Her "gift" tells her to do this, or do that. The magical book of Venda that she has with her has all of these fancy prophecies, and Lia is trying to follow them down to the T.

Honestly, I have a lot of disdain for prophecies, and protagonists that put so much stock into them. Lia has no regard for her own destiny. For a girl that tried to escape her fate by running away from her wedding, Lia is quick to jump right back into letting someone (i.e. the book of Venda, and her "gift") control her.

- Obviously I hated the romance. The love triangle is gone, thank goodness. But Rafe and Lia still aren't in a good place, and it's mostly Lia's fault. Rafe is under so much pressure and stress, as a new king (yup, he's the king of Dalbreck now), and it's like Lia doesn't care, or doesn't understand, or both. The romance in this book is AWFUL. I do not recommend reading this book if you expect swooooon. Because it never happens. Lia is cruel to Rafe, and Rafe has to do certain things within his duty as king, and honestly he deserves so much better than her. She wants to be Queen of Venda? By all means. But it's too bad that Rafe loves her so blindly.

In that regard, I dislike Rafe. He loves Lia SO blindly. Rafe is my favorite character and I really felt for him in this book - having to step into the role of king so suddenly - but ugh. Love is so blind.

- I didn't like Kaden, but even I thought his end of the romance deal was poor. It's like the author wanted to force a romantic plot for Kaden. It felt fake and totally forced and not genuine. There was potential for a good hate-to-love relationship. But the author doesn't write it well.

- BORING. This book, especially the first, like, 40%, was SO incredibly boring. WHY is this book nearly 700 pages long?! It could easily be like, 400 pages, and still would need cutting down. So many unnecessary pages in the beginning of the book - especially since BARELY ANYTHING HAPPENS, except Lia whining, complaining, and being a super-b***h.

- I got to a certain point where I literally dreaded continuing. That point occurred well before the 60% mark, but I stopped reading the book at the 60% mark and didn't pick it up for almost a week. I dreaded picking it back up. There were so many things that were happening that were especially awful, ridiculous, and stupid. Look, I try to separate my intense emotions from my objective opinion of the book, but when you're feeling dread at the thought of picking up a book, and your stomach hurts just thinking about it... there is something very wrong with the book.

- This brand of "girl power" was so bad. I already touched on this, but I didn't like what Lia evolved into, in this story. She's such a b***h! Making demands to everyone, like she owns everything. Especially in DALBRECK, to the DALBRECK KING -- no. Let me explain something: you want to write a medieval-type fantasy novel? You can't have a Princess of X trying to command people/soldiers/royalty in the Kingdom of Y. That just doesn't happen. Lia needed to learn her place, but she is so tunnel-visioned by her "gift". Suddenly she's infinitely smarter and better than everyone because she has a "gift"? That's what it seemed like, in this book.

I think the author was going for bada**ery but it was an epic fail, at least in my opinion. I hated Lia for, let's see, ALL OF THIS BOOK. I was no longer rooting for after, hmm, chapter one. Look, I'm all for feminism, but in no story would I like a heroine like Lia (at least, what she is, in this third book).

- The ending, in terms of the romance. It is SUPER open-ended. This book is in serious need of an epilogue. It's not open-ended in a triangular way, but it's abrupt and open-ended.

- The ending in general. In terms of kingdoms and wars and whatnot, the ending wraps up. But it's so abrupt. The Great Big Battle occurs after the 90% mark, and it's so abrupt. And cliche/unsurprising... there are no elements of originality in that last battle scene.

- The speech that Lia gave that stopped and saved everything (at the Great Big Battle). You want to know how the fighting stopped? Lia suddenly developed magical oration powers and captured all of the bloodthirsty solders' attention with her speech. "Brothers, sister!" Yeah NO. That would not have worked on me. In the heat of a battle, I would not give one flying f**k who is getting on whatever podium or rock or hill and starts giving some empowering "let's work together" speech. Ummm, no. That b***h would get an arrow straight through her.

- The presence of the supernatural is SO deus ex machina. I feel like the author used the supernatural "gift" that Lia has to explain way too many things. Feelings, visions memories - okay, maybe. But it just did not seem believable. You cannot explain away EVERY single event with the "gift". You can't have the plot moving because Lia heard a whisper that they should do this, or that. Literally every single one of Lia's decisions are made because of her "gift", and she expects everyone to follow her blindly. Look, I'm all for divine/supernatural powers, but you really can't have your main character so dependent on them. Especially those prophecies -- well, you already read my opinion on prophecies.

- The writing was kind of awful. Seriously, what even happened to this book?! The first two books were really intriguing and engrossing and I liked them so much. This book seemed rushed and poorly written, like maybe it was outlined very well but written with difficulty. Or something. I don't know. All I know is that it was a MESS.

Would I Recommend It:

I do not recommend this book. Even if you've read books one and two, just stop there. I know that if I were reading this review, I would be like psssshhhh, is it really that bad, I'm going to read it anyway! (I was a HUGE fan of books one and two, despite the love triangle.) And there will be many people that will read this book anyway. But I'm here to say that I do not recommend that decision.

