Monday, March 7, 2016

"The Kiss of Deception"

My rating: ★★★★★

Author: Mary E. Pearson

Series: Book #1 (The Remnant Chronicles)

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Page Count: 496 (hardcover)

Release Date: July 8th, 2014

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Places to order:
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About Mary:

Mary E. Pearson is the award-winning author of The Jenna Fox Chronicles, The Miles Between, A Room on Lorelei, and Scribbler of Dreams.  She writes full-time from her home office in California where she lives with her husband and two golden retrievers.

Website // Instagram // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest // Tumblr // Wattpad

Princess Lia is First Daughter of the House of Morrighan, a kingdom steeped in tradition, duty, and the stories of a bygone world.  She flees on her wedding day, shirking her duty, but is determined to marry for love and not to secure a political alliance.

Pursued by bounty hunters, she finds refuge in a distant village and settles into a new life, hopeful when two handsome strangers arrive.  She doesn’t know 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.

My review:


What a hell of a novel. And a twist that left my mouth agape for a solid 10 minutes.

The Kiss of Deception is a must-read fantasy novel with a brilliant heroine, swoon-worthy romance, ancient mysteries of the past, and a plot twist I guarantee you won't see coming. Pearson has crafted this story to absolute perfection.

This is a *SPOILERY* review! (proceed with caution if you HAVE NOT read this book yet!)

When it comes to high fantasy, the first half of the book tends to have a slow pace due to the add-ins of explanations about this new world, terminology, history, characters, and other extras for us, as the readers, so that we can fully understand and dive into this world. With this book, however, there was never a dull moment (in my opinion)!

Mary did a BRILLIANT job with this novel! THAT PLOT TWIST THO.

Throughout the book, I was wondering why she didn't title the chapters with the characters names and kept switching back to say either "The Assassin" or "The Prince," BUT NOW I KNOW WHY--so that she could pull off that amazing plot twist! *internally screaming* IT. WAS. INSANE. I felt like the title was mostly to deceive us rather than Lia since I think it had more of an impact on me (hahaha).

Lia. Princess Arabella Celestine Idris Jezelia--that's one hell of a name and title. She's everything I love about a heroine: badass, selfless, feisty, and kind. She takes her life in her own hands and creates a life for herself in a strange place way from home, which does not seen easy for a princess to do. As I read through the first half of the book, it was fun to watch Lia and Pauline as nothing more than tavern maids in Terravin, where they can be free to do what they please and enjoy the lives that they have.

I love Lia's acts of selflessness, especially in the part where she killed Eben's horse (Spirit) so that he wouldn't have to do it himself. She had never killed anything in her entire life, yet she was willing and able to kill a horse without showing any fear or hesitation, all for the sake that a boy wouldn't have to.

It was also really cool to see her pick up on things fast--like learning the Venda language and out the translation of the Song of Venda (AKA figuring out she's destined to do badass things)-- but also how we get to see her kindness and continuous acts of selflessness all through the book. She fought for the life she wanted in Terravin, but came to learn her importance and duty she had to her kingdom as the First Daughter of Morrighan.

Lastly, I loved the ending when Lia finally figured out that Rafe was the Prince of Dalbreck! They both had a silent moment to themselves since he gave her hints that he was the Prince and not an emissary like what he told Kaden and the other soldiers.

But now I worry what will happen if (or should I say, "when") the people of Venda figure out that Rafe is THE Prince of Dalbreck and not the emissary. *gulps*


Rafe. Crown Prince Jaxon Tyrus Rafferty. HOLY CANNOLI (and HELLO HANDSOME). Oh god, was this man swoon worthy *fans self* I loved the mysterious air about him and how Mary (author) set him up for the readers to believe that he was the Assassin.... oh, how wrong we all were! I squealed so loudly when I read how he had kept THE LETTER that Lia had written to him before they were to "wed," and it made it even better when I found out that he was the Prince of Dalbreck! *collapses from feels* I definitely remember going, "HE'S THE PRINCE? OH HELL YES. YES YES YES. HOLY HELL, YES."

When that shirt came off for the log wrestling event.... *drinks a cold glass of water* HOT DAMN.

