ARC Book Review: Vow Of Thieves by Mary Pearson

Book: Vow Of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

Expected Publication Is August 6, 2019 by Henry Holt & Co|Expected Number Of Pages: 480 pages

Where I Got It: I received an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: Dances Of Thieves #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them―the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor’s Watch will be a kingdom, and the two of them will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.

But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and in their rush to return to Tor’s Watch, just outside the fortress walls, they are violently attacked and torn apart―and each is thrust into their own new hell.

Unsure whether the other is alive or dead, Kazi and Jase must keep their wits among their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies. And all the while, Death watches and waits.

I really liked Vow Of Thieves!  I was really excited to get an ARC of it, and I liked it just as much as I thought I would.

I thought the story was great in this book.  I liked seeing what was going on with Kazi and Jase, and things were not easy for them in this book.  I wanted them to be okay, and there were times, especially at the beginning, where I thought things wouldn’t be okay.  Things turned out just fine, of course, and I’m glad it did.  They really deserve it after everything they’ve been through.

I really liked Kazi in this book and she’s such an amazing character.  She had some tough decisions to make, and I thought she handled things the best way she could.

As for Jase…I did like him a little bit more in this book than I did in the previous book.  He’s really trying to keep his family together and to protect his people.  I wanted him to be okay, but with everything that happens, it wasn’t easy for him.  Still, he was able to make his way back to his home and family, and with Kazi, they were able to do what they needed to do in order to get Tor’s Watch back to what it was before the attack.

I thought things were wrapped up really well.  I was wondering where the story was going to go, and we definitely found out in this book.  I’m sad it’s only a duology, because I really wanted more of this story and this world.  Even though things are wrapped up and this particular story is over, there’s room for a lot more story in this world.  With how the book ended, it makes me wonder what else is on the horizon.

Things may have been resolved in this book, but there’s a lot more that can happen.  I hope it doesn’t, but you never know.  I know I’ll be waiting to see if we’ll be getting more books in this world, and who it might focus on.  It is a great end to the series, and it was definitely a page-turner.

Like the previous book, it took a little bit to get into the book, but once I did, it was hard to stop reading.  This series, and the Remnant Chronicles, are worth reading.

4 stars.  I really liked Vow Of Thieves, and it’s a great end to a great series.

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Book Review: Dance Of Thieves by Mary E Pearson

Book: Dance Of Thieves by Mary E Pearson

Published August 2019 by Henry Holt & Co|508 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: Dance Of Thieves #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.

I really liked this one!  When I heard that there was going to be another book set in the same world as the Remnant Chronicles, I knew I had to read it.

I didn’t love Jase and Kazi the way I love Lia, but I still really liked both of them…though if I had to pick a favorite from Dance Of Thieves, I think it would be Kazi.  Her story was really interesting, and it’s hard not to like her.  I like Jase and I definitely understood where he was coming from.  It’s a part of the world that we never saw in the Remnant Chronicles, and since it’s been awhile since I’ve read that series, I can’t remember if his family was even mentioned in those books.  It might be time for a re-read.

At any rate, it was really cool to see this world grow.  I loved seeing the Ballenger family and how hard things were for them.  Their part of the world is definitely different, and it really added to the world.  This book also had the little bits of history we saw in the Remnant Chronicles.  We also saw the addition of writings/histories from Jase’s family and I really liked that.  It’s always fun to see this world through these histories, and I’m really glad that those histories continued in this book.

I feel like I’m talking more about the Remnant Chronicles than I am about this one.  I mean, some of the things we saw in that series are in this book, and it does add to that world.

Since I’m starting to repeat myself a little…let’s talk about about Dance Of Thieves.  I liked the cat-and-mouse game, and since both Jase and Kazi are narrating, we know what’s going on, but they don’t know what the other one is doing.  There wasn’t a lot of communication between them, which I understand, considering what they were both trying to do.  Still, a lot of what happened may have been avoided if they hadn’t lied to each other.

It did take a while for me to get into it, and I think it’s because we’re getting backstory for both Kazi and Jase.  Once we got past that, I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next.  I’m curious to see where things are headed with how the book ended.

If you haven’t read the Remnant Chronicles, but are thinking about picking this one up…just know that you don’t need to read it in order to know what’s going on in this book.  While it’s set in the same world, and some of the characters from that series make an appearance or two, it’s not necessary to read it before reading this one.  There are some things that happen in that series that will be spoiled, and there is some world building you get in that one that you don’t necessarily get in this one.  That series is amazing, and if you haven’t read it yet, you should.  But this series is completely separate, so don’t worry about not knowing the world or some of the characters.

4 stars.  I didn’t love it, but I still really enjoyed it.  It is Mary Pearson, after all, and she’s pretty amazing.

Book Review: The Beauty Of Darkness by Mary E Pearson

The Beauty Of Darkness CoverBook: The Beauty Of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

Published August 2016 by Henry Holt & Co|688 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: The Remnant Chronicles #3

Genre: YA Fantasy

Blog Graphic-What It's About

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.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

The Beauty Of Darkness  (BoD)was completely amazing!  This is a series that gets better with each book, and after The Heart Of Betrayal (HoB), which I thought was better than The Kiss Of Deception (KoD), I couldn’t wait to read BoD.

