July 31, 2014

Latest Read: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson
Publication date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt
Category: Young Adult - Fantasy
Source: Received from publisher (Thanks!)
Summary: n 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)

My Thoughts
The Kiss of Deception is.. well, deceiving. It's very light on the fantasy and heavy on the romance and its pseudo-love triangle. It tells the story of Princess Lia whose duty as First Daughter is to carry on the tradition of marrying for the sake of securing an alliance for her kingdom, not love. But this idea doesn't sit well with Lia, nor does the idea of lying about having a gift of sight like all the women in her family before her. So what does she do? She runs. On the day of her wedding, she and her lady-in-waiting flee to a small village and start anew. She lives and works at an inn, does chores and as she settles into her new life, two handsome strangers arrive. She has no idea who they are but we, the readers, know they have an agenda because one is the prince she left waiting at the altar and the other is an assassin sent to kill her.

I really struggled with this book for the majority of the time I was reading it. Although I admired Lia's unwillingness to follow tradition, at the same time it made her seem selfish? Maybe it's because I've read many fantasy novels where the women are willing to go to any lengths to secure their crown and prove their ability to lead. Lia didn't have any regard for the ongoings in her kingdom or what her marriage meant. She just didn't want to do it and left. When she reaches the village to start a brand new life, again I admired how she didn't put on any princess airs. She dived right into the work as if she was always born to do so. But she still lacked any character development. I didn't feel like I knew her. Then these two mysterious strangers arrive and their presence dominated not only Lia's thoughts but the book itself. In hindsight, I think they took up so much of the book because of the twist surrounding their identities. Which I'll admit - the twist was very much lost on me (as in I didn't realize there was a twist at all until Alexa pointed it out) which it why the book didn't get interesting for me until closer to the end. But for those who do fall for it -- I can see why it's a jaw-dropper.

Still, I have to hand it to the author because as much as I struggled with the book, something told me that I should keep going on. And finally, finally Lia starts to grow as a person and we get a glimpse into the powerful but kind princess she could be if she would just embrace her identity. Then the romance becomes less of a triangle (I was cheering for one of the guys immediately and I was happy to see him get the girl) and it unfolded in a way towards the end that I ultimately did like. Not necessarily love but I did feel an investment in it eventually. But it's the ending most of all that sold me on continuing the series. It's a cliffhanger that 100% makes you want to know what happens next!

Do I recommend?
It's tough for me to say. I can see why some people loved it but I think because the twist was lost on me, it didn't have the same impact. Plus that doesn't change my reservations about the beginning. However, I'm hoping this is a series that will continue to get better with each book (and provide more world building). So you may have to check in with me after I read the next one! But if you're curious, give it a shot. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

Collaborative feature with Alexa! 

If you were going to run away, where would you go and what kind of life would you lead?
I've actually had this daydream many, many times. Although not recently. But there was a time when I was just feeling so frustrated with how stagnant my life felt and even with some of the people in it. And I used to think about running away to Paris without telling anyone. I would do freelance web design and development, learn French and work in a cute cafe on the side for fun (I don't know why I picture this being fun but I do!). But if I were to be slightly more realistic ('cause learning French would be hard!), I think I'd run away to California. Either Los Angeles to be near my cousin or maybe San Diego. But those are my go-to runaway spots! So if I ever disappear, you know where to look! 

1 comment:

  1. At least I know where to find you, should you randomly disappear one day ;) But seriously, that twist in Kiss of Deception just had me dropping my jaw! It's pretty crazy. Though it took a while, I can definitely say that I'm interested in seeing where Pearson takes this next :)

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