Or, try borrowing this from the library. Maybe don't sink $20 on a book that might end up being 700 pages of agony and fury and irritation. Trust me, I do not know what happened to this book, but the author really dropped the ball here.

And if you haven't started the series at all... maybe don't. Skip it. Overall, it's not THAT good, or original. I can list plenty of better YA medieval fantasy stories, just ask! Honestly, after reading this book, I'm questioning why/how I even liked this series in the first place. My memories of books one and two are replaced by all this rage I have for book three!


1.5 stars. I really wish I hadn't ever read this series. I rarely say that but yup, I'm saying it. I'm sorry to the author, publisher, publicists, etc. I'm grateful for the review copy, as always, but I did not enjoy this book. But I will always be honest. If there is one thing I've learned, it's to never hide your negative opinion of a book behind your initial/previous excitement for it. I wish all readers who attempt this book the very best.

Pre-read squees:

*sobs* I need this book like yesterday :O

July 17, 2015 EDIT:

Just in!!!! Title of the third book in the Remnant Chronicles by @marypearson is..... THE BEAUTY OF DARKNESS!

— Vilma's Book Blog (@vilmasbookblog) July 17, 2015




Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
October 4, 2020
i have mixed feelings on this concluding installment. this series has been up and down for me, so i guess thats not a total surprise.

this turned out exactly the way i thought it would. the characters did things i knew they would, the plot progressed in a way i knew it would, and the story worked out like i knew it would. which isnt a terrible thing - it means the storytelling is reliable and consistent. however, i didnt have much to look forward to because i already knew how the story would end.

but this is what it is - a very ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of book. i enjoyed the world and characters and im now extremely excited that i can finally pick up the ‘dance of thieves’ series, which i have a feeling i am going to love so much more.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
551 reviews60.4k followers
May 22, 2017
I was afraid the last book wouldn't live up to the rest of the series but.... totally worth the read!
So many great relationships and political intrigue!
Profile Image for beautyliterate.
331 reviews1,370 followers
August 16, 2016
4.25/5 stars

The Remnant Chronicles Spoiler Free Series Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMS-6...

If you follow me on twitter you would know I woke up at 3AM this morning and could not go back to bed. I thought maybe I should read a book to help myself fall back asleep...it did the complete opposite.

From 3AM-10Am this morning I finished all 688 pages of The Beauty of Darkness and even though I'm extremely tired I don't regret it at all.

I was honestly such an emotional mess when I got to the end just because I am so sad to say goodbye to this series.

Now, I gave this a 4.25/5stars just because yes, I enjoyed it and there were many pros BUT I also did have issues that I can't overlook.

Overall, I highly recommend the Remnant Chronicles Series, one of my favorites!

Profile Image for Andreea Pop.
321 reviews2,229 followers
August 14, 2016
Beatiful, beautiful, beautiful. I was frustrated, happy, shocked, angry, in love, joyous, heartbroken, sad, exhilarated and awed -- I experienced everything on the emotional palette because this was such a great, solid conclusion. I wanted more, perhaps an epilogue to make my greedy heart satisfied but I guess the cleverness and mastery of the book will have to suffice. Lia, there are no words for the sheer badassery. Rafe, you almost-insufferable-at-times and lovable piece of star-hung perfection. Kaden, you precious cinnamon roll. Pauline, just wow. And then there's SO MUCH MORE. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
Profile Image for ✨ Helena ✨.
378 reviews1,000 followers
July 8, 2018

WOW. WOW. JUST WOW. WHAT. A. FINALE. I haven’t flown through a book of this size (700-ish pages) in one sitting, since the release of Lady Midnight!!! I read the general reviews on GoodReads for this book before reading it and I can honestly say that I have no idea what you lot were going on about!!! This was amazing!!! I’m personally a huge fan of long and political books (hence, why I study politics ha ha), so maybe that’s why I enjoyed it more??? Either way, I had a blast!

“[I]t was only me, a thousand blinking stars, and the beauty of darkness stretched to the ends of the universe, snuffing out the endless games of courts and kingdoms.”

I’m going to rate this according to my own, personal enjoyment. So, although I did realise that there were some flaws – mainly, that the big battle only began during Chapter 87 (out of 90) and that the Komizar was barely in the finale, despite being the villain – I’m going to keep the rating at a full-5 stars because I loved the pacing and the plot of the book so much that it didn’t even really bother me! I’m also not going to lie, I really wanted to throttle Rafe at the beginning of this book. The worst part was that I understood both Lia’s and Rafe’s side of the argument! She wanted to go to her country’s aid, while he wanted to keep her safe within his own country’s borders. But, man…COMMUNICATION, PEOPLE. COMMUNICATION!!!


