The Remnant Chronicles is a YA fantasy romance series by Mary E. Pearson. There are three primary works in the series: The Kiss of Deception, The Heart of Betrayal, and The Beauty of Darkness. There is also a duology series (Dance of Thieves and Vow of Thieves) written in the same world after the events of this series; I haven’t read this one yet but I’ve already got the first one queued up on my kindle app and I’m very excited.
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.
So first off I was encouraged to read this series by my book squad so, shout out to them once again steering me right!
I didn’t love the beginning of the first book. It jumps right into Lia running from her wedding so you’re playing a bit of catch up and aren’t attached to any of the characters yet so their actions and conversations made me roll my eyes a bit. Once Lia gets to the settled into her new life part I started to enjoy myself more. Also I totally did not catch on right away that you don’t know which character is the prince or the assassin and have to try and figure it out! I thought it was obvious who was who at first so I didn’t really pick up on the mystery and then when I did, I realized I was probably completely wrong on who I had pegged. Their interactions with each other were really fun (think mud fight) and watching an assassin and prince try to fit into Lia’s new humble life was really interesting, especially with the added mystery of the who’s who.
I feel like almost all the characters improve over time, Lia especially. I didn’t trust any of the characters in the beginning and honestly didn’t even know if I really liked most of them. By the end I had my favorites and only hated the bad guys, one of which needed to die a thousand times. Lia has support from both male and females in this series and as a person who loves squads, it was super fun that she actually had multiple squads who had her back. Squads forever yo.
One of the most stressful things for me was that I could not commit for the life of me on who I was shipping until the last book. There is a slight set up for a love triangle and I kept thinking I was being tricked and could be persuaded to the other guy and kept questioning my ship. Guys this almost never happens to me, I pick a ship and I stan but Pearson was really playing with me. But I will say, despite all the stress, I love this romance and was happy with how everything turns out.
There is very minimal magical elements in this, the main/only source of which is just a “gift” that some people have of “knowing” where they can hear or see things that have happened or will happen that they can sometimes use to their advantage but have little to no control over.
This series is full of political intrigue, deceptions, and conspiracies. There are multiple kingdoms, long journeys between them, and losses that keep the stakes high.