Book Three - The Beauty of Darkness - The Remnant Chronicles

By Mary E. Pearson

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anne lao
It is terribly difficult to maintain the quality of character development, plotting, and style throughout an entire trilogy. Many authors try, but few succeed. Almost inevitably one book is decidedly weaker than the others, but not so in Pearson's Remnant Chronicles. She even manages a conclusion that should please everyone, whether they are on "Team Rafe" or "Team Kaden." Highly recommended!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jill talley
Finally, a trilogy where I didn't scream in frustration while reading the last book (insert Divergent, Hunger Games, Legend, Delirium series). Mary Pearson continues to be at the top of her game. She's a wonderful story teller, and in this final book she digs deeper into the characters, their competing motivations, desires, and responsibilities, as well as their long-held beliefs systems. Characters I already liked, I enjoyed more; characters who had not knocked my socks off earlier, coaxed me into liking them. Loose ends were tied up, and I felt at peace when I flipped the final page. Well done, Ms. Pearson!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
durgalakshmi
I didn't love this one as much as the section needs more be but it still kept my attention. I don't feel like I have a lot of positives to say about this because some of the things that happened in this book frustrated me. Rafe's character seemed unauthentic at some parts with his Neanderthal tendency. And the build up to the battle I was expecting , a battle but that's not what we get. It fell flat and unrealistic in my opinion.
A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes) :: Benjamin Ashwood :: Middlemarch :: Middlemarch A Study of Provincial Life :: A Dark Paranormal Romance (The Marked Saga Book 1)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
francis x
My heart aches, in a good way. Great ending. It actually ended how I hoped it would. Engaging, heart stopping action. Couldn't put it down. I loved how the author handled all the characters. Fitting. Superb. Fabulous.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
mary haar
It reads like the author threw in the towel and gave up trying. While the first two books weren't perfect, they developed a great world and a lot of potential for a third book. Instead of capitalizing on that potential, the author spent more time focusing on gratuitous romance and forgot about the plot.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
val zotov
This item was perfect and was exactly what i was expecting. The item came in no time and was very well packaged and in a great shape. I'm very happy and pleased with the item i received and want to thank the seller for a terrific product.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
andrea arbogast
***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

***NO DIRECT SPOILERS, BUT THERE ARE VAGUE NOTES AND SUCH. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. POTENTIAL INSINUATION-TYPE SPOILERS.***

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!

Rating:

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.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
terpsicore
******REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS THROUGHOUT*******

This book was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. The first two books of this series had captivated me and I could not wait to read what I thought would be the explosive ending Pearson had in mind. And it was good. Parts of it were even REALLY good. Certain lines and the way she wrote about different events and feelings stole my breath away. However, especially in a book of almost 700 pages, I expected more. The entire book was leading up to the battle between the kingdoms and the eventual fight between Lia and the Komizar. But the battle was only a few pages long, the Komizar's death wasn't even by Lia's hand, and their encounter took up all of a paragraph. Lia also got the Venda tribes to lay down their arms with one paragraph. This was a complete let down after ready 630 pages leading up to a great battle, and all the preparation which went into it.

Lia and Rafe's story-line is confusing in this last segment. They are on-again/off-again so much of the time, but not because they don't love each other. Circumstances are making their relationship difficult. Also, Lia talks about how Kaden always puts Venda first, never anyone else, several times throughout the book. And it seems that she thinks this is why she and he could never work. However, Lia put her kingdom as her top priority throughout the entire novel, and expected Rafe to be fine with it! Though their story-line was frustrating at times, Pearson wrote it wonderfully and I felt their emotions and was on the rollercoaster with them. I understand Rafe's position; I understood Lia's position. And the most heartbreaking thing was there was nothing to be done about it. Their ending is nice, though perhaps unexpected, and I wish it had been a bit longer.

All in all, if you've read the previous two books, definitely finish it with this one. It's good to know how it all ends. But don't expect it to be amazing, and be prepared for some heartbreak.

I would still recommend this series to a friend.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
meshel
What a conclusion to this amazing series! The Beauty of Darkness is the third and last novel in the Remnant Chronicles, and it was well worth the near-700 pages of stress.

