Published by Macmillan on July 8th 2014
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love. The Kiss of Deception is the first book in Mary E. Pearson's Remnant Chronicles.
This book had been sitting next to my bed in a massive “to be read” pile since last September. I didn’t realize it then, but the fact that I didn’t read this book immediately upon receiving it is a complete fail on my part! Like, total and utter life failure! What I should have done is drop everything and read the book in its entirety. I should have made better life choices and devoured it before I did anything else. But, here it is almost the middle of March, a full SIX months since I got the book, and I’m FINALLY here to profess my obsession and adoration for The Kiss of Deception.
The Kiss of Deception had my heart from the very first chapter. I was immediately drawn to Lia’s character and the future that she was desperately trying to avoid. I adored her right from the start; she had passion, motivation and was willing to do what it to took to find her own way. Bottom line, Lia’s got buckets of what we bookworms like to call agency! She acted for herself and didn’t allow anyone to determine her self-worth or, more importantly, what her future held. On the other hand, it quickly became quite clear that Lia wasn’t completely aware of the ramifications of her decisions, so she’s left trying to figure out what her next moves are. This girl may be brave and forthright, but she still had a lot to experience and discover. Which, ultimately, is what this book is all about.
Pearson added a layer of mystery to this story, that made me question everything and what each character’s motives are. The Kiss of Deception is told in alternating POVs between Lia, and the two male lead characters, Rafe and Kaden who she meets just as she’s starting her new life. They brought a new sense of concern and urgency to Lia’s world, and shook things up quite a bit. We also get chapters that are told from the POV of the Assassin that is sent to kill Lia, as well as the Prince’s who has been burned by Lia’s actions. It’s not known which one is Rafe and which one is Kaden until you get almost to the end, and it makes the book that much more compelling. I will say that my initial guess as to who was the prince and who was the assassin was correct, but I definitely changed my mind a bunch of times as the book progressed. I really liked being kept in the dark about who was who, and the back and forth of the identities kept me totally invested in the story line. It would have been such a different story if Rafe and Kaden ended up being the other characters identity, and that’s what kept me intrigued. I was so anxious to see how that plot point was going to resolve itself.
One of my favorite aspects of any good fantasy novel is the world-building, and the world that Peterson built for us in The Kiss of Deception is one of my very favorites. From the rich and lush world of Lia’s home kingdom of Morrighan and the quaint seaside community of Terravin, to the vast desert wasteland of Cam Lanteux and the terrifying Kingdom of Venda. There was so much to “see” in this book and every land was just as beautiful as the next in its own unique way. One of the words that kept coming to mind as I read this book was cinematic. I could just picture this vast and beautiful world, and wanted to explore even more of it. Pearson masterfully created a world that made my imagination soar and I just want to hug her for it.
Actually, I just want to tackle hug Mary for giving me a new series to obsess over! I just finished The Heart of Betrayal, which is this book’s sequel, and it was absolutely amazing. I’ll be posting the review for that one closer to its publication date this July, but it’s safe to say there will be just as much fangirling in that one too.
If you haven’t read The Kiss of Deception yet, don’t be like me, pick it up now and start reading! Fans of Throne of Glass and The Girl of Fire and Thorns series will really love this one, but honestly, anyone who is a fan of great fantasy novels will absolutely devour this book!