Book Review: The Kiss of Deception
The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles # 1)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Published By: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Page Count: 496
Source: eBook purchased from Barnes & Noble
Audience: Young Adult – Fantasy
I have read many fantasy stories, teen and adult, and I can honestly say not many have I enjoyed quite as much as I enjoyed The Kiss of Deception by Mary. E. Pearson.
The Kiss of Deception is about Lia, a runaway teenage princess who realizes she can't outrun her destiny. She runs from her family home on the day of her wedding, refusing to marry a man she has never met and certainly doesn't love. Her most trusted friend, Pauline, runs with her, taking her to an ocean-side village she grew up in. They soon become barmaids, blending in completely with the locals. Neither of the girls realizes the dangers that still lay ahead or that two men are hunting the princess.
Soon after, two strange men, Rafe and Kaden, enter the village almost simultaneously and meet Lia at the same time. One is an assassin sent from a neighboring kingdom in constant feud with Lia's kingdom, the other is the prince she left jilted at the alter. Their marriage would ally their two kingdoms against the feuding one.
Lia feels an instant attraction to one, but as the reader, we don't know which one that is. She becomes friends with both, and a strong bond begins to form with the one. No sooner has this love begun to blossom, when tragedy strikes, and she must return home to whatever future that still holds for her. Both men, assassin and prince, realize that they must act before she leaves.
All three face a perilous journey across an unsympathetic land, foreign to two of them. Along this journey Lia also unlocks secrets to her own past that guide her towards her future and the destiny that has finally caught up.
I loved this story. I loved the way it was written, I loved the characters, I loved the world the author created. I loved that I was driving myself crazy trying to figure out who was the assassin and who was the prince.
The story was written from four different points of view, some could even argue six points of view. The story starts out with Lia and the beginning of her journey, then switches to the assassin, and then the prince. Once the two of them enter the town and meet Lia, they give her their names, Kaden and Rafe, but we still don't know who is the prince and who is the assassin. Sometimes we have the prince or assassin speaking, and sometimes we have Rafe or Kaden talking. You never know who until the author is ready to reveal them. You also have one small section written from Pauline's point of view.
I continually went back and forth between Rafe and Kaden, thinking I had figured it out and then something would happen or be said and I would change my mind. I really think it was an incredibly clever way to write the story.
Every character was very well thought out. I love the villagers we meet while the girls are in hiding, the friends they make. Though the story moved from the village, I do hope we haven't seen the last of them. There are still unanswered questions. The three different kingdoms, though very different in landscape and through rumors and stories, aren't so different up close. Even the vagabonds, never staying in one place or siding with one kingdom, created an unforgettable and life changing moment in Lia's journey.
There were a couple times I felt the story dragged on and was a bit slow, but never for long and most seemed to intertwine with the overall plot.
Lia grows up quite a bit in this story and I enjoyed watching it unfold. Some of it was heartbreaking, and I admit to shedding tears, and still some of it makes you wonder if you could survive and deal with the situations thrust at her as bravely as she did.
The imagery Pearson put on the pages of her story was incredible. Imagining the seaside village and town, the barren landscapes and haunting forests, were easy with her descriptions. I began to fall in love with a land I've never seen and obviously, never will.
I am definitely looking forward to the next chapter in Lia, Kaden, and Rafe's lives. There are several parts of the story left incomplete and I am anxious to fill the gaps.
One Last Thought: I hate love triangles in stories. I don't think there is anything that drives me more mental. This story comes very to close to having one, but luckily it just skirts the edges of one.
Favorite Thing About This Book: I love the way the book is written. Not knowing who was the assassin and who was the prince drove me mad at times, but it a good way.
First Sentence: Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.
Favorite Character: Lia
Least Favorite Character: Malich
A princess must find her place in a reborn world.
She flees on her wedding day.
She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.
She is pursued by bounty hunters 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 in 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.