*Spoilers ahead for books one and two of the Remnant Chronicles*

Book two ends with Lia near death and stuck in the wilderness of the Cam Lanteux. I feel like saying anything at all after that is a spoiler, but it's pretty evident that Lia survives, given she's the protagonist of the series. She makes it with Rafe and his crew of trusted Dalbreck soliders to a Dalbretch outpost a few days' journey away. But Lia doesn't want to stay; she wants to return to her homeland of Morrighan to warn her people of the imminent threat of the Komizar's invasion.

The first one hundred pages of the book were Lia and Rafe and some others traveling through the wilderness. This was the slowest part of the book because I felt like the bits that were important, like all the conversations and discussions of plans and reuniting of characters, could have been condensed into fewer pages, and I also just really wanted to get to the action. This little bit of slowness was the only thing that made this book not fully five stars for me. But for all intents and purposes, the book gets a 5/5 because the rest of the story more than makes up for it.

Almost all of this book is Lia making preparations for the final battle of the series, the one between Lia and the Komizar. But there's so much detail and political intrigue and secrets laced into her plans that I couldn't stop reading. I read this book quicker than the other two, and it's the longest in the series. It was just so exceptional that I couldn't look away from the pages.

All of the secrets come to light in this final installment, all of the lies revealed. I loved that because as I read the series I had a mental puzzle of the world and all its happenings. With each new detail or fact uncovered, I would add a piece to my puzzle and slowly start to see the whole image appearing. And with this last book, I knew I was just so close to getting all my questions answered. I could see the end, but I knew I was missing just three or so more details! It was agonizing in the best way to read this book. Pearson keeps you on your toes throughout the whole journey, constantly testing your memory and trying your trust. I thought I knew who was guilty or where the plot would take me, and then the rug was pulled out from under me, so to speak, and I was left staring at the pages, mouth agape.

I loved the ending of this book. The final battle was a tiny bit shorter than I thought it would be, with all the hundreds of pages that went into planning it. And once the battle ended, the book jumped ahead a few days. I guess we don't need that in-between stuff, but I wanted it. I still want so much more from this world because I am just in love with these characters.

I am happy who Lia ended up with in the end. I actually didn't think she would end up with anyone, the way things were going, but then the ending pleasantly surprised me, even though I've been wanting her to be with the other guy the whole series. (There really was no love triangle though, if we're being honest. Her feelings have been plain and clear from the beginning.) And I'm very pleased with Pauline's ending! I didn't even know I wanted that until it happened, and then I was giddy about it. Honestly, all the (surviving) characters got a happy ending, and I was so nervous that Pearson was going to kill off someone I loved.

This book is everything, this series is everything, and I'm very happy I decided to pick up The Kiss of Deception on a whim because this series is a new favourite. I love everything about it.

Don't even try to use the map in this book though, by the way. It's a total joke by book three because more than 70% of the important cities or settlements or locations in the book are not on the map at all. Not even close. It was clearly drawn to depict the important places in book one but never updated with each book. That is my one wish for this series, that the map could have been more complete. It's only like 50% there, and that first half of it is awesome! But it's still missing its other half, and I just want to know where all the battles took place.

Overall, if you want a thrilling low-fantasy series that feels more like an old historical fiction with strong-willed characters and lots of surprises, then give this series a try. The writing is beautiful, the characters are beautiful, the story is beautiful. I'll definitely be rereading this one someday.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sara murray
I listened to this series on audio book through my library. I love the narrators. It was a multi cast. It took me 3 days to listen to this book. It was 18 hours long but I did listen to it on 2X the speed. With me working a fulltime 40 hours job and taking care of my 5 dogs and husband, this was a very fast listen to me.

Such a great ending to a trilogy. I highly enjoyed this entire book series. If you love a good fantasy, I would recommend you to pick up this series. It has went straight up to one of my favorite series. The strength that Lia has to put others first is just amazing. She is willing to sacrifice her life and her the love of her life for the protection of her people.

It is hard to give you any details on this book since this is the 3rd book in the series. BUT WOW... that ending. I had some happy and sad moments in the end, but Mary Pearson did not disappoint. I love how the life of Kaden and Pauline went. The strength these 2 have that change in them and their love and strengths amaze me. Pauline has a story that is strong. She is a side character in the book but I loved her story.

