“If nothing is the way it seems, then this life is nothing but a haunted dream.” —Steve Winwood
The Betrayed by Kiera Cass is the compelling, and fast-paced finale to the tale of Hollis and the rivalry between the two kingdoms that was begun in The Betrothed.
This is one of the rare instances where you should absolutely read The Betrothed in order to fully grasp the setting in which The Betrayed begins. Hollis Brite has just experienced an excruciating blow of pain and devastation and therefore decides to leave Coroa with the only family she has left. Her remaining family have decided to find refuge in Isolte, so that they may face the challenge of King Quinten head on.
The Betrayed is a continuation of the “nothing is as it seems” storyline. First impressions are often wrong, and the people that Hollis had once brushed off, are now allies, and perhaps even friends…though some are deadlier than they appear. In the case of Etan Northcutt, Hollis needs an ally as well as an escort in a foe’s court, and Etan is put to the task. As Etan and Hollis butt heads, a begrudging friendship emerges that slowly and beautifully blooms into something more.
A rebellion is mounting against the wicked King of Isolte. Hollis finds herself in the midst of the plot to gather evidence in order to bring his reign of terror to an end. Etan also finds himself there with her, and eventually finds himself leading the efforts to overthrow King Quinten. I’m saving the juicy bits for everyone who reads The Betrayed. I will say that at 75%, I was shocked. By 90%, I was gobsmacked and utterly flayed out, desperate for the ending that I hoped would happen. By the very final pages, I was glued to the page and totally in awe that Kiera Cass had tied up everything perfectly.
Perhaps the The Betrayed could have been a hundred or more pages long. The quick-paced plot meant that only necessary details were given within the book. This story is undoubtedly about Hollis and the experiences that shape her. The Betrayed is the culmination of Hollis’ journey to not only find her voice, but her place as well as purpose in life. While I know that there are readers out there who disliked The Betrothed (you know who you are), I believe it deserves another look. This duet needs to be read it with an open mind in order to fully understand and engage with each of these books. Kiera Cass creates and writes amazing characters that are full of depth, as well as wonderfully addictive plots. I loved this duet, and I cannot wait for more.