But in a small part in the back of my brain, I knew there was something off when he went shirtless, because I thought that not having a shirt could possibly reveal his identity if he had any scars (since assassins--I assume--would bear lots of scars), but when he took off his shirt, there were no scars. I guess I moved that thought aside and didn't think much about it.

In the end when he pretty much gave himself up to Kaden and the Venda soldiers, I feel like this was him:

He's basically like, "oh, no big deal or anything, but I'd like to freely hand myself, the *emissary* of the Prince of Dalbreck (only Lia knows he's the real prince), over to you so that I can be with Lia and make sure you assholes don't do anything to her." AND NOW HE'S WITH LIA AND THEY KISSED AND MADE LOVEY EYES AT EACH OTHER.

"In the farthest corner... I will find you." *dies from feels*

Kaden. He definitely reminded of Hans from Frozen movie (haha) since he was acting all nice and sweet to Lia, and then turned out to be THE ASSASSIN. *screams*

But I really did like how much he cared about Lia (unlike Hans to Anna) when they were in Terravin and how we got to see the gentle, "human" side of him. It opened up my views and perspective about him. I knew he had to act like an assassin again once his crew came to the town, so I can see how his hand was forced to finally wake up from this fantasy dream and to get back to reality. But he still acted like a jerk when he and his crew kidnapped her.

This was what was probably going on in Lia's mid when Kaden took her:

I knew he wasn't going to kill her; there was no way he could after he developed all those feelings for her and began to care for her deeply--but now it's just a matter of what the Komizar will do with her (AND MY BABY RAFE). I'm excited to see his character development in the next books to see what kind of person he'll become.

I also think that this was Kaden the whole time in his head while he was holding Lia against her will on their way to Venda--somehow still hoping she forgives him and cares about him.

And then there's Lia, who was probably like:

HAHAHA. Can't help but laugh. But we can't forget that they also kissed for a hot second...... that was an interesting scene, so I'll let that slide.

Pauline. I have a terrible feeling that we're going to see Mikael (the man she loved and father of her unborn child) show up in the next book, which will turn Pauline against Lia for lying to her--at least that's my theory. But other than that, Pauline is such an amazing friend to Lia; she betrayed her kingdom to help Lia (THE PRINCESS) flee and took her away. They have the best kind of gal-pal relationship anyone would want to have: dependable, loyal, protective, comical, and so much more.

Berdi. Oh my goodness, I love this woman. This gif below best describes her attitude:

She doesn't take crap from anyone. Even though letting Lia stay with her was a HUGE risk (which she could lose the tavern and possibly face death), she still took her in and treated her like a normal worker in her tavern instead of pampering Lia like a princess. What Berdi says goes, because she is the boss and will literally tear you down if you mess with her. Again, love this woman.

*          *          *          *          *          *

In terms about theories I have for "The Heart of Betrayal," I honestly don't have many theories except a couple outlandish ones since God only knows what Mary has planned for us: I think Rafe might betray Lia somehow (hence the title, and Kaden already deceived her badly in this book), Pauline will hate and/or get in a fight with Lia about Mikael, Lia will get back home somehow, and Lia will marry someone at the end (BUT WHO?).

Overall, I LOVED this book and can't wait to read the sequel! This book never had a dull moment or felt sluggish in the beginning, like how most fantasy series with their first book. Lia is now on my list of Top 5 female protagonists since she's a total badass, deals with all the shit thrown at her like a boss, and has stellar character development throughout this book. Can't wait to see more! I'll be going into "The Heart of Betrayal" with an open mind since with Mary, God only knows what she's going to pull out of her crazy hat filled with tricks.

Let me know if the comments your thoughts and opinions on "The Kiss of Deception"! :)

Happy reading!
Whitney Lauren


  1. I am always a million times more curious about fantasy novels that don't mention any fantasy in their synopsis. If the magic and mayhem doesn't even warrant mentioning on the much more awesome stuff must be buried in the book!? Hahaha, I like this. The prince is doing his own dirty work, and I can see how that would get intense fast... great review!

  2. I loved reading your review! Your gifs are amazing! I can't wait for the last book to come out! OMG! RAFE IS AMAZING! I totally agree! I tagged you to do the Get To Know Me Tag: