I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on July 8, 2014
Source: the publisher
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In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.
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 had everything I love reading about, all in one book. I love books that take place in the past – specifically, in 1800s England. I love books that take place in similar time periods, as well. I also love books set in the distant future, in which all technology has disappeared and it seems as though the plot takes place in 1800s England or a similar time period. That was a lot of babbling, but hopefully you guys understand what I’m trying to say! Basically, I LOVE the time period this book is set in. I love the characters, the plot – Pretty much everything about this book pulled me in and kept me reading (I read it in two sitting and in the second sitting, I read 375 pages without stopping!).
Barely 60 pages in and I was already in love with the world, as well as Lia’s character and voice. There’s a fine line between her wanting to live her own life in her own way, and her being kind of selfish for running away and abandoning her duties as Princess. But I understand why she ran and, if I were in her position, I would have run, too. I knew it was too good to last, but I enjoyed the life she made for herself and the people she met. I admired her, though, for knowing when it was time to go home. In that particular moment, I could really see the character growth, that moment when she finally acknowledged her duties and responsibilities and realized she couldn’t run from them. It took a lot of maturity to come to that conclusion.
It’s really difficult to talk about the prince and assassin without giving anything away. This was the biggest mystery in the book and one of the very few things that annoyed me a little bit. Trying to guess who was who was a fun mystery at first, but after awhile, it started to distract me from the story and it became very confusing. I focused so much of my attention on trying to figure it out that I’m pretty sure I missed some key plot points and revelations. It was also a lot of back and fourth, thinking “Well, I love the assassin/prince… But I love _______. I hope they’re the same person! But what if ________ is the assassin/prince? I don’t like him as much!” (Sorry for the confusion! Leaving out the male character names to avoid spoilers or even a hint of a spoiler!)
After a LOT of going back and fourth, I finally just tried to enjoy the story as it was told to me. I tried to stay in the moment and avoid thinking about it, though several hints are dropped and some are hard to ignore. But, thankfully, the “name” that I loved turned out to be the “title” that I loved so it all worked out in the end!
I adored Pauline. She was a faithful servant and friend to Lia. She didn’t have to do what she did and she didn’t have to abandon everything she knew and everyone she loved. But she stuck by Lia through everything. I also loved Gwyneth. She was that person who can be your best friend or worst enemy and she tells it like it is, whether you want to hear it or not. Sometimes, Lia needed Gwyneth’s brutal honesty in order to see things clearly. Another great character was Berdi. She was the much-needed mother figure for Lia, Pauline and Gwyneth. She was strict when she had to be, but caring when she needed to be.
The “journey” at the end was interesting at first, though it began to drag and I grew bored with it. I just wanted it to end or something to happen. There were some epic character and plot revelations sprinkled into the journey, though, so it was still worth-while in the end. It also showed that Lia was tougher than she gave herself credit for. She endured a lot throughout the journey. She also suffered terrible heartbreak, but she still pushed on. She didn’t bow down to her enemy, not once.
Overall, despite two things that bothered me (the annoying back-and-fourth of who was who and the too-long “journey” that dragged), I loved The Kiss of Deception so, so much! It had all the elements of a perfect book (in my mind, at least) and it was everything I love to read about, all in one book. The ending was incredible and a complete cliffhanger! I can’t wait to get my hands on book two! Mary E. Pearson is an amazing writer and a masterful story-teller. She created an incredible, believable world filled with wonderful, complex characters. I highly recommend this book!