The Kiss of Deception

Title: The Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, book 1/3
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: July 8, 2014

As an avid reader, I am continuously looking for the book. You know, the book with characters that are so easy to love, a plot that grips you from page one, a thrilling adventure, a breathtaking romance – the book that you feel was written just for you. If you can relate, you know how difficult it is to find books like this. Maybe you found books that have some of what you want, but not all of it, and you end up feeling a little ripped off. Cheated. Like something was missing. This book, The Kiss of Deception, did it for me. I feel like this is the book I have been waiting for my whole life – like this is the book I was meant to write. Even though I wasn’t the one who got to write it, I’m happy that I got to read and enjoy it. Having said that, you can continue to read my review below, or better yet, just go get a copy of the book and experience it for yourself. 

Lia is the princess of the kingdom of Morrighan, and it is her duty as the First Daughter to secure a marriage between herself and the prince of the neighboring kingdom of Dalbreck. But Lia, independent and headstrong, does not wish to be treated merely as another soldier in her father’s army – she wants to marry someone for love, a theme we have seen time and again in fairytales, and yet still rings true. O
n the day she is to wed this prince she has never met, she does what any of us would do if we were trying to escape an inevitably unhappy marriage – she runs away, her faithful servant Pauline with her every step of the way. By fleeing the kingdom and defying her father the king so blatantly, she has committed an act of treason.  

Shortly after Lia settles in the small town of Terravin, two handsome men arrive, both mysterious in their own ways. Their names are Rafe and Kaden, and that’s about all we know of them. It is clear that both of them have an interest in Lia from the start, but for vastly different reasons. We learn that one is none other than the jilted Prince of Dalbreck, who is still offended from the rejection of the princess, yet equally intrigued by her. The other man is a highly trained and skillful assassin from the kingdom of Venda, sent to kill her, preventing Morrighan and Dalbreck from forming an alliance once and for all. But what he does not expect is Lia: likeable, beautiful, fierce. Lia knows nothing of their true identities, as assassin and as prince.

It doesn’t take long to realize that there is a natural attraction and connection between Lia and Rafe. They can’t help but be drawn to each other, but as their romance begins, Lia notices that she also has an unexplainable pull toward Kaden. Thus, we have our love triangle in the story. 
The book reaches its climax when the Assassin, instead of killing Lia as he has been instructed to do, captures her and brings her back to his homeland as a prize for the Komizar, the heartless, brutal ruler of Venda. When the Prince hears of her abduction, he crosses the continent chasing after them, attempting to rescue the girl he has fallen for against his will. The book comes to a close when Lia and the Prince are taken as prisoners, and Lia learns who the Prince truly is, instead of the lowly farmer she had believed him to be all along.  

One of the many things I loved about this book is that the narrator alternates between Lia, the Prince, and the Assassin, changing points of view and letting us as the reader see a bigger picture. The writer cleverly keeps us wondering which man is which – is Rafe the Prince or the Assassin? She intentionally keeps you guessing. I will follow her example and not just come right out and tell you. You will have to read the book and figure it out for yourself. What I will say is that my assumption was entirely wrong and my jaw actually dropped when I realized who was who. I love it when a book does that to me! That’s clearly one sign of great writing.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series: