I’ve been thoroughly impressed with The Remnant Chronicles thus far. Honestly, for me, the trilogy was getting better and better with each page I turned. This build up makes it seem like The Beauty of Darkness wasn’t as good, doesn’t it? That’s not what I’m going for!
Here’s the thing… I really like The Beauty of Darkness. It might, not so shockingly, be my favorite book in the trilogy.
Also, this might be a little spoilery as it’s a discussion of the book. Read at your own risk!
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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.
I don’t care what other people think – I HATED RAFE in the whole series. I just didn’t think he was good enough for someone as badass as Lia and I rooted for Kaden the entire time. In my eyes, there was a point in the book where Rafe exhibited some pretty traitorous traits and I didn’t like him. Sure, he didn’t actually end up that bad in the end, but he wasn’t my favorite character.
As for the real traitors… they weren’t really a surprise to me. I’d pieced together different bits of foreshadowing and knew who Kaden’s dad was before Lia even found out. Also, I suspected that one of Lia’s rivals wasn’t going to end up being a bad guy and was right.
So I guess the whole point here is the traitors weren’t really surprising to me, but I didn’t mind.
The Baby, Lia, and Kaden
From the moment we found out Pauline was pregnant, I had theories. Let’s just say that my theories were completely wrong (thank goodness) and I was very pleased with how this book ended.
I might have been rooting for Lia and Kaden the whole time, but I accept that he’s probably better for her as a friend. I just don’t think they could get past the deception they put each other through and actually love each other as anything other than friends.
When I thought about Kaden’s vision of him, Lia, and a baby I thought it would be Pauline’s baby. I Just didn’t think Pauline would still be in the picture. So I was pretty pleased that their visions were truth, just not what we’d expect.
Death of a Favorite
It goes without saying in YA that the author is going to kill off a favorite character. I knew Mary E. Pearson wouldn’t kill off Rafe because it would destroy Lia. I worried constantly about young Eben, but even more so about Kaden and Pauline and Berdi. I didn’t think to worry about Rafe’s men because they’re supposed to be the best. Let’s just say I should have worried because one of my favorites ended up dying in their battle.
A lot of times, the second book in a trilogy or series lets me down and I’m uncertain about reading the final book. Book two didn’t do this for me and Book 3 ended up being my favorite of the three. It was so good. I didn’t want to put it down and even ended up staying up late to read it well past my bedtime on a work night!
The thing is Mary’s writing is so captivating and beautiful. She created genuinely badass female characters that I wanted more from. I could easily read about Lia, Pauline, Gwenyth, Berdi, and Natiya for the rest of my days because they grow so much as characters through each book. Especially Lia.
It’s not a perfect ending, but it’s pretty close.
I’m looking to start Dance of Thieves sometime this summer because I love Mary’s writing. I can’t wait to return to the setting of The Remnant Chronicles.
Talk to me!
Who’s your favorite badass female character? Does she have to be a warrior like Lia – or can she be a quiet badass like Hermione? Share some thoughts in a comment.