I thought that Lia was a complete bad-arse, doing whatever had to be done, with no thought as to her own well-being (such as death or imprisonment lol). She was also a true feminist YA heroine (cough unlike some others I could name cough), by calling out every general or man in power who questioned her abilities because she was a “girl” as they were hoping for her father or brothers’ arrival. (BTW I looooved how supportive Lia’s father was of her abilities as a ruler!!!) You go, girl! :P Pauline was, as usual, an AMAZING and supportive friend. It was nice to see Gwyneth and Berdi after so long. I loved seeing Kaden get a happy ending, considering his awful past. Rafe made an amazing leader, and unfortunately so did Lia, which is why they butted heads so often in this book ha ha. I only wish that we had a more concrete answer as to how Rafe and Lia end up together in the end…I’m hoping that we will see them again in Dance of Thieves!!!

So, in case you didn’t hear me the first 100 times, I LOVED THIS BOOK…and if you haven’t gotten around to it yet…READ IT!!!


P.S. I'm sorry that this review was so vague. I was trying to make it as non-spoilery as possible! :D
Profile Image for SK.
309 reviews2,692 followers
April 22, 2022
Oh. My. Gosh.
That ending 🤌🤌
The drama 🤌

The world building throughout the series was amazing. One can see that the author did work hard on it, I mean c'mon she did create a whole language for this and that's praiseworthy. The songs were so beautifully written😍

I did however think that pacing of the book was tad bit slower in the middle. It did start at fast pace and ended at a fast pace, but the middle held too much talking and not enough action/drama for me. Also, Lia's gift- am so confused. I had thought at the beginning of the series that her "gift" will evolve into something much more but it just stayed the way it was.

Venda, Morrighan and Dalbreck are three interesting places with lots of potential. I would've liked to see more of Dalbreck though.

Lia, Rafe and Kaden are such good characters. Their chemistry works so well. I'm so glad Lia and Rafe found their way back to each other and Kaden found his happiness as well (although it was unexpected but I'm all for it).

Overall, it was an enjoyable series.
@Leonie (again, idk how to tag on Goodreads 😂) thanks for the recommendation bestie💗
Profile Image for April.
146 reviews261 followers
May 20, 2017
I was expecting more, but it was a pretty decent ending for the series.
Profile Image for Mariah Lynn.
77 reviews266 followers
April 30, 2017

***Contains Spoilers***

I literally stayed up last night from 10:00 to 5:00 AM reading the last 500 pages of this book. I am drained. Anyways, before I start on the main points of why I deducted 2 stars from this book, let me list some reasons why I enjoyed it.

* Lia went through some hardcore character development and never gives up on what she believes in. She truly cares about the civilians in the three kingdoms and never lets her loyalty falter. Loved her character.

* Kaden's full history is revealed and I was hit with all the feels.


* Traitors in the court get what they deserve (I'm talkin to you Viceregent and Chancellor)

* Lia's sass when exposing those traitors when she was like "Ooh Viceregent, you look a little jittery, take some of this medicine you gave to my slowly dying father." and he's like "Uh nah bitch I'm good.".

* The continued embracing of the Venden culture in Morrighan from Lia and Kaden

* Lia and Kaden moments alone

Alright, so now it's time to make my points that I didn't like, and sorry in advance, but I'm gonna rant a bit.

I have shipped Lia with Kaden since The Kiss of Deception. To me, they have more chemistry than Rafe and Lia, especially in The Heart of Betrayal where I had high hopes that Kaden was going to be end game. Kaden had shared his scars and brutal past with Lia and has clearly shown that he believes in her and knows that she is able to protect herself. Lia had also embraced the Venden culture with him by her side. Now I realize that Kaden was the assassin that had taken her to Venda for the Komizar, but he had his reasons. I'm not saying they were right, but he certaintly does make up for it in this book by aiding her in her journey to Morrgihan and helping her warn the people of the upcoming war that the Komizar has brewing.

Now, let me share my views on Rafe, or should I say, King Jaxon. I admit, I do like him as a character and can see why Lia chose him in the end, but I have my complaints. I don't know about any of you, but I tend to always compare books to ACOTAR/ACOMAF. Don't read the next section if you haven't read the ACOTAR series.

I'm just gonna say it guys, Rafe was way too Tamlin-like for my taste. At first, he starts off as a great guy and could easily see why Lia fell for him. However, in this book, a different side of him had surfaced when everyone went to Dalbreck. He started becoming very controlling of Lia and hardly let her voice her concerns to the council or to warn her people of the upcoming war so her kingdoms wouldn't be destroyed. Like Tamlin, he denied Lia of her freedom in his kingdom, always had a group of guards surround her wherever she went, and secluding her to her tent while he dealt with matters himself. There was this one scene where Lia and Dalbreck were arguing behind the closed doors of the council meeting (that everyone could clearly hear and eavesdrop on) and Rafe had called his guards on Lia to take her away to her room. He even had the nerve to tell his guards to drag her out if she didn't cooperate.


