The Kiss of Deception

The Kiss of Deception

Title: The Kiss of Deception

Author: Mary E. Pearson

Series: The Remnant Chronicles, #1

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Release Date: July 8th 2014


Three Stars

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.

– Blurb courtesy of

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.
The wind knew. It was the first of June, but cold gusts bit at the hilltop citadelle as fiercely as deepest winter, shaking the windows with curses and winding through drafty halls with warning whispers. There was no escaping what was to come.”

One the day of her wedding, preparing to be tied to a Prince from a foreign country whom she has never laid eyes on, all for the sake of an alliance, Lia flees the castle and her life as a Princess and a First Daughter of Morrighan. It is an easy choice for her to make in all the ways that matter. She doesn’t want to marry for an alliance but for love when she finds it, and with no future for her in Morrighan she runs to a distant seaside village to make a new life for herself; leaving behind Princess Arabella and becoming Lia.

But Lia and her lady in waiting Pauline are not the only new arrivals in Terravin, the small village they now call home. Two strangers looking for a drink at the inn Lia has made her home immediately draw her attention, but she is unaware that one of them is the jilted Prince, determined to find his bride who fled before their wedding, and the other is an assassin, fearful of the alliance Lia could create with her marriage.

“I will find you.
In the farthest corner, I will find you.”

Lia knew that by running she would have forced her father’s hand to sign her death warrant, but as she fled she stole something from the Chancellor; something important which he would kill to have back in his possession.

Despite feeling safe in her new home Lia knows war is looming on the horizon, her failed marriage broke the already tentative alliance between Morrighan and Dalbreck and soon she finds herself needing to make a choice between love and duty.

While I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book I did expect a little more in terms of the plot. The first half of the story is devoted to Lia’s new life in Terravin and her developing feelings for both Rafe and Kaden. Normally I don’t mind books that have a slow beginning, and while I enjoyed that the author used this time to set up the world I could have done with a little more action and little more development of the relationships between the characters. I’m normally not a fan of love triangles and I wasn’t a fan of the one in this book. The plot did pick up the pace a little bit in the second half but by the time the book ended I was left feeling a little like it stopped just when things were getting exciting.

…The Characters

“Who was this girl who thumbed her nose at two kingdoms and did as she pleased?”

Lia is a character I had a tough time deciding whether I liked or not. On one hand she is a very well developed character. She knows what she wants and refuses to back down until her voice has been heard, be it standing against her father and her King or an assassin sent to kill her. She is not cowed and stands her ground at all times even when it has a tendency to get her into trouble. On the other hand however she seemed kind of reckless. She runs out on a marriage that is supposed to cement an alliance and then doesn’t seem to care about the repercussions for her people or her family. Later, when she hears rumours of an assassin in town for her, she doesn’t believe it. Instead she buries her head in the sand despite her earlier fears about the bounty her father would have put on her head.

It was only in the second half of this book that Lia’s character started to grow on me more. She knew the path she needed to be on and she was determined to walk it. Throwing herself to her fate with determination and spirit.

“We all have our different skills. You’re patient to a fault, which sometimes doesn’t work to your advantage. I, on the other hand, have the patience of a wet cat. Only on rare occasions does that come in handy.”

One thing I did really love was the friendship between Lia and Pauline, it wasn’t shallow or under developed, and when Rafe and Kaden entered the picture Pauline wasn’t pushed to one side to develop the romantic part of the plot. Pauline is her own character with her own problems, and while Lia can’t always help her she is always there for her friend in whatever way she can be.

“It’s not every day one has a first kiss,” I said.
“May I remind you that it wasn’t your first kiss?”
“It felt like it was. It was the first one that mattered.”

I mentioned it earlier but I wasn’t really a fan of the love triangle in this book. The story is told from five POVs – Lia’s, the Prince’s, the assassin’s, Rafe’s and Kaden’s – and you don’t find out which boy is when they are introduced. Instead you discover that along with Lia which I thought added an interesting side to the story. However I have never been a fan of love triangles and this one wasn’t really an exception.

When they arrive in Terravin both the assassin and the Prince are determined to follow through with the plans they made on the road. For the assassin it’s to kill the Princess and then meet up with his people further along the road, for the Prince it’s simply to see his runaway bride, not to speak or interact with her at all. However the second they both see Lia both plans fly out the window. The Prince lingers, speaking to Lia even when he knows he shouldn’t, and the assassin draws out his job, not striking Lia down even when he has ample opportunity to.

…The Setting

“This world, it breathes you in, sniffs, it knows you, and then it breathes you out again, shares you. You’re not contained here in this single place alone. The wind, time, it circles, repeats, teaches, reveals, some swaths cutting deeper than others. The universe knows. The universe has a long memory.”

One of the parts I did love about this book was the setting itself. The world created within the pages is richly described, and while there are still some unanswered questions I have it’s not enough to make the world feel under developed. We learn about the religion primarily in the first half, about Lia’s life and her past as a Princess and a First Daughter. Lia seems to have an idyllic life in Terravin it’s not perfect but it’s home, and it’s only outside the seaside village that the war looms over her life and over the lives of her loved ones. In the second half of this book. In the second half we start to see more of the tension between the three kingdoms, the war that seems to be looming ever closer on the horizon after Lia’s failed wedding. There was a lot to describe in this book to make the world feel real to the readers and overall I thought it was very well written.

