The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

By | 8:56 PM 4 comments
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.

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
First book in The Remnant Chronicles
YA/High Fantasy/Romance

  3 out of 5 stars
The title of The Kiss of Deception felt as much a description of the book's contents as it was a description of my experience reading it. The beginning hints at an interesting world with an intriguing mythology and mystery that is, inevitably, ignored for the sake of putting romance at the forefront. What little we are given of the culture of this world was enough to keep me wanting more, but it didn't pay off in the end. Whatever remnants of the mystery we're given is dedicated to adding flare to the love triangle. How to make a love triangle not seem like every other YA love triangle? Make the two men involved have ambiguous identities and keep readers guessing about who's who! While some readers have found this 'mystery' to be a riveting aspect of the story, I was more annoyed than impressed. Spending more than half a book not knowing which character is which for the sake of an attempt at suspense was not my cup of tea.

The best that The Kiss of Deception had to offer was the writing style. I found myself wanting to highlight certain passages as I think this is a fairly "quotable" and beautifully written story. The writing wasn't perfect - I found it to be lacking in description of the world - but it was my favorite aspect of the story. While the language of this was up to par for me, I wish the contents were equal in value. 

I think The Kiss of Deception is a decent foundation for the rest of the series, but it didn't leave me wanting to continue. After reading through 400+ pages and getting denied anything besides an uncompelling romance and being left with a ridiculous cliffhanger that offers no resolution, I felt like The Kiss of Deception dedicated too much of my time to a meandering story that wasn't worth it in the end. For readers who enjoy romance with a weak fantasy backdrop, this is the book for you. For any reader wanting more than just a fantasy backdrop, I'd say avoid The Kiss of Deception. At least until more books come out in the series, which could improve upon the foundation this provided... but only time will tell.
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  1. Great review Paige! I've just finished this one as well and am giving it the same rating as you. The beginning felt like it had so much to offer, until it drove itself off the cliff...

    1. Thanks Jess! Wish this had lived up to my expectations. Doesn't help that this book was so hyped on Booktube!

  2. I just watched the live show where the book was raved about so it was nice to get an opposing viewpoint. I do like strong world-building so the fact that it's lacking made me stop and wasn't on my TBR but I have been intrigued simply because of the buzz.

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