Lets not forget Rafe. He had me torn apart. Having to sacrifice his love for Lia for his Kingdom. Wow.. these strengths of these characters are so good.

Mary Pearson did a great job telling this story. I loved the world building. It was so vivid and so in detail you could see it world as she described it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah brew
This review MAY contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

I am totally weeping right now! OMG, this is the perfect end for this series. =D I admit, I was not as enthralled by the first book of this series like most others were. The series grew on me. It got better with each book. I am glad to have another favorite series to fawn over.

I loved the twists and turns in this final installment of The Remnant Chronicles. The political intrigue was great! I honestly did not have the traitors pinned down, so when the identities came to light I was a little shocked. And that is awesome! I hate predictability in books, as I have said before in my reviews, so anytime an author can surprise me I am totally jazzed. Other things in the book did not happen as I suspected either, like how things ended and who ended up with who in the end. The fates of the main characters.

The character development was so intense! OMG, loved how these characters grew into my heart! A lot of my surprise at how things turned out in the story, as I mentioned above, happened because of the character development. I thought that one character was turning down a dark path that would affect the other characters, but things didn't turn out as I expected. There was a line said in the book many times that I think holds true to the characters, and that is "people can change". So many characters showed their true colors in this finale.

Speaking of characters, I loved reading about female friendship and how important it is in this series. Pearson did a great job of cementing the importance of female friendship in the first book, and it only grew as the series went on. Lia's friends loved her like family. I think that female friendship gets passed over in a lot of books to make way for a great romance, so I was delighted at how powerful the concept is in The Remnant Chronicles.

I am such a sap, but I love the ending relationships in this book. My heart was melting all over the place. Pauline, Gwyneth, Lia...sigh. I also adored how much Lia's parents and brothers loved her and believed in her.

If I had any complaints about this book or this series as a whole, it would be the lack of romance. Don't get me wrong, because there IS romance in this series. I mean, come on, it's a romantic fantasy. But, in general, the romantic scenes were few and far between. There was a ton of romantic tension due to the story circumstances, but I felt like I needed something more. The romance in this series did not fully whet my appetite. (And I am not the biggest romance book fan in general, so that's saying something.) I like there to be romance, but I don't want it to overshadow the story itself. Sure, this was a romantic fantasy, but there were so many other things going on.

This was clearly a dystopian-like story. There is the talk of ruins of structures that touched the sky, and the stories and songs that their religions are based on stem from what sounds like a nuclear strike and the aftermath that the survivors faced. I disliked that there was no big reveal at the end that explains if the Ancients were truly from our modern day society or not. Deep inside I NEEDED to know this, but it never came. I suppose not knowing does add to the magic this story holds over the reader, but I personally would have preferred knowing.

I felt like the battle scene could have been more intense. It happens at the very end of the book, and it felt like it was over before it had begun.

All in all, I couldn't have been more happy with the end of this series! I know that there has been a lot of controversy in regard to the ending. Many people loved it, and others not so much. I would have to recommend the book because so much can change in a book series. No matter your expectations, I recommend this book wholeheartedly. I admit, the first book of this series did not totally impress me, but the journey was worth it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marion castaldini
**POSSIBLE SPOILERS**

The Beauty of Darkness, book three of The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson, picks up where the second book left off. In this book you follow Lia, Rafe, and Rafe’s four officers as they race across the lands to Dalbreck. Along the way Kaden and Griz join them, choosing to follow and protect Lia over loyalty to Venda and the Komizar. Tension between Lia and Rafe mounts as they each battle duty and loyalty to their own countries. In the end, Lia, Rafe, and Kaden all win—their lives aren’t easy, their journey is long, but they find happiness in each other and the kingdoms they lead.

I’m still in awe over this book. In short, I loved it. What a fantastic ending to a fantastic trilogy.

Lia is an inspiration. She follows her head and sight as she guides her followers to a path that saves all the kingdoms—including the scorned kingdom of Venda. She gives people hope where there is no hope. She is compassionate but does not let her heart get in the way of duty; she does what needs to be done. I like that she is no wilting flower, nor is she a helpless damsel in distress. She’s a powerful character in her own right and wields her power for good.

