Title: The Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, #1
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: July 8th 2014
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 goodreads.com
My Thoughts On…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.