Now that should have been a huge, blaring siren for Lia to get the fuck out of that relationship. It was unhealthy and I still can't understand how she still ended up with him. I understand that he ended up changing his mind and went to Morrighan after some time, but that still doesn't make up for it. I'm just relieved that they aren't married and never fulfilled the alliance, but are doing some sort of super long distance type shit.

Back to Kaden. It seemed like he was just brushed aside in this book with no explanation whatsoever, like he was some sort of minor character with a little POV tidbit here and there. In the second book, it seemed like Pearson was gonna do something great with his character, but I guess she just decided not to put in that kind of effort and brushed him off instead. In my opinion, Kaden was a better man than Rafe and I know that some of you will disagree, but he was the one that believed in Lia and stuck by her side.




There were seriously so many times where I thought Lia and Kaden were going to be endgame. All I wanted was for Lia and Kaden to marry and rule Venda together, but I guess we all can’t get what we want.

One final point, which is the upcoming war against the Komizar’s army. I was expecting this huge, exciting blow out, but all I got was a few pages of a quick, anticlimactic battle that left me unsatisfied at the last 95% of the book.


Anything before that had barely any action and most characters were just sitting around talking. It was still entertaining to me, but there could’ve been less of that and more action.

All in all, I am very glad I picked up this series and had a lot of fun reading it, even if the ending left me as unsatisfied as it did.
Profile Image for Rebecca(lifes chaotic catching up).
334 reviews748 followers
April 10, 2023
2.5 Stars. I am shocked at this rating myself bc I never would have guessed how disappointed I was going to be when I started this book. This whole series was a weird kind of steady decline with each book. First, thanks to my beautiful bestie Deema for BR this series with me bc at least we had each other to rant/laugh with! Luv U!

At the end of book 2, I thought it was pretty clear where the story was moving, this was going to be the book of action, war, discoveries and romance! Instead, it was about 40 chapters of totally unnecessary boyfriend drama and Lia trying to figure out what her "spidey" senses mean. I was expecting something so epic and it was just such a letdown. Characters completely changed their personalities, relationships materialized out of nowhere, and there were so many redundant plot devices and wandering. The Komizar was in the story for one chapter, and if you blinked you missed the great war at the very end of the book! But don't worry bc Lia waxes poetic about any mundane non important subject on basically every page.

And that ending was a foul! Are you kidding me? After three books and all the freaking "song of jezelia" nonsense I had to sit through, we don't even get a fleshed out ending?

I am so glad I read the Dance of Thieves duology, which is a masterpiece btw, first bc I don't think I would have read it if I had read this series first. And to anyone who wants to know what happens, read Dance of Thieves duology it's fantastic and will give you closure!
Profile Image for Hannah Azerang.
130 reviews98.2k followers
August 3, 2016
The perfect finale for the series!

The world building and the character development gets better and better with each book, and this one definitely tops them all!

Also, that last scene was too much for me and I'm still not over it <333
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,534 reviews9,934 followers
June 26, 2017
I don't know what else to give this book right now but 3 stars. I will re-read it later. I don't know if it's my mood or the book itself. There were things I didn't like at all.

I liked that Lia was pretty bad@ssed but she ruined everything else. It seemed like that little bit at the end could lead to something good in your imagination. But mostly it was all just strange to me.

I do still think most of it is my mood.

1) I'm not having fun on GR any more. Sometimes when I'm chatting to one of my friends on here. But mostly not having any fun.

2) I feel burned out and sick all of the time.

3) I don't have a clue what I want to read.

4) Feeling left out and can't find anything correctly updated on the homepage. I have mine set to reviews only and see statuses if I actually go to your page. I guess that will never get fixed.

5) All of the above.

So dear little book (big book) it's probably not you, it's probably me. With the exception of the thing with Rafe. I do still love all of the characters that I loved. Lia, Rafe, Sven, Jeb, Tavish, Orrin, Griz, Eben, Pauline, Kadine and a few others that I can't think of. And the book did have some happy endings so that's all good =]
Profile Image for Lindsay Cummings.
Author 13 books5,104 followers
September 9, 2016
Wow this was by far my favorite of the trilogy!! So good, so many incredible twists and character developments! Sad it's over, but excited to see what Mary comes up with next!
Profile Image for Deema ♡ (tella's version).
166 reviews543 followers
March 18, 2023
“Every kiss, every touch, was a promise that we both knew, I was his and he was mine, and no conspiracy or scheme of kingdoms had a fraction of the power that surged between us.”