Rafe is interesting in this book, and for a time, he’s difficult to like. Despite the best of intentions, he puts restrictions on Lia similar to the ones she had as a prisoner in Venda. While his love for Lia is obvious throughout the book, the sudden strain and stress in his life leads him to make bad decisions and say the wrong things. While in my head I was shouting, “Nooo! Rafe! What are you doing?” I also appreciated the complexity of his character. I think him wrestling with what he needed to do to keep Lia safe gave his character depth it wouldn’t have had otherwise. In the end, he sets Lia free to save her kingdom, trailing along afterwards to support her and fight alongside her.

Kaden is the cupcake of this book, loyal and honorable throughout. His blooming relationship with Pauline is very sweet. They both deserve happiness, and it was a welcome development that they find it in each other.

I liked that Aster continues to make appearances in the book, even in death. Aster is Lia’s strength and purpose, her reason for fighting on and giving Venda a new hope. While Lia regrets her inability to save Aster’s life, she does Aster’s death justice by giving people like her a better future. This was an appreciated addition to the book—Aster did not die in vain.

Despite my love for the book, I did struggle with the king and queen of Morrighan. Lia’s parents bring her down in much of The Remnant Chronicles, taking away her freedom and selling her off in marriage. While the queen’s intentions were to save Lia’s life, the quick turnaround in behavior and thoughts seemed slightly unbelievable in both the king and queen. I wanted to keep hating them, therefore I was continually waiting for the catch or trick behind their sudden niceness.

The ending of the book was dramatic and not what I expected. Lia rises as the newly minted Venda queen after she convinces the Vendans to lay down their swords, and Rafe retires back to Dalbreck. New treaties are signed, and Venda rebuilds itself as a kingdom with hope. I was honestly expecting Kaden to take over Venda with Lia’s support—I was not expecting Lia to lead the people as their queen. While Lia and Rafe reunite, it is not until the very end, and it is unknown how they make the relationship work since they are both independent rulers of their own kingdoms.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brittany norder
A good conclusion to this series. I’m giving this 4 out of 5 stars.

So once again, this started out slow for me. I don’t think it’s just getting back into the books after a short break; I think it’s the over-explanation/setup that this author prefers. But once I get past that part, I usually end up loving the writing. This one was no exception.

Without being spoilery, I’ll say this book made me like one character slightly less than in the rest of the series. They made me pretty mad, and I didn’t enjoy that. The ending was good, and although I think the book was too long in general, I found most of it really entertaining. But I wanted an epilogue at the end to see how everything played out in a more conclusive manner.

While reading, I got teary-eyed at one point (at the very least)…and let me just say that the drama was pretty intense sometimes. I can’t believe the series is over with! I highly recommend the audiobooks for books two and three (the audiobook for book one will spoil you for who is who earlier than other formats). I can’t wait to read this author’s new series when it comes out in several months, which is set in the same universe as this series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stephaniebrown9
This is by far my favorite book of the trilogy. As I have said on the other reviews, this series reads like a romance set in a typical fantasy setting, which feels at times rather generic and inspired by Tolkien, minus the magical creatures. In this one, Lia has to face realities of the complexity of her position and grows as a character, soldier and princess. Her relationship with Rafe takes a difficult turn, and she has constantly to choose between her duties and her love for him. Lia needs to trust herself and her power, and she knows the game far better now.

While a lot of the plot felt too convenient and easy at times, I didn't expect it to be different than that, so I was rather surprised by how much more depth a lot of the characters had. I felt a connection with many of them and saw the differently than before.

