The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)
By Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt
Publication Date: July 8th, 2014
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.
Kiss of Deception is the start of Mary Pearson’s new series and I loved it! Lia is fantastic and spunky and badass without tripping over any tropes. She is fierce and knows what she wants, and will do as she wishes in spite of how it affects the plans of others. The book starts with Lia’s most influential, and most rash, decision: to flee her imminent wedding to a man she has never met. This prompts the other two main characters into action, and Rafe and Kaden both plan to seek Lia out for their own particular reasons.
The book introduces Rafe and Kaden in an interesting way. You learn to know them through Lia and their own personal chapters before figuring out which is the assassin and which is the slighted prince. I liked how this style subverted Lia’s own prejudices, whether they were accurate or not, so that they did not influence how she came to know each of them. As far as the love triangle goes, by the end of the story, it is clear who Lia would pick, and I would have to agree with her decision. However, I feel that there is some room for change as the series goes on.
Lia’s relationship with her friend, Pauline, was something I loved about the book as well. They support each other without question and even with such vastly different personalities they never judge one another for their actions. Several other female characters play prominent roles in the story, from the motherly Berdi to the maid at her inn, Gwyneth. Lia’s relationship with and her loyalty to her brothers was also wonderful. Even if we only meet one of her brothers in the flesh, her thoughts tend to circle back to her siblings as she goes through her new life. Altogether, I felt that the cast of characters was well balanced between genders and believable in their characterizations.
The book’s setting was well developed and the descriptions of Terravin and the places beyond were beautifully rendered. I don’t know if where the book takes place would be a spoiler for readers or not, but if you take a good look at the map and try to think of modern day equivalents to the Ancient ruins, such as Golgata and the City of Dark Magic, you should be able to figure out the book’s location. Pearson’s development of the Vendan language added to the world building and I enjoyed how it enhanced Lia’s own characterization as it helped to illustrate her aptitude for languages.
The point I mainly want to get across is that I loved this book. I loved the setting, the writing, and Lia’s ear for languages. The sequel is being released soon, and I’ve been waiting for it since forever ago. The ending was painful in that it left several characters’ fates hanging in the balance and well strategized plans are needed to keep these characters alive until their hopefully happy ending.
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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us.