It took me a while to decide what to rate this book and to be honest, this is a generous 3 stars. *It’s the last book in the trilogy, so there will be mild spoilers ahead.*

Before I get into my thoughts: Thank you so much to my wonderful bestie, Rebecca, for reading this with me. I had so much fun with her, and I would’ve struggled more with this book if I didn’t have her to laugh with and vent to. Rebecca, you’re the best! 💕

Did this book have to be 600+ pages? Absolutely not! There was repeated information, side storylines that came out of nowhere, and so much unnecessary drama. When this book starts, Lia is with the guy she chose in the second book. Yes, they are trying to get to safety, but they are together! I understand why we had to revert to the will-they-won’t-they energy, but I don’t understand why it had to be for most of this book. I mean, they already did! 😫🙄

I picked this up expecting a war, action, and romance, but I didn’t get any of that until almost the end of this book. It felt like the drama between our two lovebirds was drawn out to keep them apart and create angst. I like an angsty romance sometimes, but this is the final book in a trilogy, so I feel that was a weak choice considering they were so obviously in love and meant to be together.

Even writing this now, I’m side-eyeing my paperback because of what it put me through…

I realise this review has mostly been my complaints, so I do want to highlight a a few positive things. Even though many chapters dragged, the writing is mostly beautiful. The twists kept my interest, and my questions were answered, even if it was in a long-winded way. I’ve mentioned this in my reviews of KoD and HoB, but I’ll say it again: Mary E. Pearson knows how to write fantastic, strong, and lovable female characters. I appreciate the friendships in this book, and the fact that our female characters stay true to themselves and show up for each other without question. 💖

I love a happy ending, and Lia does end up with the right guy for her (imo). The other guy and even a couple of side characters have their own HEA, too. However, it felt rushed and barely developed, which is silly considering how many pages were spent exploring “the songs” and Lia’s feelings. After all of that patience, I didn’t even get a deliciously detailed romantic ending. Just crumbs of a happily ever after, and I wanted a full dish!

Like I mentioned above, this is a generous 3-star rating because I did enjoy the trilogy as a whole even if I felt let down by certain things. Je ne regrette rien.
Profile Image for booksnpenguins (wingspan matters).
795 reviews2,846 followers
November 28, 2017
After months spent in denial, after months spent keeping myself back from reading the last chapters of this book because it'd mean I'd be done with this series forever, I finally found the courage to finish it and...the tears are real.
Whether they're joyful tears or sad ones, that's still to decide.
With great regret, though, I must admit this book was good but not that good. I expected more. More character development, more plot depth, more... I don't know, more The Remnant Chronicles-ness, I guess, which is what brought me to love the other books.
Don't get me wrong, the author delivered more than I could have asked for, but she probably delivered it the wrong way. There were parts I seriously couldn't fathom, and the anticlimatic ending turned me off completely. It felt forcedly raw and cryptic, just as it happened with, ahem, that romance related thing you all know. And, can we please agree that
I also ended up not liking those characters I truly loved in the first two books.
*clenched fists* Damn you, Lia. I mean Book Lia, not Me Lia. Or maybe I mean both. Her for being such a %$§, and me for setting my hopes so high.
I'm not sad about this, I still enjoyed myself, but I just didn't feel it, didn't let it get under my skin.
I probably should learn not to trust series finales.
Oh, well.

Rounding this up by half a star because, as trashy and disappointing as this was, this series especially Rafe my sun and stars will always have a huge place in my heart and it gave me so many beautiful memories.
And feelings, lots of them.
I'll probably give this another try in the future, but I'm sure nothing will beat the awesomeness of The Heart of Betrayal.

Profile Image for Mar.
494 reviews126 followers
August 28, 2016
I'm so, so, so sad. Wait, I need to cry.

Okay, time to recollect myself just to write this review. Then I shall cry again.

This was such a disappointment. The Kiss of Deception was one of my favorite books of early 2015, and then The Heart of Betrayal came that summer and man, that was a great second book in a series. I was so pumped for this book! I bought it at full prize, believing it would be the best 2016 read, maybe just after Empire of Storms... And I was so wrong.

The review will have some spoilers, so basically if you haven't started the series I'd suggest you read the first two books and stop there. You don't need this third book, skip it and create your own ending. It'd be better and the first two books deserve even awards. They are really great. And now, stop reading or I will spoil everything for you.

So. Why don't we start with the worst :


Rafe was such a cute boy in the first two books. I believed he would be a perfect match for Lia if Kaden wasn't around finally. I actually cared about him, but then he started being possessive. And controlling. And just a basic a-hole. Like always, here are some fragments:

(Lia is talking): You are not letting me go anywhere. Where I go and what I do is still my choice to make!
He didn't back down, and his eyes became molten steel burning me with their heat. "No."
I looked at him uncertainly. "What do you mean, no?"
"You can't go."
Ad incredulous puff of air escaped from my lips. "Yo can't stop me."
"You think not?" He stepped closer, his chest as imposing as a wall. His eyes glowed like a beast's. "Have you forgotten? I am the king of Dalbreck," he growled. "And I decide who comes and goes here."


That's not the only time Rafe literally imprisons her. The whole book until the last 200 pages are Rafe controlling Lia and overprotecting her, which, as you know, means he won't let her make her own decisions. Fucking asshole, I tell you.

The good thing? Lia knows that what Rafe is doing is completely wrong.