Like many fantasy YAs, this one prepares for battle basically throughout the whole trilogy, and it's gone far too quickly in the last book. So if you do expect a major, epic battle, I don't recommend this to you. Since I don't particularly like battle scenes, to me it was quite okay that this one was short. The writing, like the other books, was not nearly as lyrical as I hoped for and the three main voices (Lia, Rafe & Kaden) felt a little similar. I know, I complain a lot... but:

I really enjoyed The Beauty of Darkness and there was lots going on in this last book, which I appreciate. The strong points of this book is the Tolkien-like sense of kingdoms which sprung from the bravery of heroes and heroines from legends, the understanding that there are many kinds of strength and the strong role of female characters in the plot.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jackie hesse
The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Best For: 14 and up, 8th grade and up.
Worth a Check Out: Yes.
Buy It or Not: No, unless you really need complete series in your life and you bought Kiss of Deception and Heart of Betrayal
Read Aloud: No.
Book Club Discussion Topics: Lia ran from her fate of an arranged marriage, but did she stay true to herself when it came to her fate with the Book of Venda? Did you like or dislike Kaden's ending? Lia and Rafe, good or bad ending?

The Beauty of Darkness is a good story, though it does drag a bit more than the others. The writing of the many action parts of the story felt choppy. Overall, the writing was good, but it wasn't Pearson's best writing for the series. Books one and two were far more engrossing with their writing even with the incredibly predictable and sort of annoying love triangle.

In regards to characters, I felt Lia was a different person in this last book; she was too hardcore and cruel so the change/development wasn't for the better. I was frustrated that in 3 books Lia and Rafe still couldn't communicate and express their true feelings and thoughts. I thought Kaden made a quick jump to team Lia and it would've been nice to see more struggle. All in all, the characters were weaker and less developed in this last book.

There are things I liked about the book. I liked that it was a clean read. I liked that the main character is a strong girl. I liked her brother's unwavering trust in Lia. I liked the happy ending the minor characters received, but I was frustrated by the abruptness of the ending for Lia and Rafe.

I really did like The Beauty of Darkness, but I don't think I would've been disappointed had I not read it. I may have enjoyed the series more if hadn't b/c the ending left me with a bitter taste in my mouth for the series.

More details and reviews at AlohamoraOpenaBook
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
julie miller
**Thorough review on [...] **

If I had to rate all the books in this series from best to just okay, it would be: Heart of Betrayal, Kiss of Deception and then the Beauty of Darkness. This book wasn't wholly terrible, but it definitely lost that "essence" of the series and the author's writing.

First of all, the plot was ok. Since this is the last book, it was about war, redemption and sacrifice. The book was ok for the first 200 pages but then from then on to the middle of the book, it was quite disastrous. The plot was messy and sometimes off track and also maybe a bit too repetitive with ideas; some scenes were just like the other books. From the middle to the end, it was just okay. There were moments that seem like it could be the climax but then when that part came, it wasn't as hyped up. So yes, I felt disappointed. The plot overall could've been done better..what went wrong?

In terms of world building, we definitely get to see more of the world and know new places and customs which were interesting. Like the other books, I liked the setting. It was not hard to imagine how the places looked like or what the characters felt when they saw things, so that part of the writing was easy to follow.

The characters.. I had a love/hate relationship with them, especially the main characters. At first everything was alright, but then... The character development for one of the main characters turned bad for me, and it really sets me off. This character managed to came through toward the end of the book but.. It didn't feel enough, it didn't do the character justice so I was upset. The main character, Lia, she really developed well in this book. Taking control of her gifts and roles as a leader. She really stood out in this book and I admired how the author made her shine through. Other characters were okay, nothing much on them.

The love story... It was definitely different from the first two books. And I'm sure a lot of people were put off on what happened in the middle of the book, but as the story went on, it seemed like the author tried to do it justice but again, it wasn't enough. Something was lacking. It didn't grip my heart like it did in the first two books. The love story in this book felt.. Dead. And sometimes forced. So I didn't enjoy it.

Overall, I would give this book a strong 3.5/5 because it was just a decent book but it definitely was the least favourite of mine in the series. It wasn't written gracefully like the second book that I really loved or even written enchantingly like the first book. This book just didnt have any special essence which was a shame because I really love the author's writing in the first two books; the way she wrote was captivating. But whatever happened to this book?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
chancerubbage
WARNING: Do not read unless you have read Books 1 & 2 of the Remnants Chronicle. Spoiler Alert. SPOILER ALERT!!!

Last we saw them, Lia had been gravely wounded after barely escaping Venda. Rafe found her by the bank almost lifeless yet hopeful that they would both survive and return to his kingdom of Dalbreck.

