“Love didn’t end all at once, no matter how much you needed it to or how inconvenient it was. You couldn’t command love to stop any more than a marriage document could order it to appear. Maybe love had to bleed away a drop at a time until your heart was numb and cold and mostly dead.”
*Warning* Spoilers ahead
I finally picked up the final book in The Remnant Chronicles, The Beauty of Darkness, by Mary E. Pearson and it was my least favorite of the series. I read the second book in the trilogy a couple of weeks ago, so there were a lot of characters and plot points that I forgot about (which is probably one of the reasons why I didn’t like this book as much as the other ones). I decided to give this book 3.5 stars as it wasn’t as enjoyable as the other books in the series, but it still kept me entertained.
The Beauty of Darkness has nearly 700 pages and a good amount of it isn’t important. There were times when the story was dragging and it was beginning to bore me. If they had cut out the parts of the story that didn’t move along the plot, the book would have been more enjoyable.
Rafe was one of my favorite characters (up there with Aster and Lia) and this book kind of changed my opinion of him. I’ve always disliked Kaden because of him keeping Lia prisoner, but claiming that he loves her. Then, Rafe comes along and decides to do the same thing to Lia and he never truly apologized for it. She loved Morrighan as much as he loves Dalbreck, but Rafe wouldn’t let her go and save her home. Eventually, he let her go and went after her, but he shouldn’t be letting her do anything. She is a princess of her own land and Rafe has no right to be controlling her. I wish there would have been a scene where he told her that he was wrong and shouldn’t have treated her like that.
Even though Rafe’s character development took a couple of steps back, Lia and Pauline had amazing character development. They both became so much stronger and resilient than they were in the first book. Pauline gets extra points for her son having the same name as one of my favorite book characters of all time (Rhys from A Court of Thorns and Roses). I loved the way she handled the whole situation with Mikael and I admire her for how she was able to forgive Kaden and even start a relationship with him. Even though Lia has gone through a lot, she grew stronger and became a great character by the end. I loved her response whenever someone commented on her falling in love with the same man she left at the altar.
I’ve had a very strong opinion on Kaden as I heavily disliked him. He reminded me of Chaol from Throne of Glass (who I don’t like) and he watched her being treated like garbage in the second book but never did anything about it even though he “loved” her. The Beauty of Darkness gives him a little bit of redemption and I like him a little bit more than I did in the second book. He finally saw the Komizar for who he was and was always fighting with Lia instead of watching her fight for herself. Also, I enjoyed his relationship with Pauline and wish we had more content with the two of them. I’m glad that this book gave him more development as a character.
Besides the main 4 characters, I never felt like the other characters were developed enough and I didn’t care for any of them (except Aster). Also, ever since the first book, I skip the excerpts from different texts in their world. Since I never read them (because I found them slightly boring) it may have impacted my knowledge of the world and it never felt fully developed.
Overall, The Remnant Chronicles is a solid fantasy series with good characters and an interesting plotline. I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would, but I didn’t hate the series and would still recommend it to anyone who likes YA high fantasy series.