Title: The Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Genre: Young-Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: July 8th, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt
My Rating: 4 Stars
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.
This book was, for a lack of better word... unexpected.
What I got from description was that there was going to be a love triangle, that this book would be a high fantasy and that it would have something to do with getting the kingdom back or becoming queen or something related to the kingdom. It was not any of those things. And this is how:
- There were times when you really saw a love triangle but in the end, after some thought, I came up with the conclusion that there really wasn't one. I can't tell anything more about it because I don't want to give any spoilers, just that the book was written to mess with the reader's head – something authors excel at.
- This was not a high fantasy. There was hardly any supernatural element in it. It was more of a historical, alternate-universe, young adult fiction. And that put me off at first because... why call it a fantasy if there's barely any fantasy element in it? But later on, when things became clearer, it was okay.
- It was not about kingdoms or thrones. I mean, it was, but it was more about people. And I really liked that. It was about Lia and her growth as a character and it was reprecussions of actions, greif, family, love, trust and many things. Ruling was never a part of it.
The pace of story seemed bad because for the first half, I felt like nothing was happening. Then there was the plot twist and I found out the reason for the book's slowness. But while the plot twist was great and definitely worth it (not counting the fact that the first half also had a lot of character built up), I didn't think it was absolutely necessary. We could have done without it. But it made the book more enjoyable so there's that.
I really liked the excerpts given between chapters. While we didn't really know what they were or what they meant for the story at the beginning, they contrubuted to telling us more about the world and we understood them as the story progressed. And I just liked them (no reason required).
One things I wanna add, the MC's were both recklessly brave and determined – extra emphasis on the 'recklessly'. Miss Burying-the-dead and Mr She's-not-going-without-me could team up to give Percy Jackson some competition in that department. I loved them for it.
Overall, this was an unexpectedly good book, not that I didn't think it to be good, but because I didn't think it would be good in this way. I really enjoyed it and I'm moving on to the next part very soon (because the ending... OMG!).