Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson
Published: July 08, 2014
Source/Edition: Bought at Amazon, Hardcover
Summary provided by Goodreads:
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.
I’m going to be honest. I had a really hard time rating this one. It wasn’t exactly a 4 or a 3. Not even a 3.5. In the end, I did settle for 3.75 but since I don’t really do those kinds of ratings, I rounded it up. There’s a lot of things that I had to consider in this rating, so let’s begin!
Storyline & Concept
What initially attracted me to this book was the synopsis. A princess who runs away right before her arranged wedding and then gets tracked down, not just by the prince she refused to marry but also, by an assassin sent to kill her? And she doesn’t know which is which? Sign me up! I’ve also heard a lot of talk about it, mostly positive. By the time I finally got to reading it, my expectations were high. It wasn’t terrible by any means but it wasn’t perfect. We are introduced to a new world — and a map to boot (yay). There are new kingdoms, traditions, different languages, and magic. The entire concept is what draws you in but I think that the storyline was a little weak and slow. However, with how this one ended, I’m pretty confident that the next book will having a stronger storyline.
I can’t say that it fell overly short of expectations but I did feel underwhelmed at first. The first scene, her escape, was exciting and afterwards it dwindled down a little. We reach a plateau where we learn more about the character and how she’s adjusting to life outside of her royal kingdom. By then, we’re also introduced to the prince and the assassin and the story focuses more on building up those characters and the relationships between the three. Of course, character development is very important but the whole time I was waiting for something exciting to happen. I don’t know, I think I was expecting some kind of fight and blood shed and gore. Okay, gore is an exaggeration and I wasn’t really looking for that but I just wanted something crazy. I was really frustrated about that. I think I had a lot of anticipation that wasn’t met in the beginning. Eventually it did happen and I tweeted relentlessly about it (hehe) but I’ll talk about that in the next section
I have to give to praise to Mary E. Pearson! It’s always hard building a new world, much less a fantasy world. She created a fantastic concept and world, filled with magic and ancient traditions. This magic isn’t the Hogwarts magic or the Grisha kind of magic. It’s the kind of ancient magic that was passed down from the gods. It actually kind of reminded me of “Prince of Persia: Sands of Time” where the gods saw goodness in one human and decided to spare humanity. Pearson creates history for Morrighan, Dalbreck, and Venda, including gods, religion, traditions, and unique languages. She literally created a new language. Knowledge of this new world isn’t given right away. You learn more of her world throughout the novel, through excerpts and stories told. Even then, I felt like I still needed more information. There’s still so many questions and so many things that is still unknown.
One of my favorite things about this book was the point of view. We get Lia’s, Rafe’s, and Kadan’s point of view — in first person. First person has always been a favorite for me because I feel like it’s easier to step in their shoes. Another thing that Pearson does with the POVs is switching up the labels between Prince, Assassin, Kadan, and Rafe throughout the book. In doing so, we’re kept in the dark about their true identity. We don’t figure out who’s who and when it is revealed it will blow you away! Enter endless tweets about how Pearson surprised and tricked me. I was totally wrong by the way about my guesses and I couldn’t get over how surprised I was. I just sat there on my bed, freaking out and going through the chapters, trying to find out where I went wrong. I won’t tell you my predictions of course but everything after that was just fantastic and I couldn’t put it down.
Characters & Relationships
(Who loves Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire? Who loves Daenerys?!)
That gif basically describes Princess Lia. I really enjoyed her character and that she wasn’t your usual princess. She didn’t want a marriage with a prince that was forged through an alliance. She wanted love. I think that she was a very strong character. The Prince and Assassin were great characters, as well. I, of course, favor one over the other but I’ll keep my opinions of that out of this non-spoiler review. They were very intriguing and seeing in their perspective really helps you understand why they do what they do. The relationship between the three is already set up as a love triangle once you read the synopsis. However, it’s more of a scalene love triangle as opposed to equilateral — using math to describe love triangles? Score! The love triangle is formed somewhat quickly but I wouldn’t say it’s instant love.
I think that once you get into the groove of the writing and pass the plateau in the book, it’ll become more enjoyable and interesting. The last couple of hundred of pages is really where it picks up! I think that The Kiss of Deception is a solid beginning to a great trilogy or series! It’s worth the read and with how the book ended, you’ll want to have the next book with you.