The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)
By Mary E. Pearson
Published July 8th, 2014
Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: received from Henry Holt/Macmillan in exchange for an unbiased review (THANK YOU!)
About the book:
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.
As soon as I saw the amazing cover art, I needed to have this book! Never mind the synopsis; I am a sucker for a beautiful cover. What drew me into this cover were those clouds. Add in the layout of the girl, the white text on the darker background and you have, in my opinion, one of the best book covers of 2014.
But would the story be worthy of such a mesmerizing cover? I think so.
Story / Tempo
The book opens with seventeen year old Princess Lia being “prepared” for her wedding to a prince from a neighboring kingdom. Lia is struggling with the restrictions and responsibilities thrust on her shoulders. The most notable restriction, she can’t chose who she’s to fall in love with. She’s jealous of her three older brothers who played with her like she was one of the boys and made sure she knew how to protect herself. They are allowed to flirt and choose who they are allowed to love. It’s Lia’s strong sense of self that gives her the courage to run out of her wedding and hide in a distant village to start a new life. If it wasn’t for the two pesky hotties who show up: one who makes life difficult and one who can possibly make everything perfect(?)
The key word for this entire book is DECEPTION. Everyone, even the writer, is deceiving someone.
I found no problems with execution of the story. There was one lull in the story at about 20%. Otherwise, I wasn’t bored. Some say the story was predictable but I never saw that. Maybe I haven’t read enough fantasy. But I do have the first two A Song of Ice and Fire books by Martin under my belt, along with Jordan’s The Eye of the World. I think that gives me some street cred…
The story is written in multiple POVs, with a chapter dedicated to each voice: Lia, the Prince, and the Assassin. Love my multiple POV books!!
Because the story is written in multiple POVs, the reader is afforded a thorough view into the mind of each of the characters. You understand that Lia is struggling with living in a small village while not endangering those around just by her mere presence. The assassin is trying to complete his mission of killing the princess. The Prince is struggling with his anger over the fact that the princess thought to run out on their wedding before he did.
Well, okay, it is predictable that both these guys are intrigued by the Princess. Operative word is “intrigued”.
YES, Virginia, there is a love triangle.
I hate love triangles. I especially hate them when they don’t go the way I want them to. I could tell you who I was rooting for. But that might ruin it for you! I will tell you that this triangle plays out such that you are lead to the correct guy. There’s really no question who she should be with in the end.
Yes, Virginia, the story ends up dangling off the cliff a bit.
I hate cliff hangers. But this one wasn’t bad. Hence why the five stars. Ms. Pearson nailed the ending brilliantly. I can still hear the clapping from days ago when I finished the book… I was rather boisterous in my cheering at the end.
Completely appropriate for the YA audience it’s written for, this fantasy story would be perfect for those readers who enjoy high fantasy but don’t have the time to devote to the huge tomes written by Martin or Sanderson. It would also be a great way to introduce fantasy / high fantasy to a reader.
The next book in this trilogy, The Heart of Betrayal, comes out in 2015. *sigh*
In the meantime, if you’d like to read the first chapter of The Kiss of Deception or peruse the beautiful map of the world, check out this Macmillan website. The link goes directly to the “World” page so you can see the map. It kind of rocks…
About the author:
Mary E. Pearson is the award-winning author of The Jenna Fox Chronicles, The Miles Between, A Room on Lorelei, and Scribbler of Dreams. She writes full-time from her home office in California where she lives with her husband and two golden retrievers.