Title: The Beauty of Darkness
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, #3
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: August 2nd 2016
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.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
Lia and Rafe have escaped from Venda and cut down the Komizar in the process, but their escape was not without danger and Lia is left wounded after being hit with two arrows; one in the leg and another in the back. As Lia heals Rafe and the four Dalbreck soldiers who managed to save the Prince and Princess start making plans. After destroying the bridge and with the Komizar dead they believe they have enough of a head start to allow Lia to heal.
Until Lia’s gift tells her otherwise. They are forced to move out immediately but with the snow that has now fallen and Lia’s injuries that are still healing the head start they may have managed to eke out at the start of their journey is slowly fading, and it’s not long before the Vendans catch up with them. Rafe believes as long as they can make it to Dalbreck they will be all right, and that both him and Lia will be safe there. With Lia wanted in Morrighan and unable to return to Venda Dalbreck is the only place she will be free and safe by Rafe’s side.
However Lia has seen with her own eyes what the Komizar was planning. She saw the army he was amassing and she realised what his plans were for Morrighan and, later, Dalbreck. Despite being wanted she cannot leave her country, her people and her family, to the army that they are unaware marches towards their door. She fights to return, knowing that she is all that stands between her country and defeat at the hands of the Komizar and the traitors in the heart of the Morrighan council.
With the Komizar soldiers marching across the land, Lia will need to work fast, and she will need all the help she can get if she hopes to save Morrighan before it’s too late.
This is a series that has only gotten stronger with each book, and a large part of that is because of Lia’s character development. I was not a fan of her in the first book but by the third she had quickly become my favourite character. There was a lot of build up in The Beauty of Darkness to the war that would soon be upon them, to the battle that would be faced. It seemed like something more than Lia, Kaden and Rafe would be able to handle, even with the help of Morrighan and Dalbreck.
Lia has changed a lot since the first book. She is no longer the girl who ran away from a wedding, leaving behind her family and her people. Now she wants to run back to Morrighan despite the danger, to warn the people she loves about what approaches. However Lia isn’t stupid, just because she knows she is under time constraints doesn’t mean she rushes heedlessly into danger. She plans everything down to the smallest detail and even though there is danger to herself she knows it is necessary.
You see Lia become a real leader in The Beauty of Darkness. In The Kiss of Deception she seemed to be nothing more than a runaway, trying to carve out a new life for herself in Terravin before the Assassin came for her and turned her world upside down, in the second book she was someone who played a deadly game with the Komizar, just trying to survive. In this last book however she becomes someone with the strength and confidence to leader her people to victory. She has nurtured her gift and made it something to be relied on, and she believes in herself and the decisions she makes enough to convince her people of the same.
The relationship between Lia and Rafe has always been strong throughout the series. In the first and second books, although they are tested, they still stay together because they love one another and know that is something worth fighting for. In this book however that relationships seems to be on more fragile ground. Rafe refuses to let Lia risk her life for Morrighan, knowing they will kill her if they catch her. He just wants to keep her safe regardless of what she asks, believing it is best for her to stay by his side in Dalbreck.
Both Lia and Rafe are stubborn characters, neither willing to back down from what they believe is the right path, and this causes a lot of tension between the two of them. They each have to face the fact that maybe, despite all their promises to one another, a kingdom really will stand between them.
There are a lot of incredibly strong relationships in this series that we see developed more in The Beauty of Darkness. There is the friendship between Lia and Pauline, which I have loved from the start, the familial love between Lia and her brothers, and the tense relationship she has with her parents. There is also what she feels for Kaden and the whole of Venda. Despite not being there anymore the people she left behind are still strong in Lia’s thoughts as she fights for them as well as Morrighan.
As we reach the last book in the series we seem to come back to the beginning as Lia returns to Morrighan and everything she ran away from, but this isn’t the Morrighan we saw when she and Pauline settled in Terravin. This is the heart of a country that is no longer safe for Lia, and she must stay carefully hidden or risk losing her life. The world building was well developed throughout this series, although I would have enjoyed seeing more of Dalbreck as it was the only major country, and one of the main ones given it was Rafe’s, we only got a small glimpse of. As well as the world the history and myths were well written too. The author builds on what she wrote in the first two books to give us a fuller picture of what happened all those years ago, long before the countries were founded.
Despite the slow start this is a series I really enjoyed, and I felt The Beauty of Darkness was a brilliant ending for Lia, Rafe and Kaden. There was a lot more action as the war marched ever closer and Lia finally stepped up into the role she ran from in the first book, and showed everyone how much she’d changed from the girl we met in The Kiss of Deception.
What did you think of The Beauty of Darkness? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.