Seriously, this book is so good!  I’ve loved Lia since the beginning, and I didn’t care about the love triangle, at least in the sense that I was always Team Lia.  And the love triangle wasn’t annoying like it is in most books, because both Rafe and Kaden bring out different things in Lia.  I was slightly surprised by how things turned out in the romance department, especially for one of the characters, but they all have things they’re dealing with, and I’m glad that things worked out for all of the characters.  They all deserve peace and happiness, and I really felt like things were going to get so much better for Morrighan, Delbreck, and Venda.  Especially Venda, because they truly deserve good things.

I loved Lia’s transformation the most, though.  She’s so different than the Lia we met in KoD.  She’s determined and driven and still caring and full of compassion, and it makes her so awesome that you can’t help but root for her. Even when she doesn’t have a lot of support, she is very determined to help all of the kingdoms and defeat the Komizar so that everyone can have a future.  She doesn’t back down, even when people doubted her, and thought she should do something different.

More than anything, Rafe, Lia and Kaden felt very real and very human.  They weren’t perfect (especially with one thing Rafe did regarding Lia), but I understood why they acted the way they did.  They were flawed, and that was really nice to see, just because sometimes, YA characters don’t come across that way.

I really liked that we saw Rafe, Lia and Kaden narrate the book, because with so many things going on, it meant we got to see what was going on with each character.  I really like Pauline as a character, but I’m not sure how I feel about her chapters.  We do get a perspective that we don’t get with the other characters, which I really like, but I didn’t particularly care about what was going on with Mikail.

I’ve really come to love this series, and even though I’m glad I read it (mostly because I needed to know so many things), I’m also sad, because it means there are no more books in this series, and I won’t get to read them for the first time.  There’s always re-reading, and I actually really want to re-read the series now, because I have the feeling that there’s a lot I’m going to pick up on now that the story has come to an end.

The one thing I loved the most in the trilogy was the histories that we see throughout the books, and that was one of my favorite things in BoD.  In this book, we see that the texts we see don’t always give the whole picture, and that some history is hidden away, because it doesn’t support the view or story that those in power want out there. And it’s a reminder that history can be lost in so many ways, whether it’s an oral tradition that no longer gets passed down, or a book that’s hidden or burned because someone doesn’t want it out there.

And she did such a wonderful job at tying all three books together that it’s really hard to pinpoint each thing I loved about the book.  Everything seems like an accurate word, but at the same time, it’s too vague to accurately encompass what I loved about the book.  It seemed more emotional than the previous books, and it was hard not to start crying at a couple of different points.  I loved the details from the first two books that we see in this book, so it’s definitely a good idea to read them first, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve read them.

I haven’t really touched on anything specific, because I don’t want to give anything away.  Just trust me when I say that you need to read this entire series.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

5 stars.  I think it may be the best in the trilogy, and I’m having a hard time deciding if The Beauty Of Darkness or The Heart Of Betrayal is my favorite, because each book was better than the last.

Book Review: The Heart Of Betrayal by Mary E Pearson

The Heart Of Betrayal CoverBook: The Heart Of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Published July 2015 by Henry Holt & Company|473 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: Remnant Chronicles #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

Blog Graphic-What It's About

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia’s life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There’s Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny.

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

I loved The Heart Of Betrayal!  It doesn’t happen often where I love the 2nd book in a series more, but that was definitely the case for this series!

We get multiple narrators, with Lia, Rafe and Kaden all narrating the book, with the odd chapter narrated by Pauline.  It worked really well, and it added a lot to the story, because they’re all going through different things in Venda, and you get to see all of the different things going on.

The romance is really complicated- there’s Rafe and Kaden, of course, and a new “love interest” is thrown into the mix, which I didn’t expect at all, but makes things interesting, especially with everything that happens with him.  There are some twists and turns in the romance department, and I’m still not sure where the romance is headed.  Normally, it’s predictable who our heroine ends up with, but not with this book, in my opinion.  It could be anyone, and I like that while she favors one, she also hasn’t completely made up her mind about who she wants.

I was not expecting the book to end the way it did, and it makes me want to read book 3 right now.  At least I won’t have to wait long until the next book comes out, but as that’s a few months away…it feels too far away!  I just don’t know how Pearson is going to resolve things, and with this book being so good, I’m hoping the next book is going to be even better.

I don’t even know what to think about Lia’s family.  I have the feeling that there’s a lot going on with them that we’re not seeing, and I hope that we get more of that in the next book.  And there’s something up with Lia’s gift- it does seem like she has premonitions, so I’m hoping we get more about her gift in the next book.

I really like Lia, and she’s such an awesome character.  She’s very strong-willed, but she’s also very caring, and I love that she’s the same Lia we saw in The Kiss Of Deception.  I really felt for Kaden, and I liked that we learned more about him.  And Rafe…honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about him.

I really liked Venda, and everything we learned about them.  To me, it was the most interesting of the 3 kingdoms we see in the book.  I feel like we know more about them than we do the other kingdoms, but I’m also fuzzy on the details from the first book, so maybe it’s because I don’t remember anything about the other kingdoms.  But Venda really is an interesting place, and I really liked seeing it.  I really felt like we were there, and she shows so well what it’s like in this country.

I also love all of the stories and songs we see from different books.  It was one of my favorite things about the first book, and it’s one of my favorite things about this book.  It’s interesting to see a peek into the past, and how it relates to the present, and if it’s meant to be a parallel between the two.

And the cover is beautiful!  I’m glad I have this series in print so I can just look at the pretty cover!

Blog Graphic- My Rating

5 stars.  I love everything about this book, and even though the magic and how it works is pretty fuzzy, I don’t even care because this book was even better than the first one!