All in all while The Kiss of Deception wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped it would be, it was still an enjoyable read. The story ended in a place that makes me want to get started on the next book to find out what happens next, and I’m certainly interested in where Lia’s character goes from here after all the development she went through in this book.

What did you think of The Kiss of Deception? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

37 thoughts on “The Kiss of Deception

  1. This is a great review, Beth. I haven’t read this series yet, but I have always wanted to. I just don’t know about the slow pace…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I was really looking forward to reading this book! I’ve heard so many good things about it. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as you hoped to. But it seems the characters and the world-building were pretty well developed, which is always a great thing. I love the premise because it sounds like a thrilling read with lots of action, but it doesn’t sound like there’s much in this book, which is a shame. And you know how I feel about love triangles (be gone you demon trope!). I wish authors didn’t use it so often to set up the drama. I hear it gets better in the second book, so I hope you enjoy that one a lot more! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’m in the minority with this one. While there are a few negative reviews most of them are really positive so you may love it as well when you get around to it Azia. The characters were well developed, though it took me a while to come around to some of them, and the world building was amazing as well. The only real downside was the lack of action in the beginning, yeah it sounded like there would be loads but I felt like I spent half the book waiting for it to start.
      It definitely gets better in the second book, by the time I started The Heart of Betrayal I could understand why everyone loved this series so much! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah okay. I’ll still be cautiously optimistic when reading this one haha. And I hate it when plots do that. Glad to know it gets much better in the second book and that the series only seems to get better with each installment! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That may help, you may go into it with low expectations and come out really loving it. I’ve had that happen with books myself actually.
        And yeah if you can stick with it through the first book it will be worth it to get to the second. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhh the dreaded love triangles! Glad you were still able to enjoy some parts of it, notably the development of her character. 5 POV sound heavy though, I can’t tell if it would be something I’d enjoy. Hopefully book 2 will do a better job in convincing you that this series is a gem! Great review! 🙂

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never been a fan of love triangles and never will to be honest. Despite that there were other parts of this book I enjoyed, just not as many as I would have liked.
      I think, in a way, it was only really three POVs. It was only Lila and her two love interests that had POVs, there was just two different names for the love interests to keep it hidden who she was falling for; the Prince or the assassin.
      Thanks Lashaan. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This book has been on my TBR since it first came out and I have always placed it in the back burner for the exact same reasons you have pointed out. Love triangle, slow pacing in the beginning, plot a little dull? mmm I don’t know but I still want to give it a chance because I’ve heard that the other books in the series make up for it. I like how this book has multiple POVs, I am a huge fan of that lol. Great review Beth!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wasn’t actually aware of this book until it was recommended to me in comparison. And I will admit for the first half I wondered what it was about this book everyone loved, but the second half was a lot better. Still not amazing but enough for a three star rating at least! 🙂
      I have read the other two books already, just a little behind on actually posting the reviews, and I can say for definite that this series gets a lot better. If you’re still interested I’d recommend picking this book up one day.
      Thanks Gretchen! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely review, Beth! ❤ I have seen this book around a lot, but never stopped to read the synopsis and everythin, I'm not sure why. I'm sorry to hear that the pacing took a while to pick up and same goes for the characters growing on you. I hope the next books will be better! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie. Yeah this book does seem to be a popular one around and about but until it was recommended to me I never really stopped to read the blurb either. I have actually already read the second and third books, just a little behind on posting my reviews at the moment I guess, and they were so much better. Kind of a case of the first book not being great but the series definitely improving with the next two! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Aww I’m sorry you ended up not enjoy this one as much as you had hoped, Beth. I’ve actually had this series on my TBR for the longest time but didn’t know much about it until I read your review. The world building sounds like it was fantastic and so well done, which is definitely something that makes me want to pick it up even more. Although, the whole idea of a love triangle kind of makes me want to skip it but I did see your conversation with Stephanie about how it wasn’t an issued after the first book so that’s good to hear because it’s usually those kinds of series that work out for me despite the love triangle possibility. And even though I love reckless characters Lia does seem to be a bit too reckless. I don’t like it when characters don’t care about the consequences of their actions but it seems like the develops more as time goes on so that’s always good. You’ve officially made me more intrigued by this series so I will definitely have to give it a read in the future. I’m glad I’m prepared for the whole love triangle aspect lol. Great review as always!! 😊💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it was a shame because it has some amazing reviews and I think my hopes were higher for it than I realised when I started reading. If it’s been on your to-read list for a long time and you’re still interested I’d recommend it Melissa. Although the first book wasn’t great there were things about it I enjoyed, like the world building, and the second and third books are both much better.
      The love triangle was definitely not an issue, which I think helped my enjoyment of the later books. If you can get past the first book and the love triangle I think you’re kind of guaranteed to enjoy the second and third books more. Lia is another part of this series that improves. I’ve already written my reviews for the next two books and in the third one I mention that she became my favourite character of the series.
      Oh that’s great to hear Melissa. I’ll be interested in seeing what you think of this book, and the series as well.
      Thanks so much! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve seen some great reviews for it too and I know back when the last book released there was raving everywhere. Or at least I saw a lot of raving. That’s great to hear that the second and third books are much better. I’m not the most patient when it comes to first books that aren’t as good and then continuing the series but with this one I’ll have to keep that in mind.
        I’m so glad the love triangle ended up not being an issue. Definitely something I could push past knowing it isn’t later on. And that’s awesome that Lia ends up becoming your favorite character! It sounds like she went through a lot of great development.
        You’re welcome!! 😊♥

