Friday, January 30, 2015

Book Review: The Kiss of Deception



Title: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (BYR)
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover, 489 pages

Source: Purchased from Amazon
Rating: ☆☆☆
Synopsis:
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.

My Review

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson is a charming and beautifully written YA fantasy novel about a young princess named Lia who decides to run away from the only home she's ever known to avoid marrying a prince from a neighboring kingdom. Seems interesting, right? Of course.

Those of you who have been reading my reviews and getting to know me have probably realized by now that I don't exactly read a lot of fantasy. It's not that I don't like the genre - I have read and loved so many fantasy novels - I sometimes get frustrated with the lack of world-building that some authors forget to include. That is not the case with The Kiss of Deception. Pearson's imagery paints the picture of a troubled world that still has a lot of growing up to do. I love the way that Pearson does this. She gives away little details of the throughout the novel, and the reader is still interested in learning what she has purposefully omitted by the end of the book.

There is a vast array of strong and curious characters in this book. First of all, there's the runaway princess, Lia. She's an independent young lady who desperately wants to make her own decisions in life. She's also got a smart mouth on her and it certainly makes for a fair share of people who dislike her. To be honest, I really liked Lia. When I first picked up the book, I thought she might not be as fierce as she is, but I'm certainly a fan of how Pearson characterizes her. Other main characters in the book are Pauline, Lia's handmaid, and two young men named Rafe and Kaden. Pauline certainly finds herself in a lot of trouble, but she's a good and loyal friend to Lia. Rafe and Kaden are mysterious, but each in their own ways. I kept flip-flopping with these two characters, and by the end of the book, I had no clue what to feel about either, even after figuring out their secrets. Pearson also includes a plethora of minor characters who also add a great deal to the story.

I was hoping for more action in this book than there actually was, and I'll admit that I was a little bored for about half of it. I just wanted something to happen, but there were just a lot of normal scenes - Lia and Pauline traveling and working, Lia and Pauline meeting new people, and the introduction of new characters.

However, the writing makes up for the lack of action and plot movement. I absolutely love Pearson's writing style. She drives things forward so eloquently, even if she's just writing about Lia moving from the kitchen of the bar to the dining room. At the end of the novel, I was ready for more, and I'll definitely be reading the sequel, The Heart of Betrayal.


15 comments :

  1. I bought The Kiss of Deception this month because I've heard great things about it until then. And as soon as I got it, the mixed and negative reviews were coming my way. Now I don't really know what to do with it, it certainly isn't on the very top of my TBR anymore. Great review!

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    1. Oh no! I bought it literally months ago, and I only listened to what my blogger friends said because I don't like to read reviews before I read a book. I feel like it takes away from what I want to think.

      I'd sit on it for a bit. It took me a while, but I ended up liking it. If you bought it, it's always worth giving a try before you give it away or sell it.

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  2. This sounds good Erin! Too bad it was a bit boring, but I think I'll still try it. It's great that the writing style was good! I've found that recently I haven't been liking the writing style of most fantasies, so I think I'll try this one to see if I like it a bit better. Great review. :)

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    1. It is very good, aside from being slightly boring. But it really does get a lot better throughout the book, and I do tend to like a lot of action in fantasy books.

      Thanks! Let me know what you think of it! :)

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  3. Great review, I've been wanting to read this book for a while (the beautiful cover is what first intrigued me). Being a huge fan of fantasy, when I hear people who aren't such fans of genres liking a book makes me want to read it all the more so thanks for sharing :)

    Most recent post on Enchanted by YA: http://enchantedbyya.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/review-first-year-black-mage-1-by.html

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  4. Great review, I've been wanting to read this book for a while (the beautiful cover is what first intrigued me). Being a huge fan of fantasy, when I hear people who aren't such fans of genres liking a book makes me want to read it all the more so thanks for sharing :)

    Most recent post on Enchanted by YA: http://enchantedbyya.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/review-first-year-black-mage-1-by.html

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  5. I read and loved Pearson's contemporary novel The Miles Between a few years ago so I have been wanting to try one of her fantasies. It's unfortunate that this one wasn't a complete home run but I'm still excited for it. Especially hearing that you liked the writing so much :)

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    1. I didn't even know she had a contemporary novel. This one is definitely worth the read, and at least now I know what to expect of the second book in the series.

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  6. Hahah I have to agree that the love triangle was the whole plot in this book. I'm hoping that the second book has more story other than romance, and at the moment it seems that way, but you never know. ALSO I AGREE WITH YOU ON LIA. It surprised me how fierce she was!

    Awesome review Erin :)

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    1. The love triangle was a huge part of the plot, but it felt like such an unfinished love triangle to me. I don't even know if that makes any sense, but I felt like Lia was definitely being pulled in one way for most of the book, but just thought the other was cute. (I don't want to post spoilers.)

      Lia was pretty intense. I wasn't expecting it, but I really liked that she was. I kind of want to see her brought to life through TV or a movie.

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  7. This is one of those books that I really want to read! I am glad you liked it and the idea of good world building has me attracted. But as you said it seems like a lot of people disliked how heavily the plot revolved around the romance, which is something I can easily understand.

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    1. OMG. You should read it, Olivia! It was one that I was kind of on the fence about, but I'm so glad that I finally read it. A lot is romance, but a lot of it is still about Lia finding out who she really is, which is pretty cool.

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  8. I'm really on the edge about this one, but I think I'll maybe give it a go. I love the plot and like you said, world building is really important and I'm happy this book has it! I just finished The Winner's Crime, so I'm excited for more fantasy! :)

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    1. I was on the fence about it for a while too, and I'm really glad that I ended up reading it because it was SO worth it. It was a lot better than I thought it would be, and I only wish I would have read it sooner. :)

      I hope you enjoy it if you read it!

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