Maybe there would be no dancing at all. At least not between Rafe and me. Kings and prisoners did not share dances, at least not in any world I wanted to be a part of.

So you would think that Lia would be intelligent and sent Rafe to hell. But no. OH NO. Because they are fucking meant to each other and obviously will end together. FUCKING HEEEEEEEELLLLLLLL


Calm down.

Let's continue with the lesser stupidities, shall we?

The thing between Kaden and Pauline was so wrong and unnecessary. You know, I liked Pauline and I liked Kaden, and I wished for them both to be happy. So the romance wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't because it's completely obvious that Mary E. Pearson used it as an excuse for Lia and Rafe to be together and the readers happy. *NEWS FLASH* not everyone needs to be paired with another person. Please, writers, understand this. We don't want couples popping up everywhere, and especially if there isn't a single same-sex couple in the whole book. Like, that smells pretty bad.

And I wouldn't have a problem with the situation neither if the others books would have given me hints of a connection between Pauline and Kaden, but there wasn't anything. Like I said, the romance popped up from nowhere and we, readers, are expected to accept it. Nuh-nuh.

Now, the war. The freaking war. The super-duper awaited war. 10 freAKING PAGES. With multiple points of view that changed every 10 phrases. Uhm, what?

Not gonna say anything else about that. So anticlimatic.

And then we had 30 pages left, if not less. You know... Not everyhing is decided in a fucking war. But we should accept that and move on, because everything ends perfectly and ¿? Ah, I was so done by this point that I didn't even care about the resolution. Wait, what resolution? The predictable one? Yes, that one. Boys and girls, I knew how this book would end by page 100. That's not how you write the end of a series full of plot twists, Pearson :(

And I'm not gonna write any more because I'm getting so mad and frustrated it's not even funny. I'm so disappointed. Oh. Aw. Now let me cry again.


MARCH 2016
688 pages? OH MY GOD. I'M SO READY.



I'm SO ready for this. I need it. I want it so much I'd sell my unborn baby for it. PLEASE GIMMEEEE.

JULY 2015:

I love it so much. Can I just say I HOPE SHE ENDS UP WITH KADEN? Thank you.
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,107 reviews6,571 followers
July 3, 2019
*.) Morrighan ★★★
1.) The Kiss of Deception ★★★★★
2.) The Heart of Betrayal ★★★★
3.) The Beauty of Darkness ★★★★


This series isn't perfect, but it sure is one of my favourites!
Profile Image for Anne.
4,053 reviews69.5k followers
May 13, 2021
This was a really solid ending to a good fantasy story.
And if you've made it to the 3rd book of this trilogy, I don't think you'll be disappointed by how Pearson wraps it up.


Lia, Rafe, Pauline, & Kaden finish this saga out strong, with a few tears and a few happy endings sprinkled in along the way. Some of it seemingly came out of nowhere -
And some of it really surprised me -
But most of it I expected -


I'd love to pick up something else by this author someday.
Profile Image for Ashley.
370 reviews111 followers
Want to read
October 24, 2015


Ladies and gentlemen, we have a title.

The Beauty of Darkness<3 Someone needs to hold me because the wait for this beauty is intolerable

Curse my heart and its indecisiveness.



What was that? Time machines don't exist?
2016 *cries*

Profile Image for Grace (kanej & evajacks' version) .
280 reviews192 followers
April 16, 2023
I ended up enjoying this one a decent amount!! 🤩🤩 There were lots of things I liked about it- but it definitely is my least fave in the series. I just had a few issues 😬😬 Still, a pretty good read! 💕

“Love didn’t end all at once, no matter how much you needed it to or how inconvenient it was. You couldn’t command love to stop any more than a marriage document could order it to appear. Maybe love had to bleed away a drop at a time until your heart was numb and cold and mostly dead.”

The Beauty of Darkness is the third and final book in the Remnant Chronicles, which concludes Lia, Rafe and Kaden's journey. No spoilers, but this book is filled with politics, scheming, and kingdom rivalry, with our main trio fighting to defeat the villain from Book 2. In reading this series, I've spent so much time with these characters and in this world that it felt almost surreal to turn the last page. I'm honestly still trying to absorb everything that happened in this series! But I've had a very fun time overall 💗

“Darkness was a beautiful thing. The kiss of a shadow. A caress as soft as moonlight.”

Starting with what I liked! ✨ First off, I really really liked the characters in this book!! 🤩🤩 I was a little unsure about them at the start of the series but I've really grown to appreciate them throughout this journey. Rafe still isn't my fav tbh, but I really like both Lia and Kaden! Lia's growth throughout this series has honestly been SO good- she went from a whiny, kinda annoying mc in Book 1 to a super fierce lead and I love her for that 💗 Honestly, she slayed in this book- queen 👑👑 I also really like Kaden and seeing more of his past has been great. He's so loyal to Lia and feels like a big softie inside despite the tiny detail of him being an experienced killer 🤩😂 But yeah, i've grown to love these characters!

