Blog Tour- The Beauty of Darkness Sampler Review + Giveaway


I am honored to be part of The Beauty of Darkness Blog Tour. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the first few chapters- because like you- I’ve not read the entire book. The first in the series, The Kiss of Deception blew me away. I was so surprised by the twists and so swept away with the characters I knew I’d be addicted to this series. The sequel, The Heart of Betrayal, was somehow capable of building on the first book and being even better. How often is a sequel even better than the first book? Not often. I can’t wait to read the entirety of The Beauty of Darkness and see how Pearson ends this story line and where she leaves her characters.

About the Book

TheBeautyofDarknesspicThe Beauty of Darkness
By: Mary Pearson
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

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.

Thoughts on Sampler

Oh my goodness! That was my first thought. These first pages (first five chapters to be exact) were so ‘edge of your seat’ for me. I was immediately pulled back into the story and was frantically flipping through the pages.

Lia has been hurt and is in and out of it. I love that Pearson writes this series in first person because I felt like I was Lia. I could nearly feel her confusion, pain and sadness. Many times when a character is shot with an arror or sliced by a sword it doesn’t seem to really hurt them all that badly. Not so in this book. Lia is in drastic pain and it comes across the pages. It feels realistic. This pain stands to only make her a stronger person and set her more directly on the path laid before her.

There was a bit from Rafe’s point of view and it helped to build up the location and scenery of where they are hiding out. The immense need to help Lia to heal but also get as far from their enemies adds tension to the pages.

The Komizar’s fate is questioned- is he dead? Surely so. He was stabbed with a poison blade. Rafe saw him and he appeared life-less. But, what if he somehow survived? And what of Kaden? What motives drove his actions?

ALL THESE QUESTIONS. But! The wait is over! The Beauty of Darkness is available TODAY. So, run out and buy your copy or take your chances to win one below.



I’ve got one (1) hardcover copy of The Beauty of Darkness to give away. This giveaway is hosted by the generous folks at Macmillan so it’ll be US/Canada only and provided by them.
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Interview with Mary Pearson Author of The Remnant Chronicles + Giveaway


I’m so excited to be hosting The Remnant Chronicles Read Along with these amazing bloggers- Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales, Christina from The Book Hook Up, Stacee from Adventures of a Book Junkie, and Jamie from Two Chicks on Books.


The Kiss of Deception stands out from your other books since it is set in a different world than our own. Can you describe some of the difficulties or advantages writing outside of our reality?
This is a tricky question to answer, because even though the Remnant world doesn’t look like our world, it is based very much on our world, really, in the same way so much of fantasy is. Often fantasy worlds are metaphors for our own, and let us see our reality in a new light.

In Remnant’s case, it was like our world in a very real sense too, because it grew out of the ashes of our present one, along with whatever snips of memory and tradition the few survivors of the “Devastation” had to pass on, and with the scrabbling to survive for generations, much was lost—except story. But in the Remnant world, as in our own, the story changed as it was passed along, or sometimes it was purposely twisted to serve another purpose, and what started as a hazy memory told in story, became the history and belief system of many nations.

As with our own histories, trying to parse out the truth thousands of years later can be an impossible task. Until we can master the trick of time travel, some truths are lost forever. (Ah, time travel! Maybe that will be the next story . . .)

So yes, the Remnant world looked and operated differently in so many ways and writing that part was a fun challenge, but in so many other ways—especially in the ways in which we love and hate each other—it was still very much the same. Some things are timeless.

This August the last of The Remnant Chronicles, The Beauty of Darkness, releases. How does it feel to be saying goodbye to this series (*sniff*)?
It is hard to say goodbye.  I’m still not sure I have.  A few characters keep whirling in my head, voices, snips of dialogue, story beginnings.  Just because you write “the end” it doesn’t mean that a world vanishes overnight or the gears in your brain stop turning.

On the other hand, it is enormously satisfying to see the stories come to completion, the full arc realized. Even when you think you know how a story will end, you are never entirely certain it is all going to come together how you hoped, not so much from a plot standpoint but from an emotional point of view. And of course I was juggling three main characters arcs—not just one. It was a challenge but I was happy with the outcome for each of the characters. It felt true and complete, and typing “The End” was satisfying, even if it was bittersweet to say goodbye.

Did the story and characters go as you had planned or did they surprise you as you wrote?
Oh, there were always surprises. Secondary characters came on the scene who threw me curve balls. In the last book, both the Komizar and Aster grew into much more full-bodied characters than I expected. Aster hadn’t even been planned. She first appeared in my head when she dropped boots off at Lia’s doorstep. I had no idea she would steal my heart. That is what I love about writing. If I had every detail planned it would feel robotic. The world and the characters have to inject their own life into the story, and I follow their leads.

In The Beauty of Darkness there were some surprises too—a character who appeared in the first book, Natiya, returned, and I saw a young Lia in the making. It was interesting for me to see Natiya’s transformation. Her experiences had made her stubborn and fierce which we got a glimpse of in the first book. It exasperated Lia to deal with someone so much like herself.

Also, the demise of a certain character, and the way this character died had not been planned, but it almost fell into my lap as the most perfect way for this person to die. (Yes, I revel in certain deaths. Scary, huh?)

