Title: The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles #3)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (BYR), 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy
I don’t even know where to begin with this review…as it is the conclusion of the series, I’m sure I might add spoilers…but I’ll do the very best I can.
I would warn you that if haven’t read at LEAST the first book, and you plan to, I would skip this one. At least for now. I’d hate to be responsible for ruining a book for anyone. And the spoilers are probably unintentional. I’ll try…but it’s hard.
So here is a map that I know was included in The Kiss of Deception…it shows where the kingdoms of Morrighan, Dalbreck, and Venda are located. And the large expanse is the Cam Lanteaux, the large desert that is neutral area and where no people can settle. I love this story world: it is rich and highly developed. Languages are written like Tolkien did in LoTR. It’s truly an amazing series (can you tell by now that this is going to be a rave review?)
So at this point, Lia and Rafe has escaped the clutches of the Komizar. He is dead, or so we think. Lia stabbed him with s knife, and his guts spilled out…right?
As Rafe and his team take Lia to an outpost, they realize they are being followed. Kaden is with Griz and they are determined to find Lia. The only thing on Lia’s mind is warning the people of Morrighan, her people, about the Komizar’s army…even if he’s dead. The Vendan army is huge: 120,000 strong. Neither Morrighan nor Dalbreck have that kind of backing.
All meet up on the way, and Kaden shows his loyalty is to Lia. He follows along and joins the group headed to the outpost (this book is 600 plus pages long, and this is just the beginning, I promise. I’m trying the basics here: the most important stuff only to hook you! Mwhahaha!). When they arrive, Lia knows she must go to Morrighan; her gift warns her not to delay. Rare keeps her against her will, as she is a wanted criminal in her hometown for fleeing her wedding (in the first book). She does not care, because Morrighan and the people are part of her. And so, now, is Venda. She wants to protect them from the Komizar’s revenge.
As Rafe let’s her finally go, he does it knowing he may never see Lia again. But there’s a strain between them…and that strain isn’t just Kaden, who happens to be planning to join her on her trip. As they part ways, Lia has a long journey ahead of her. She must play her part in the prophecy, the one in The Song of Venda:
“Until one comes who is mightier,
The one sprung from misery,
The one who was weak,
The one who was hunted,
The one marked with claw and vine,
The one named in secret,
The one called Jezelia.”
Is it Classroom-Appropriate?
Yes, but it’s impossible to use. The books are extremely long and filled with information. They are like epics. There’s nothing inappropriate to keep them out of the classroom, but time is limited and it would be impossible to expect a student to read this book, especially since it needs the other two for context. I would definitely recommend it for voracious readers as outside reading, if I would keep a copy of the three books on a shelf in the classroom that teens could borrow. They could “check them out” like a library, which is what I’m planning to do in my classroom: have a class library. In that instance, I would encourage students to read these books.
Lexile.com recommends ages 14-18 (and up, of course), and I agree wholeheartedly. This is not for content but for the complexity of the story line and the text itself. It rates an HL760L, which isn’t incredibly high…but it’s the underlying events and schemes that take a sharp mind to follow. It is a book I would NOT give a reluctant reader as the length of the novel would discourage them. I’d probably make sure whoever I recommended it to was a fan of high fantasy, or epics, because there’s a lot of goings on in the world of The Remnant Chronicles. The books kind of remind me of Lord of the Rings (LoTR) not just because of the creation of a language, but because of the map and the history and the cultural shifts. This book is rich. It needs a reader that will not get discouraged, though I never did.
I’m sure y’all know what I’m going to give this book if you’ve gotten this far…obviously for me this one was a solid ★★★★★. Everything about this novel was just perfect, with the romance, suspense, intrigue, and heartbreak. I barely scratched the surface with my review because I don’t want to ruin the book for others, but it’s GOOD! SO GOOD! I added it to my favorites once I finished. Pearson gave me a solid ending, though she did freak me out with a couple false endings that I was relieved by the end. Pearson, you gave me the fright of my night with some of the ends of your chapters! My heart was on the floor last night and I had to pick it up and dust it off.
Better get crackin’! Happy Reading!