My box set of the Remnant Chronicles was thrust enthusiastically to the top of my TBR list after I read Pearson's enchanting Dance of Thieves duology. In this first installment, the resentful Princess Lia flees her arranged marriage to a neighboring kingdom's heir and escapes to a sleepy fishing village with her best friend and handmaid. There, she settles in to the ordinary life she has always dreamed of, away from the press of duty and decorum. Little does she know, two men are hunting her: the prince she was promised to marry and an assassin tasked with slitting her throat.
There's a bit of plot convenience at the start when Rafe and Kaden show up in town at the same time and bump into one another outside the tavern where Lia works, but it was easy to overlook. There was plenty more about this book to like than not. I was grateful that the love triangle wasn't drawn out to excruciating lengths. Lia settles on one of her dashing stalkers fairly quickly and the stiff romance that follows is sweet and understated.
What got me with this book was the twist!!! Not that one, the other one. Oh man, Pearson got me good. I won't spoil it for you, but damn. Serves me right for making assumptions. I was giddy with it for days. I'm not often surprised by twists. I can usually puzzle them out by small details and foreshadowing. I think the best part about this book's twist is that Pearson doesn't really do it to you so much as she lets you set yourself up for it. Absolutely delightful.
Aside from the bait-and-switch, I really enjoyed the last quarter of this book. Lia's transition from naive dreamer to bitter realist is heartfelt and thoroughly convincing. Her rebellious spirit endures throughout, coming to a razor-sharp point at the conclusion when the brutal truth of her place in the world can no longer be ignored. I can't wait to read the second book and see what comes next!