The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson
Published July 2014 by Henry Holt.

Links: Goodreads. Amazon.

Source: purchased for Kindle.

Genre: YA fantasy .

My rating:

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.

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know, I said I wouldn’t start any new series but this one was a Kindle deal and then it was just sitting there, right on my Kindle, watching me with big sad eyes and I had to read it. I had to. And I’m glad I did, it’s a solid beginning of a YA fantasy series.

I really liked Lia, the princess who runs away on the morning of her wedding. When I was reading the first chapter I thought “Oh come on, another girl-sent-to-live-in-a-hostile-environment-where-she-falls-in-love story?” But by the second chapter, Lia was racing away with her trusted friend, Pauline, leaving false trails behind so scouts following them wouldn’t be able to track her down and I thought: “You go, girl!” Lia is a character with a great deal of determination, humility and courage – even though her parents forced her to live a sheltered life of a noblewoman. She never gives up and when her actions have unexpectedly horrible consequences, she accepts the responsibility though it might end her happiness and even her life. You’ve got to respect a young woman who does that.

The love triangle that occurs in this book is one of those that doesn’t really bother me that much. Kaden and Rafe’s points of view were perhaps a tad too similar at first (I had trouble telling them apart – which one had dark hair and who rode the beautiful horse?) but their dynamic was really exciting. As most of the story is still narrated by Lia, it’s great to see these glimpses into the guys’ minds. They both know who Lia is but she has no idea who they are, so that was fun!

The world building was pretty awesome, too. The political intrigue, the hints of a prophecy, the amazing nature and wildlife (especially in the last part of the novel) – The Kiss of Deception has them all.

All in all, I’m really excited about The Heart of Betrayal, which has already been published, so I’ll probably be getting around to reading it soon. Judging by the reviews it received, it’s even better than the first book. I like coming to a series a bit late (like with Throne of Glass) so I don’t have to wait as long for the sequels to be published. The Beauty of Darkness is scheduled to arrive in 2016.

I’d recommend The Kiss of Deception to fans of Sarah J. Maas, Robin LaFevers, and Maria V. Snyder.

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Have you read The Kiss of Deception? What did you think?

Do you prefer a single point of view in a story or do you like multiple perspectives?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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  • This was an interesting book! I thought it was clever how not only did Lia have no idea which boy was the prince and which was the assassin, neither did the reader until the big reveal towards the end. Mary E. Pearson pulled off her own little deception with this one!

    ~Mogsy

    • Yeah, I guess that’s part of its appeal and I enjoyed it a lot (I’m still thinking about it even a month after I finished it, which is cool) but I wished for a more distinctive voice in each of the guys. But it’s a minor peeve, I’m definitely getting Heart of Betrayal soon (have you read it yet?).

      • Nope, haven’t yet but it’s on my list.

        I wish the guys could have been more distinctive too, but I guess that would have given away the game early :)

        • I’m kind of hoping for some sort of Kindle deal :D I bought the first book as one of those so I’ll be buying an ebook of the second one, too.

          And yes, that’s true! :) But since we know who they are now, I hope to hear more difference from now on. (And I think I’m rooting for Kaden, no matter what…)

  • Eee I’ve been on the fence about this book because I hate how flimsy the worldbuilding is in YA… but your vote of confidence has me intrigued. I shall need to check if the Kindle deal you mention is still on haha. I also heard it was set in post apocalyptic US instead of a fantasy land so I am curious!

    • Hmm, I’m not sure I caught the post-apocalyptic references here, I have to admit! I did with Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea series, but they’re pretty obvious there… I liked this one but heard that book 2 is pretty different from this one – and people seem divided in their opinions on it. But I’m looking forward to reading it!

  • Maraia

    I thought Kiss of Deception was pretty decent for a typical YA fantasy. I just read the sequel, though, and I don’t know if it was my mood or the fact that it was an audibook, but I snoozed my way through 75% of it. Maybe you can give me a summary when you read it, haha.

    I did like the multiple point of views in KoD, although I also had a hard time telling the guys apart at times (especially in the audiobook), and the love triangle didn’t bother me, either. I guess it’s one of those books that didn’t have anything particularly wrong with it, but it also didn’t have anything terribly new, either.

    • I liked that it was a familiar tale, actually. As you said – maybe I was just in the mood for it! I heard the sequel was pretty different from KoD so I’m looking forward to reading it.
      I think that listening to this as an audiobook would be even more confusing, POV-wise. I liked that we were getting the story from 3 different viewpoints and I hope this remains the case in the sequel(s). But I might wait a bit before tackling book 2 so the pub date for book 3 comes nearer.

      • Maraia

        Yes. Usually I’m more tolerant of books that I read via audio, but in some cases it just doesn’t work. I think I’ll have to read a hard copy when the third one comes out. The second book does still have multiple points of view, don’t worry. :)

  • Greg Hill

    You know, I’m having a hard time with fantasy right now- there’s so much of it, but not a lot appeals to me. Which is funny since it’s my favorite genre. Or at least it has been. So every time I see this one I’m curious, as reviews seem to be pretty positive. I may have to try these…

    • Ah, changing tastes… The beauty of fiction is that there’s always something to suit your mood, so you should just read whatever you feel like! :)
      This one is nice but not revolutionary. It’s a fast and easy read, slightly fluffy and also action-packed, so I’d say it’s great for a weekend!

  • Nicole Hewitt

    I have Heart of Deception on my shelf and I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet – I ADORED Kiss of Deception (and, yes, Pearson totally had me fooled about the guys).

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    • I’ll be looking out for your review, then! :) I hope the sequel is as good as this one.

  • Ahh you’ve made me so excited for this one! Personally, I enjoy a familiar formula from time to time – they make really good vacation reads and palate cleansers – so I don’t think I’ll have any issues with some of the trope-y aspects here. Very intrigued by the love triangle…knowing that it’s a big part of the book before reading it makes me less likely to become annoyed with everyone involved.

    Maybe having the prince and the assassin seem so similar was intentional? I can see why Pearson would do that for book one at least, since it makes it more difficult for readers to guess who’s who based on personality traits/skill sets. Still, I can see how they’re similarities could be disappointing.

    Coming to a series late is so fun! I often feel that I’m missing out because I’m so behind, but being able to marathon the books is a delight (especially if there are cliffhangers!). Really glad you enjoyed this one, Kaja! :)

    • I like books like this as well, if the mood is right – and this one makes a perfect weekend read. I hope you’ll enjoy it! :)

      UGH now that I’ve read some of the comments, it does seem that the DECEPTION was intentional somehow? I may have to re-read it… I don’t know. It seemed sometimes that there was just 1 person talking/thinking when actually there were 2 but I didn’t have any trouble figuring out which was which right from the start so I don’t know about the big reveal.

      I REALLY hope my review and the subsequent discussion didn’t spoil anything for you, I absolutely hate spoilers and would feel really bad for unintentionally spoiling something to someone else. I just didn’t catch on the fact that this COULD be a possible spoiler! I feel sort of silly right now…

  • I’ve been eyeing this book up for a while, but like you, I didn’t want to start another series (because you can only be reading so many series at any one time) but now you’ve given it your stamp of approval I may have to give in and buy. What’s one more series in the grand scheme of things?

    It sounds interesting, it has good world building and a love triangle that won’t annoy me? Sign me up.

    • If it helps at all, this book is a very fast read. I think I read it over the weekend and I don’t have unlimited reading time, obviously. Plus it was a Kindle deal, so how could I resist? :)

      • I can fault no one for giving into kindle deals, I do it all the time. And that does help, I may treat myself to it, it is payday after all.

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