Another thing I really enjoyed was the overall storyline in this book! Despite only starting very far into the book (which I'll get to in what I disliked), it had more of a central plot than the first 2 books and I liked that. Lots of scheming and politics, but they weren't super complicated so i could still understand everything. Also, I loved the ending!! 🙌 it was literally so sweet help 🥺🥺💗💗

“Truth is as free as the air and we all have the right to breathe as deeply of it as we wish. It cannot be held back in the palm of any one man.”

Now, onto the things i didn't like 😪 My main problem with this book (and why it's my least fave) is the PACING. As I said above, this book had a much stronger plot, but that plot only started around 50% through the book. Which means that for just under 350 pages, NOTHING WAS HAPPENING 😤😤🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ This book was really long- nearly 700 pages- and in no way NEEDED to be. If the first half had been shortened so that the book was well-paced, it could've wrapped everything up in 500 pages. Ugh I'm so annoyed ☹☹

Also, the romance drama in this book gave me a headache. The main couple went from being all lovey-dovey and cute in Book 2 to fighting SO MUCH 🙄 And when they had what was essentially a third act breakup, i got so irritated. Third act breakups in romance books are bad enough, but in fantasy books??? I can't-- 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

Also, the final battle was way too short. There was a big exciting leadup and then it was under 50 pages. See what I mean about bad pacing??? 🙈🙈

“It doesn’t matter how many universes come and go, I will always remember who we were together.”

Overall tho, I did enjoy this conclusion!! 💕 It definitely could've been better but i think it's worth picking up if you like the series. This series was a lot of fun in the end and I would definitely recommend:

✔ Likeable characters (especially the mc)
✔ Easy to understand politics
✔ Easy and enjoyable writing
✔ Fun YA fantasy!!

I can't wait to read Dance of Thieves and return to this world!! 💜💜

~ 3.5 stars


A few conflicting thoughts on this one! ✨ It was still very enjoyable and ended so sweetly, but the plot was waaay too slow. Still, pretty good! 🤩🤩

Profile Image for Alafiya.
53 reviews272 followers
September 1, 2016
Saturday, 3:41 am:
I feel like Mary E. Pearson has stirred all my emotions. Emotions that I just can't settle. All of them flying, howling, circling, tumbling and jingling inside me. I have no idea how I'll recover. I just hope I get back to normal soon. Real life seems boring one minute and exhausting the next. I am staring at the ceiling and constantly thinking about this book. Even music hasn't been able to remedy this hangover. I feel miserable. This series has ended. *sigh*

Saturday, 10:14 am:
… ( ͡°; ͜ʖ ͡°;) Rafe, is The Best.

Sunday, 9:00 pm:

Doesn't feel like that. I guess I'll just have to "Regroup. Move forward."

Monday, 3:44 pm:
Sometimes you read a book that tugs at your heart's strings, occupies space in your mind. A book that teaches you something and makes you yearn for more. The Beauty Of Darkness is that book for me. With every twist and turn, I felt my heart twist and turn in synchronization. What Lia felt, I felt. What Rafe went through, he took me along. With every whisper of truth breezing past Lia, goose bumps rose on my arms. My heart drummed, shivers ran down my spine. And not just for Lia. For Rafe, For Kaden, for Pauline. For Sven, for Jeb. For all of them. I felt a connection to this book. When I finished it I felt full and satisfied but oddly hollow and empty as well. This is definitely one of my most fav series of all time.

This book has it all. Friendship, love. Pain and heart break. War and violence. Failure and victory. Trust, understanding, mistrust, loyalty. New beginnings and many losses. Everything.

The writing is spellbinding. Every word floating and curling like a whisper on the wind. Every sentence carrying a deeper meaning.

The romance, not your average boring lust induced gibberish. Not average, period. It's, it's... beautiful ( ͡°; ͜ʖ ͡°;) And heartbreaking and overwhelming.

The plot is detailed, no shit. Well thought out and perfectly strung. Flowing with creativity.

The characters, love them all. Even the side characters. I am just so sad that this series has ended. I don't want these characters to just drift away like that. That's how real they all felt. How attached I got to them all. ( ͡°; ͜ʖ ͡°;)

There were moments where I was scared the end would devastate me, but it didn't. Sometimes Rafe and Lia got on my nerves but they were all just acting out of character. Loved how they were so dedicated to both their kingdoms and to each other. Moments where I was disappointed too But in the end of the day that doesn't matter at all.

This book is almost 680 pages long but worth it. Not dragged or pathetically filled with this-could've-been-omitted scenes. Infact it's so fast-paced and brilliant it felt like it was too short.

Thank you Mary E. Pearson for this extraordinary experience. Surely, you have the gift too. Albeit of a different kind.

To all, paviamma.
Profile Image for Lucie V..
1,012 reviews2,048 followers
September 12, 2023
“Darkness was a beautiful thing. The kiss of a shadow. A caress as soft as moonlight.”

