Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks Macmillan!) || ARC
[I received this book for review from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]
In 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. (from Goodreads)
Oh, Kiss of Deception, you are a very sly book indeed! I was not particularly enjoying you by the time I had hit 100 pages, which worried me and made me sad. But then, that happened, and you grabbed my attention till the very end. I now need the second book, so I suppose you did a good job of reeling me in, though it took a while.
If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you’ll know that Kiss of Deception fits my book interests perfectly. It’s a young adult fantasy (!) featuring a princess who takes her destiny into her own hands (!) and two men, a prince (!) and an assassin (!) who happen to want to track her down. Sounds like a pretty good read, doesn’t it?
Early on into the novel, I was pretty skeptical about everything – the characters, their relationships, and even the story. Lia was pretty smart, and I liked that she wasn’t afraid to work hard in order to escape her past. However, for all her cleverness, there were situations she wound up in that could have potentially revealed her identity and assumptions she made about her escape that nearly cost her everything.
Then, there’s the prince and the assassin, both men who pretty much have the qualities you’d expect of their roles, but both extremely fascinated with Lia (in an “I think I might like you more than I should” way). I’m sorry to admit it, but I may have rolled my eyes a time or two at their mutual interest in Lia.
For a while, it felt like nothing much was going to happen. Everything seemed suspended in time, where Lia got away and made a new life for herself, pursued by two men who wanted her attention. While I enjoyed the town of Terravin and its occupants (well, mostly just Pauline, Berdi & Gwyneth), it started to feel like the plot wouldn’t be going anywhere. As a reader expecting things to happen, this just didn’t sit well with me.
But then, something did happen, around 2/3 into the book! It honestly completely caught me off guard, and I had to take a moment to come out of my shock. But my interest was immediately piqued, and I pretty much read the rest of the novel from then to the end nonstop. Things, the things I’d been wishing for, started happening, and the pace definitely picked up.
By the time the end came, I liked Lia a whole lot more! She really demonstrated her strength and courage in this latter portion of the novel, and easily won me over to her side. I also really liked the arc the plot was taking, even though that ending made me yell my head off at how much of a cliffhanger it was (in a nice way, really)!
The one thing that really stayed solidly interesting from start to finish? The world-building, specifically the culture. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the traditions and rituals and religion referred to at first, but I’ll admit that it worked for me right away. It felt foundational to what the world in Kiss of Deception was, and I definitely appreciated that.
Honestly, Kiss of Deception was a book that totally crept up on me! I had reservations initially, especially during the 2/3 that read a little bit slower. But once the pace picked up, and the adventure kicked in, it was easy to get hooked on this story. While I do wish that it had happened sooner, I’m still pleased that I wound up at least liking Kiss of Deception by the end. (And I obviously need book two now!)
Rachel and I have decided to collaborate on this new feature, since we often end up having a lot of the same ARCs. We've decided to read them around the same time, so we can discuss them, and we're sharing answers to one burning question related to the book, author or series with our reviews!
Our question: If you were going to run away, where would you go and what kind of life would you lead?
There are so many places I would love to visit, and so many different kinds of lives I would want to lead. But I think, in a way, my dream has always been to live in a big manor in the London countryside. It'd be a quiet life, filled with writing and baking and gardening and writing horses and hosting house parties and spending lots of time with my husband and children. There would be the occasional trip to the city, for balls and festivals and the like.
But if we were really going to get wild, I would love to escape to someplace warm, like Hawaii or California or the Bahamas, and would be a surfer girl with skills.