And finally, in The Heart of Betrayal, Aster stole a book from the piles in the caverns. In The Beauty of Darkness, I had to find a “description” for this book and I brainstormed tons of them with both my editor and agent and it seemed nothing was quite right and finally one came to mind that was not only perfect for the story, but perfect for Aster too.

So some surprises are always part of the writing process, even when you think you know the direction you are going and how everything will play out.

What do you have coming next?
Ideas are simmering. A few have taken hold. I’m waiting to see which one rises to the top and wins my undying attention.

Are you as excited as I am about The Beauty of Darkness? It releases NEXT MONTH. I can’t wait.

Check out these other posts I’ve done about this series


To enter to win these two prizes you just need to join the read along and fill out the rafflecopter from below! (FYI, these won’t be the only prizes we’ll be giving away. There will be great prizes up for grabs during the twitter chats and for the Instagram challenges, so make sure to participate in those to get a chance to win some other goodies!)

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Revisiting The Kiss of Deception Review for the The Remnant Chronicles Readalong

I’m so excited to be hosting The Remnant Chronicles Read Along with these amazing bloggers- Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales, Christina from The Book Hook Up, Stacee from Adventures of a Book Junkie, and Jamie from Two Chicks on Books.

I recently reread The Kiss of Deception so I thought it would be fun to revisit my old review and see if I agree with my first thoughts on the book.

My Old Review

TheKissofDeceptionThe Kiss of Deception
By: Mary E. Pearson
Release Date: July 15th 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt
Source: ARC

A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love

My Thoughts:
Upon receiving this book I immediately put aside my current reads to dive into this one. Even when first hearing about this I felt a pull towards it and obsessed about reading it. Do you do that? Why yes, I still do that often. Become completely enraptured with an idea of a book? YES. I’m sure you do, and like me you know this is very dangerous. The expectations begin to raise, especially if you see positive early ratings (like I did with this one). It was with great eagerness and a dash of hesitation that I started. Even from the first line of the book you can see the writing is beautiful and lyrical. My fears of possibly being disappointed started to diminish. I was again so impressed with the start of TKOD. What an amazing first line and start to a book.

When reading the summary I’m sure there will be those that see the words “prince” and “assassin” and think…oh no, here it is, the dreaded triangle. Rest assured that this is not a true triangle and there is nothing to worry about. Our main character is not wishy-washy nor does she waver in her beliefs. She is a strong willed, head strong character. So much yes. Pearson was able to create a likeable, if not a tad selfish and naïve, princess that you immediately root for. My heart was on her side from the first chapter.

I really enjoyed the romantic aspects of this book; there was a slow burn but wasn’t frustratingly slow. What I loved most was that the romance was very important but less because it was a driving force for the book but because the main character is a young woman and like most young women dreams of falling in love. We journey with her on this and the best part is that we watch her grow and realize that some things might be more important than what you personally want. I loved her self discovery and growth. Pearson has really done an exquisite job in writing this character. And after reading the sequel going back and seeing how far Lia has come was really fun.

The settings are all vivid and I was easily able to visualize each location. I am so enamored with the world that Pearson has created. There is quite a bit of travel which often times is very boring to read about but not so in this book. I enjoyed reading the small amount of descriptions and the writing was really beautiful to read.

Even with my very high expectations I was surprised by The Kiss of Deception. It was beautifully done and not only had heart but action and romance. I will be rereading and preordering this one and I can’t wait until the next book, as cliché as that is. As often times when a book is very well done the review is near impossible to write.

View Spoiler »

Final Thoughts:
Nothing I can say would allow you to experience this book in the way Pearson’s own writing would. If you like high fantasy, character growth sprinkled in with romance then you’ll enjoy this. Everyone should read these books. The End.

Are you reading along with us for The Remnant Chronicle Read Along to help prepare us for the final book’s release in August? If not you really should be. Check out my intro post here to find out more details.

My Sort-of Review for The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Okay, there are some books that are so amazing and hit you so hard that it become nearly impossible to put your feelings into words. The Heart of Betrayal was this type of book for me through and through. I loved every single word and moment so pardon my review for being short and not nearly as articulate as I’d like.

HoBThe Heart of Betrayal
By: Mary Pearson
Release Date: July 7th 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

My Rating:

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia’s 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 barbarians. Now that she lives amongst 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

My (mish-mashed) Thoughts:

It is a rare day when I can review a sequel and say that it was even better than the first book. The Heart of Betrayal was such an incredibly strong story with excellent writing and an epic storyline. Pearson picked up directly where The Kiss of Deception left us and wastes no time to getting the reader back into the story.

Lia was such a strong character and my love for her only grew in this sequel. Really, all the characters are so well developed and well rounded. It was very interesting to watch them interact and learn more about them individually. We are introduced to a new character, the Komizar, who was such an intriguing character. Watching Lia have to survive and find her way in a new place, Venda, surrounded by enemies kept me on the edge of my seat and completely enthralled.

Gah, I keep trying to think of what to say but it mostly just boils down to READ THIS SERIES PLEASE. This sequel built upon the first book so well and I loved the expansion of the world and the characters, Lia especially. I think that if you enjoy fantasy with a historical feel, romance, political intrigue and incredible writing this series is for you.

If you feel you have similar tastes as I do then I’m confident you’ll love both The Kiss of Deception and The Heart of Betrayal.