This book begins with Rafe’s friends and fellow soldiers Sven, Orrin, Tavish and Jeb finding Lia and Rafe. They then make their slow (due to Lia’s injuries) trek back to Dalbreck, on the way capturing two unexpected eventual allies, Kaden and Griz.

The animosity between Kaden and Rafe is still very much alive. And though Rafe knows Lia loves him, he still has doubts as to what exactly Lia feels for Kaden the assassin and what happened between them in her captivity.

Lia’s gift of sight grows strong with more frequent whispers and messages from beyond. Her fate is set it seems and she believes strongly that the Komizar, if not stopped by her, will destroy her home, Morrighan. Rafe fears for her life as the Morrighan court has been infiltrated by traitors who have placed a bounty on Lia’s head. One of these is a high ranking official whose connection to Kaden is one he loathes.

On Rafe’s shoulders now lie the burden of running the kingdom of Dalbreck as in his absence, his parents passed away. And since he spent months trying to save Lia from the Komizar and the vipers in the Vendan sanctum, the people of Dalbreck does not know whether he lived, died or has abdicated. His throne is now also in jeopardy. He has to fight not just to make Lia stay with him, but also for his birthright, his throne.
So what weighs more for Rafe? Is it love for Lia or love for his people and his kingdom of Dalbreck? And what is Lia prepared to sacrifice? Her Prince or Morrighan?

My Review:

Months. I have waited months for this book to come out. I tore through the 1st two books over and over again in anticipation of the last in the series. And though The Beauty of Darkness is quite long and does dwell on the political upheavals in both kingdoms of Morrighan and Dalbreck plus the visions of Lia a tad too much, I still enjoyed the book.

I truly love the relationship of Rafe and Lia. For me it is the strongest point of this series. And much as I like Kaden, it was always Rafe. The romance here is quite tempered but not necessarily lacking in that the few romantic scenes they did have, it was intense. Heart pounding, squeal inducing intense.

I appreciate that the author played with Kaden’s character that as a reader, I vacillated between loving and loathing him every few chapters. But in the end, there was no longer any doubt as to whom his loyalty lies, which is not the same as who he ultimately loves.
As for Rafe’s friends, I fell in love with each one’s strength and personality. Their loyalty to Rafe as their fellow soldier, friend and Prince is solid. I love that every one of the four characters, though minor in a sense, were fully developed and that each had their moment before the end came.
Mary E. Pearson has woven a tale so well thought out that all possible angles are covered and since, as I have said before, I am a sucker for happy endings, this was a good read for me.

That said…
For all the build up about the Komizar and his power, his last moments with Lia is severely lacking. It was too sudden….too clean….too easy. I felt a bit cheated. Like the anticipation had been for nothing. More heart pounding action between the Komizar and Lia would have been better.
As for the ending, that scene with Lia and Rafe…much as I liked what ultimately happened between them, it was also too abrupt. I wish that it was longer, more heart felt. For all they have been through, I believe they deserve so much more than the short ending they got. Perhaps this calls for an epilogue? Or an e-novella? I can definitely do with more Rafe and Lia in my life.

In all, I still highly recommend The Remnant Chronicles. Of the three, the 1st book, the Kiss of Deception, remains my favorite. Read and find out why. Happy Reading!

For the curious, here is the link for my review of the first book, The Kiss of Deception:
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★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kirstin
3 STARS

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

I have mixed feelings about this book because for every aspect that I liked I had something that I disliked.

What I Liked:
The world building was probably my favorite part of this book and even series. It's filled with all sorts of mythology and religion and politics that keeps being expanded. I also liked that we got lots of explanations for questions brought up in the previous book, in that sense I felt the book wrapped up really well. The writing was quite nice as usual, but that hasn't really isn't specific to this book, and rather is something I liked in the trilogy as a whole.

What I Disliked:
The romance. While I was happy that the love triangle was definitively ended early on, I hated what happened to the endgame pairing. I felt that the Chosen Love Interest ended up being really unsupportive and distrustful of Lia. He said a few things, and tried doing a few things that I felt were absolutely horrible, and the fact that he begrudgingly changed his mind doesn't change anything for me as he still was in the same mindset of believing he was right. As for the Leftover Love Interest, I saw his HEA coming from the moment the seed was planted. I felt that was a bit too nice of a package. Additionally there was a bit of glaring hypocrisy in this book that although slight, made me want to tear my hair out in frustration. I also disliked all the endings in general. I felt that all of them were some level of too easy, too ridiculous, or too frustrating to enjoy.

