Author: Mary E. Pearson (Twitter)
Publisher: Henry Holt
Publish Date: July 8, 2014
Genre: YA, Fantasy
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.
High fantasy holds a very dear place in my heart, which makes me extremely likely to pick up any fantasy novel - if only to search for those select few that will take my breath away. The Kiss of Deception offers up the picture-perfect premise; a princess with a destiny too difficult for her to accept without knowing her own destiny, two kingdoms destined for failure without her sacrifice and a love that could and very well might conquer all. With an author like Mary E. Pearson at the helm, we know we're in for a ride and, quite possibly, the adventure of a lifetime.
It must be said that regardless of the content of her novels, Ms. Pearson is an incredible author. She has a way of painting a world with her words, coaxing them to life and welcoming readers into remarkable new places. The Kiss of Deception is no exception to this fact. Rife with detail, the novel is brimming with confidence in its setup, and the air of the kingdoms within the pages is every bit as alive and real as we could hope it would be. Alternating between the grace of delicate and powerful quotes and the deft, heavy handed action, the world comes alive, and I was thrilled to experience yet another of Ms. Pearson's adventures.
I did, unfortunately, have a few issues with Lia's character and sense of self. On the one hand, I was completely on board with her journey to self-discovery. On the other hand, however, she made me face-palm at times because of her own selfishness. She knows what's at stake, and after we experience her relationship with her brothers, we expect a sort of unbreakable bond that will connect her to her life at home. Instead, giving little to no thought to the wake of destruction she might leave, Lia turns her back on it all. I wanted so desperately to forgive her for her selfishness due to her youth, but I felt like it overshadowed her development in my eyes.
Furthermore, I struggled a bit with the relationships within The Kiss of Deception. It's no secret that love triangles generally irk me to no end, but I can get on board if there is a clear winner in the equation…most times. Unfortunately, Lia's potential suitors emerge at the same time and become almost burdensome to the action and the unfolding of the plot, itself. While I enjoyed the polar dynamics of the two men, I felt that there was a significant lull in the story as we watch Lia's choice play out ever-so-gradually, and I struggled with that.
Overall, I wanted to be blown away be The Kiss of Deception, but I ended up being just fairly satisfied. Like I've said, Ms. Pearson is an incredible writer, and I will always read her books, but I do believe this one was a bit too tedious and hung up on certain details. I give it a 3 out of 5, and I recommend it to fans of YA and high fantasy, especially those who enjoy significant romantic interludes.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.