Title: The Kiss of Deception | Author: Mary E. Pearson | Edition: Hardback | Pages: 489
Language: English | Published: 2014 | Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
She flees on her wedding day.
She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.
She is pursued by bounty hunter sent by her own father.
She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan. The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance. Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive – and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets – secrets that may unravel her world – even as she feels herself falling in love.
“Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.”
I feel that I need to point out that this book was nowhere near what I expected it to be. I was afraid I’d find it boring and perhaps repetitive, because having a princess as the main character in a book about a kingdom in trouble is a very used plot in the fantasy genre. But I ended up LOVING Kiss of Deception!
The synopsis explains the plot of KoD very well, and if that doesn’t intrigues you then I don’t know what will! I rarely like synopses because they’re often too vague or too descriptive (giving away too much of the plot/story). This, I feel, explains what happens in the beginning of the book and leaves it there. I highly doubt the ‘falling in love’ part is a spoiler, because when two mysterious and handsome stranger arrive, we all know what’s about to happen *wink wink*.
Lia, also known as Arabella Celestine Idris Jezelia, is our headstrong princess on the run. I find her character very colorful and independent. She is extremely clever for a seventeen year old girl, maybe a bit too clever (and mature), but I can imagine that is to be expected, coming from a royal family and having three older brothers.
Her best friend, Pauline, is very likable and I really enjoyed their conversations and strong friendship. I feel that added so much more the story and it didn’t feel like their friendship was made just to make mc look less lonely, if you know what I mean? Sometimes the friends are written so superficially, that they really didn’t need to be there at all. This is definitely not the case!
Rafe and Kaden, the two mysterious strangers, were both very interesting characters and I loved them so much! They were very different from each other, yet it didn’t make it any easier to spot who was the prince and who the assassin was.
I personally felt that all the characters were well-developed and added something to the story, even the side-characters like Pauline, Berdi and Gwyneth.
“From the loins of Morrighan,
From the far end of desolation,
From the scheming of rulers,
From the fears of a queen,
Hope will be born.
– Song of Venda”
Being the first book in a trilogy (The Remnant Chronicles) it definitely had a slow beginning. Lia showed potential as a future badass leader, in a world full of turmoil and a war coming closer. So already there the plot is quite visible, and it’s a quite common one in the fantasy genre.
But not all slow beginnings are bad! Kiss of Deception had a great world building, the history is so well-developed that I couldn’t help but fall in love with the small sections about the songs of Venda. Mary E. Pearson did it so well, that it often felt real and not made up. I didn’t quite notice it in the beginning, but they play an important role to the plot! I just want to put it out there, in case you (who reads this review) haven’t read Kiss of Deception yet.
As mentioned earlier, the synopsis explains the plot really well, without giving too much detail.
“Did he even know what love was? For that matter, did I? Even my parents didn’t seem to know. I crossed my arms behind my head as a pillow. Maybe there was no one way to define it. Maybe there were as many shades of love as the blues of the sky.”
I absolutely LOVED Kiss of Deception! It will without a doubt be one of my all-time favorite books. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the characters and the romance in it. It was a refreshing book to read, especially in the fantasy genre, because they often end up with the same plot/story-line. Here we have mystery and well-developed history mixed into it, and that only makes it a thousand times better.
Mary E. Pearson has an exceptional writing style, and I found so many beautiful and quotable lines while reading this. I highly recommend this trilogy (I say trilogy because I have already read the sequel, The Heart of Betrayal, as I write this review) if you want a different take on the classic fantasy genre plot!
5 out of 5 stars