In general I'm of mixed feelings about this book. However I find it impressive that with all the faults I found in these books it was still a quick read that I felt compelled to finish.

I'd definitely recommend that those who've read the first 2 finish this series. I'd also recommend this book for those looking for a fantasy that relies heavily on the world building and politics more than the fantastical elements. For all others looking for a fantasy book in general I'd definitely recommend this book, it just wouldn't be on the top of my list.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
vivek srinivasan
Wow.
I'm kind of speechless. I didn't really enjoy the first two books but this book was pretty darn good.

I feel like this book could have been a little shorter, like some parts sort of dragged out. But it was still good.
In the beginning, I was slightly frustrated with Lia. She was a totally different person and I wasn't really digging it only because she was so mean. This opinion changed relatively fast and she became an even more badass main character.
Seeing as this book was really long and a lot was squeezed into it, it's slightly hard to hit specific points here. I feel like this book could have been split into 2; but oh well.
I was so excited because some really interesting stuff happened in here so it was a change from the first two books. However, I feel like some of the more interesting things were kind of skipped over or didn't last long. For example, the battle at the end that this entire series has been building up to. I would've loved more detail as to what all actually happened, I personally felt like it was rushed and I didn't really get that adrenaline in my stomach that I normally do when reading about war scenes. Also, Lia is this amazing lead and she was barely in the war!! Don't make an awesome main character and not finish out the battle.
To be totally honest, this book would probably actually be a 3-star book if I hadn't already rated the others so highly. I think I did that because I had really high hopes for this series and just wanted it to be good. It's definitely not what I expected it to be, but with that being said, it wasn't bad. It was still a solid read and was interesting enough.

I will admit, the ending made me cry. I cried when she got her brothers, I cried when she and Rafe parted ways, I cried when Jeb died....boy did I cry. Basically, I cried a lot. But I loved it, so it's alright.
There's so much more I could say about this book but I don't want this to drag on, so I'll leave it at this book is the best in the series and lots of interesting and emotional stuff happening.
I'm not sure if I'll ever read this series again, but I'm glad I read it once.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
miranda fontenot
I know, I know.  This book came out in August, but I haven’t had a chance to get into this series till now! And OMG IT DID NOT DISSAPOINT.

We pick up right where The Heart of Betrayal left off with THAT ending.  Lia must now navigate the political waters ahead of her and those of her heart.  With war coming from the Komizar, she’s going to need all the help she can find and take the risk in asking for it.  Her actions will not only decide her fate, but the fates of all those kingdoms dear to her.

I loved the first book so much that when the second came out, I decided to wait until the third because I knew I was going to want to binge read them right away.  I’M SO GLAD I DID.  This series was fantastic.  And what an ending!

I really loved Lia and her journey.  She finally came into her own and after everything she went through, she’s not afraid to ask for what she wants.  Well, let’s face it, she never was to begin with, but she learned how to find her own voice and be cunning and smart about asking.  Kudos, girl.

Rafe was also his charming and wonderful self, although he did have moments where he acted like an ass.  Don’t worry though, Lia called him out on it.  I think my favorite character in this last installment was Kaden.  We see him go on this emotional journey from the first book and the way his story concludes is just so amazing.  I think he has the biggest emotional arc throughout the whole series.

The plot is nonstop in this.  Whereas the last book was more politically driven, this one is more action packed.  Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely politics involved, but probably more politically driven action than in the other novels.  You will be anxiously turning the page waiting to see what happens.

The climax of the plot moved a bit quickly for me, but was still enjoyable.  I would have liked to have seen it a bit more drawn out.

Overall, this was an amazing conclusion to a fantastic series.  Luckily, there’s going to be MORE.  I know, I squealed as well when I heard the news.  Hurry up and read these books, because you are going to want to jump on this bandwagon people before the next series comes out!
 
Please Rate Book Three - The Beauty of Darkness - The Remnant Chronicles
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