Book Review: The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

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I was so glad at the beginning of the book when both Lia and Rafe are alive and together. They are all travelling through troublesome terrain and weather to get to the nearest outpost of Dalbreck while making sure no one can track them. Kaden and Griz are on their trail hoping to warn and protect Lia from the unfortunately, not dead threat of the Komizar. When they all meet, tensions flare but Lia trusts Kaden enough to let them join in the journey. Once they arrive at the outpost, they all realize that their paths don’t lead the same way and the remainder of the book follows each of them trying to fulfil their destinies at the cost of their hearts.

Lia goes through a myriad of turmoil in this book. Her heart may be broken by grief and separation and betrayals but she still chooses to do everything possible to bring peace to the kingdoms. That is the one theme I liked in this book – she is not the traditional Chosen One, she actually chooses to be the One to save the people because someone has to. My admiration for her grew so much more because she doesn’t let fear or grief or powerful people around her intimidate her or sway her from her choices.

Kaden finally realizes that Lia would never love him but their bond is stronger than ever because of the love they share for the two kingdoms that define them. He stands by her every step of the way while also finally dealing with his traumatic childhood. He also makes some sort of peace with Rafe which was good and I liked that he got a chance to find happiness again. I have truly enjoyed his character development through the series and he will make a good and kind leader of his people.

Rafe has so much to deal with in this book. It was quite painful to watch him balance his duty to stabilize his broken kingdom with his need to protect the love of his life. Even though he struggled so much to accept Lia’s choice, I admired that he finally trusted her. I can see how he will make a great King because his heart is full of love for his kingdom and for Lia and his desire to never let anyone down. Even in this book, he has the most beautiful and gut wrenching lines that made me sob and love him even more. All I kept wishing was that Lia and Rafe would find a way to be together just like they had hope to find a way for peace between the kingdoms. The thought that they would sacrifice their love for the good of their people just broke me because they are meant to be together.

Pauline is definitely a revelation in this one. She is still kind and loving but circumstances and betrayals have also made her fierce, ready to take on any challenge. Natiya is driven by a need for revenge and I was a bit sad to see that she has lost her innocence, but I hope she is able to regain some of it after the war. The action sequences were quite tense because I didn’t want anyone to get hurt. Wishful thinking that was, because the death was so unexpected and sad and I still can’t believe he is gone.

The ending might have felt a little rushed but it was definitely the right one. But I was crying all the way till the last page because I couldn’t believe what had happened. And then came a small glimmer of hope. I wish there was an epilogue or may be a novella in the future because I don’t want to let go of these beautiful adorable compassionate characters. What an amazing series this has been and I have enjoyed every lovely word of it.

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

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