✅ Plot and unexpected twists
✅ Characters
✅ Action and war
✅ Politics and betrayals
✅ Conflicted feelings
✅ World-building

Wow, what a finale! This was the best book of the series. I loved the pacing and the plot of the book so much, I flew right through it both times I read it.

“I understood the weight of promises, and Rafe’s strength as a king mattered more to Morrighan now, than it ever had. It mattered to me.
I stared out at the jagged line of forest, feeling the stinging irony of Rafe’s choice: To help me and the kingdom of Morrighan survive, he had been forced to cut out my heart.”

Politics have a bigger place in The Beauty of Darkness. Lia must warn her country of the impending Vendan attack, even though she is considered an enemy of Morrigan now because of her stay in Venda (apparently they don't care about the fact that she was held against her will). Meanwhile, Rafe is trying to persuade Dalbreck's army that it is in their interest to ally with their neighbor before Venda's army destroys everything.

“Love didn’t end all at once, no matter how much you needed it to or how inconvenient it was. You couldn’t command love to stop any more than a marriage document could order it to appear. Maybe love had to bleed away a drop at a time until your heart was numb and cold and mostly dead.”

The relationship between Lia and Rafe is moving on, though not necessarily in the right direction. Lia has her own plans and she does what needs to be done for the good of her people, while Rafe is trying to keep her safe and away from danger. I do enjoy angst and drama though so it is fine. I’m also not going to lie, I wanted to hit Rafe at the beginning of this book, even though I understood both his and Lia's points of view.

I liked seeing more of Pauline, Berdi, and Gwyneth in this book and I really like the ending that Kaden got. I don't want to spoil anything so I'll just say that this is a great book and I really liked it!

“and when the last star of the universe blinks silent, I will still be yours.”

The Kiss of Deception ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Heart of Betrayal ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐️

Fanart by Micheline Ryckman

Follow me on Instagram 🙂
Profile Image for Mariana.
58 reviews11 followers
Want to read
July 24, 2015
I need to know what happens in this book! If Kaden and Lia don't end up together my heart is seriously gonna break. He saw them having a baby for Christ's sake!
Lia has a destiny to fulfill as written in the Song of Venda. She killed the Komizar. She needs to rule Venda.
Rafe wants to go back to Dalbreck and Lia doesn't so I think that's going to drive them apart. I also think that Kaden is going to go after them. But God I don't know, this is just what I want. I need to book now!!
Profile Image for Cody.
204 reviews634 followers
Want to read
October 23, 2015


I love it, I need this now!

THE BEAUTY OF DARKNESS.. Oh my god what does this mean?
I have too many idea's, I just need this now
2016? Rafe or Kaden? Oh my heart!
Profile Image for Shannon A.
674 reviews531 followers
August 24, 2016
Loved every page. I enjoyed the slower pace, the character development and how books 1 and 2 tied in perfectly. This series is the (good) slow burn you've been looking for :)
Profile Image for Christy (TheReaderBee).
852 reviews584 followers
July 11, 2023
The Beauty of Darkness is the third and final book in the Remnant Chronicles series by Mary E. Pearson, and it's also one of my most anticipated reads for 2016. Let me tell you, I was totally not sure what to expect from this book, but, I absolutely loved everything about it. This book is gorgeous and massive and totally worth the wait. I loved all 679 pages of it.

When we first met Lia in The Kiss of Deception, I knew she would be an all-time favorite of mine. She's always been such a strong character. She has proven time and time again throughout this series that she is a smart, capable young woman, and an excellent leader. She fights for what she thinks is right, and is willing to do it all on her own if she needs to. Luckily she had great friends at her back, all of who were supportive and love her just as much as I do.

And there are SO many great secondary characters in this story as well, and I love that we get to see some of the story from their eyes as well as Lia's. Pauline, Gwenyth and Berdi are such great friends to Lia, and are right there when she needs them. The men in the story are great as well, always backing Lia and the decisions she made. I've been team Rafe from the beginning, because I just love everything about him, but, like Lia, I also have a place in my heart for Kaden. These men, I love them. I could go on and on about the rest of the characters, but I'll stop here. Read the books and meet them for yourself!

After the MASSIVE cliffhanger ending in The Heart of Betrayal, I had no idea what was going to happen in this final book, but the adventure Pearson takes us on is a wild, satisfying ride. The details in this book were amazing, and the storyline was completely addictive. The ending of the book had me sighing, which a huge smile on my face and happy tears in my eyes. It was perfection. I really couldn't have asked for a better ending. I really, really hate to see this series end, you guys. I love these books so much, these words aren't doing a great job of describing my adoration at all.

Overall; The Beauty of Darkness is an excellent conclusion to a wonderful series! If love you a good fantasy, and have not yet check out the Remnant Chronicles series, I highly recommend that you do so. This is by far one of my most favorite trilogies ever, and while I'm SO sad that the series has come to an end, I can't wait to read the books over and over again in the future. Check them out!!

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