The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Book One of the Remnant Chronicles
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Rating: 5 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
What I Liked:
I'm a little pissed, because whoever told me there would be a love triangle in this book misled me. I got this book from the publisher, and then I saw somewhere about a love triangle, and I DREADED reading this book after seeing that. I literally did not want to read this book, because of the expected love triangle. But that information was misleading, and I'm so mad that I waited until now to read this book, because I was afraid of the potential love triangle. Trust me, this book would not get five stars from me, if there was a full-on, obnoxious love triangle.
So. We have Princess Lia, who has escaped on her wedding day with her friend Pauline. They flee to a small village, and begin their new lives there. Meanwhile, Lia's father has sent the army to search for her. The Komizar has sent an assassin. And the Prince of Dalbreck - her would-be husband - is also looking for her. Nothing is as it seems, no one as they seem.
I don't even know where to begin! FIVE STARS, PEOPLE. I rarely give books a rating of five stars. There was so much to love about this book - the writing, the characters, the romance, the fantasy, the story... everything!
The writing surprised me, honestly. For some reason, I didn't expect the writing to be so fluid and almost lyrical, with a historical fantasy quality to it. There are plenty of similes and metaphors and awesome comparisons, plenty without being too many. The writing definitely made this book wonderful to read.
The characters - that's kind of a general thing to like. I LOVED Lia, she surprised me. I was expecting a stuck-up princess at least in the beginning, but I found that I liked her from start to finish. I thought her judgments and actions were careful and intelligent, and that as much as she thought and analyzed everything, she was also good about listening to her heart and feelings. We see this a lot with Pauline, Lia's friend. Lia has a kind heart, but a stern disposition.
I really, really liked Rafe. In this book, we get to read from three different perspectives - Lia's, Rafe's, and Kaden's. Lia is the runaway princess bride. Rafe is the jilted prince, who is searching for Lia. Kaden is the Komizar assassin. It's so interesting to see how each character works his/her way into the plot, and how they keep missing each other, or not knowing that one is the other. When they all meet, it's incredible.
But back to Rafe. I really like Rafe. For a prince, he also surprised me. I wanted to see more from his side, to be honest. He seemed very accustomed to doing a servant/farmhand's work. I wanted to know more about Dalbreck, and how Dalbreck treated their prince. Hopefully, in book two, we got to Dalbreck. I mean, it looks like we're going to Venda, but still. Maybe in book three.
I didn't hate Kaden, but I didn't like him, either. He's the ASSASSIN, trying to kill Lia. I suppose I like him as an assassin, but not necessarily as Lia's friend, or as a love interest. I didn't really care about his side of things, even though I could see and understand them.
I guess I'll talk about the romance then... yes, it looks like there is a love triangle. Lia, Rafe, Kaden. I thought so too. HOWEVER. I'd say that there is not a love triangle. While both young men harbor feelings towards Lia, I don't think Lia harbors feelings towards both of them. One of them, yes. And this is why I'm not pissed that there is even a potential to have a love triangle - because while the two of them have feelings for Lia, she does not necessarily have feelings for both of them.
I LOVE the fantasy world that Pearson has created. You all know that fantasy - specifically, medieval fantasy - is my favorite genre. I am very hard on authors when it comes to fantasy, and the worldbuilding of a fantasy novel. I think Pearson did a beautiful job of creating the world of Morrighan, the kingdoms, the wars, the traditions, the religion, everything. I can't find a plot hole or anything vaguely described or such.
I want to know more about those books that Lia has, her gifts, the secrecy, the lies, the deception. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, but I have no doubt that they will be answered throughout the next two books. So I'm not irritated by that or anything.
The story... oh, how I loved it. Lia and Pauline escape, they build a nice life elsewhere, then the assassin and the prince coming looking for them. Then the festival, then the conflict and climax. This book is long, and it seems like Pearson focuses on each part of the book a lot, but for good reason. I love how much page-time we get for each "part" of the book. The story was interesting and thrilling, I was never bored.
All in all, I know I haven't done this book justice, in this review. I'm terrified that I've misled anyone or spoiled anything, but I think I've been pretty vague. I seriously cannot wait to read book two! I NEED IT NOW!! Of course, a lot of people are saying that right now.
What I Did Not Like:
Nothing! At least in this book, I'm not too worried about the love triangle. That was the only thing that might have ended up in this section.
Would I Recommend It:
YES! Fantasy fan or not, you don't want to let this one pass you by. Unless you're planning to binge-read the entire series in 2016, when the final book comes out, GO READ THIS ONE NOW! Or as soon as (legally) possible. Seriously though.
5 stars. Wow wow wow wow. I'm so impressed by this book! And to think, I might have let someone's comment about the love triangle ruin this book for me. Nope nope nope! I'm so happy that I loved this one!
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