Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Pages: 492
Genre: YA Fantasy
Pub. Date: July 8, 2014
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."
Lia's life has been mapped out for her. She is to marry a foreign prince (one whom she has never met before) and in turn, her country, along with her future husband's, will be secure.  Lia has no choice in the matter, because she is First Daughter and her world is steeped in tradition.  But Lia doesn't want that life. Instead she escapes on the day of her wedding, along with her best friend Pauline, to a seaside village where no one knows her or her past.  She obtains a job as a barmaid at a local pub and works in the inn there as well.  Two young men enter the pub and Lia has no clue that one man is an assassin who has been sent to kill her and the other is the young prince she abruptly jilted.  Things start to get more complicated for Lia, especially when she starts to have feelings for one of the men in The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson.

Lia is the type of heroine I like in The Kiss of Deception. She's strong, gutsy, and determined. I could understand where she was coming from even though I didn't always agree with her decisions.  I liked that she wanted to start over in the sleepy fishing town and experience a normal life along with Pauline, whom she is a loyal friend to.  Her story isn't just about romance though. There's a lot of action; plus, Lia can hold her own with a blade.

Now regarding the two mysterious men in The Kiss of Deception…..Pearson does a fantastic job making this love triangle fresh in that readers know one of the mysterious men is an assassin and the other is the foreign prince who has tracked down Lia out of curiosity.  She doesn't know who both men, Rafe and Kaden, are and she thinks they are friends, but in fact, they just met outside of the inn and do not know each other at all.  What is brilliant about this mystery is the fact that the readers get to hear part of the story from Rafe's point of view as well as Kaden's without ever really knowing if who is the assassin and who is the prince. Pearson left readers some clues and I had fun trying to figure it out and ultimately second guessing myself.

The world that Pearson created is just as captivating and complete with a map in The Kiss of Deception.  Each chapter starts off with an excerpt from a sacred text or song from Lia's world, which only adds to Pearson's world building.

My only issue with The Kiss of Deception was the focus on romance and certain situations regarding the love triangle. Yes, I liked how Pearson chose to narrate the novel and make the men's identity a mystery, but I was a little bummed about the whole two guys hung up on one girl scenario. I wanted the focus to be a bit more on the fantasy world and Lia's situation and less on the insta-love triangle.  But nonetheless, I am a fan of The Kiss of Deception and definitely plan on continuing with the series, especially with that cliffhanger of an ending!


12 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this one but I agree that the romance overwhelms the plot at times. I second guessed myself about the identity of the assassin too and I liked that plot device because it made things interesting. I plan to read the next book too.

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    1. Yes, I wish the emphasis was more on the plot and less on the romance (and I never say that! haha). Thanks for visiting, Christina!

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  2. This sounds like a perfect book for me and I really want to read it. My copy has been sitting on my bedside table for weeks now! Hopefully I can dive in soon.

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    1. I hope you get to read it soon, Christa! Thanks for visiting.

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  3. "What is brilliant about this mystery is the fact that the readers get to hear part of the story from Rafe's point of view as well as Kaden's without ever really knowing if who is the assassin and who is the prince."

    THIS!!! I really loved how this was handled as well Christina, it just made everything tense and interesting. I agree with you on the love triangle - I wish there weren't two boys to one girl, but I did think she favored one all along so it never developed into a true triangle for me. Hopefully that holds moving forward:) So glad you enjoyed this as much as I did!

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    1. Me too…one of my favorite aspects of the book. Exactly. There was a love triangle, but it was the traditional type, which is why it didn't bother me too much. Thanks for visiting, Jenny!

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  4. "Each chapter starts off with an excerpt from a sacred text or song from Lia's world, which only adds to Pearson's world building." - I loved this aspect so much, it really added to the story / world!

    Glad you liked it! I'm curious to see where her story will go next, especially after that ending...

    Awesome review! :)

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    1. Me too…I will definitely continue with the series. Thanks for visiting, Lea!

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  5. Although I don't normally read many YA titles, this book really sounds interesting. I love the cover. It looks amazing! =D

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    1. I love the cover as well. I hope you get to read it! Thanks for dropping by!

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  6. I think you enjoyed this one a bit more than I did, Christina, but I'm glad to see your take on it. I thought the romance was a bit cloying for my taste and, frankly, I just didn't get as much out of it as I'd hoped. Nevertheless, Ms. Pearson can create a beautiful world, can't she? Lovely review :)

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    1. The romance wasn't my favorite, but since it wasn't a traditional love triangle, I enjoyed it. Yes, I loved the world that Pearson created and plan on continuing with the series. Thanks for visiting, Melissa!

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