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can understand everyone raving about the last book for sure because it was really good, but it wasn’t until I was about halfway through this one that I understood what people enjoyed about it so much. I wouldn’t say I’m patient with bad first books it’s more a case of needing to know how a series ends and having hope it will get better. Luckily this one did.
        Yeah it seemed like from the first half of the first book all the way until the end of the third the love triangle was more of a moot point than a major developmental journey for the characters. The development was amazing, and it wasn’t just for Lia but for all the characters. 😀 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I have a terrible habit when it comes to bad first books where if I really don’t enjoy it and all of the other books are out I’ll just skim read and look at the ending. Although, that’s only ever happened twice. 🙈
        But knowing ahead of time that this series gets way better in comparison with the first half of the first book is good. 😊
        And that’s awesome that the development for all of the characters was great. Once I get some of my more immediate series reads off my list I will have to move it up because I’m definitely more curious about this one now. 😁♥

        Liked by 1 person

      4. A book would have to be really really really bad to make me not want to continue with a series, and I think it’s only happened once since I started blogging. Most times I do hold out hope that a series will get better.
        Well in that case I hope you enjoy this series, and at least now you know if the first book isn’t as good as yo think it will be this is a series which does get better with the second and third books. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems to be quite a well known series but I hadn’t really heard much about it until it was recommended to me. The love triangle was less of a factor in the second and third books and, actually, this is a series that got a lot better so I’d probably recommend it if you’re already at least a little interested in it.
      Thanks Sydney! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great review. I read this one last summer and felt almost exactly the same way about it as you did! Do you think you’ll go on to read the next book?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. Yeah this book wasn’t quite what I expected but I have actually finished the series (I’m a little behind on my reviews at the moment) and the second and third books were so much better. This one was a low three star review but the second two were high four star ones. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ooh. Burn. I was hoping you’d like it more. My heart. It hurts.
    Lol. Jk. It happens. I haven’t read Bone Gap but I know how much you love it. And if I read it and was like, meh, I’m sure you would understand that everyone is different.
    Yeah, there’s a love triangle, but honestly it’s really only one man that Lia loves. You’ll see more in The Heart of Betrayal. A lot more develops for sure.
    You prob can see why I love it so much: I loved the assumptions I made going in and then when I found out the truth I was like, “Oh, snap!” out loud. Like, I literally said it out loud. I did not see it coming lol.
    Great review and you made great points! Probably read too many amazing books and now this pales in comparison…we should have had you read it years ago! 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, I am sorry I didn’t enjoy this one more because I know it’s a favourite of yours. I think I am in the minority of this though and yeah like you said everyone is different. There are plenty of other books we both love we can spend ages talking over. I still trust your recommendations when it comes to books. 🙂
      I have actually finished this series and I can more than safely say I enjoyed books two and three so so much more. This series was kind of like the Throne of Glass series for me. The first book was weak but the second was so much better and I could see why everyone loved it because I started to as well. The love triangle wasn’t even an issue after this one I agree, and I loved Lia’s character so so much more as well.
      I can see why people loved this book, and there were parts I enjoyed as well. I did get stuck into the ‘trying to guess who was who’ part between Rafe and Kaden. 🙂
      Thanks so much Stephanie, and yeah you never know what could have happened if you picked up books earlier. At least I got around to this series eventually. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m just so happy you read them…and that you still trust my opinion on book recs, lol. There are just too many amazing books lately!
        I recently got Flame in the Mist, A Million Junes, and The One Memory of Flora Banks. Plus so many good ines on Netgalley still.
        Just finished Long May She Reign…was expecting so much more. Well, at least not everything was a disappointment. But I was expecting fantasy! Not murder mystery!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well I knew how much you loved this series, and of course I still trust your opinion on book recs, so I was always going to continue until the end with this one! 😀
        Those three sound like they’ll be amazing books. I’d love to get my hands on A Million Junes!
        Oh that’s a shame about Long May She Reign, it sounded to me like a fantasy book so I was surprised to hear it was more of a murder mystery one in the end. Still at least there parts you enjoyed right? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Seems interesting, though love triangles are always a bit of a turn off for me. But I’ll add this to my TBR list and maybe one day will read it. Awesome review 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I will say, although the first book wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, the second and third were much better. Overall this is a series I really enjoyed and I hope you will as well if you decide to pick it up one day.
      Love triangles are always going to be a turn off for me too, but there are a few I still end up enjoying despite that. Unfortunately the one in this book wasn’t one of them. Thanks! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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