The Kiss of Deception | Review

The Kiss Of Deception | Mary E. Pearson
Pages: 492
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
Published: July 8th 2014 | Henry Holt
Format: E-Copy
Source: Purchased

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.

First of all, I want to start out by saying, that this book was everything I could have wanted PLUS more. It exceeded my expectations, and was the perfect material to help transition myself back into the Fantasy genre.

The Kiss of Deception follows Lia, a princess fed up with her overbearing mother, her distant father, and an arranged marriage to a prince she hasn't met. In an act of rebellion, Lia grabs Pauline, her bestfriend and royal maid, and off they flee to a small village by name of Terravin. Determined to blend in and settle into a new life, Lia shreds her royal image by becoming a waitress at the inn where they've found shelter . . .

" The truths of the world wish to be known, but they won't force themselves on you the way lies will. They'll court you, whisper to you, play behind your eyelids, slip inside and warm your blood, dance along our spine and caress your neck until your flesh rises in bumps. "

Can we please just take a moment and admire this quote from the story? The writing in this novel is impeccable. The metaphors weren't shoved down your throat as " different" or "unique". It was simplicity at best, describing feelings, thoughts, people, places, as they should be . . . realistically.

To my surprise, this wasn't the type of fantasy novel I was expecting. When I think about this genre, I imagine three headed dragons, ogres, and flying pigs maybe, but what I received was the pace and emotion of a well written contemporary. When reading contemp, we often come across some books that have what I call "Insta Love,"and maybe some love triangles here and there right? Well, in The Kiss of Deception, these two common themes are done extremely well.

First of all, one of the things I really enjoyed was that the relationships between Lia and the two other boys Didn't. Just. Happen. I will admit their was a spark between the three from the moment they met, sort of like an instant attraction, but the connections made actually happened over a course of time. No "Insta Love" here folks! Also, the love triangle isn't exactly what you'd expect either. It was far from the typical: "Girl meets boy, then meets another, ends up falling for both, breaks their hearts, or gets her heart broken trying to make a decision." Nope, not even close to what happens here. Lia had indeed found them both attractive, but only pursued one . . .Which one is the question. While reading this book, about half of your time will be spent trying to figure out which of the two boys is actually,

The prince she was supposed to marry.

 The assassin sent to kill her. 

This twist was a complete game changer for me. I can't tell you how many times I switched my perspective on who the boys were, and to make matters worst . . . I was wrong ! After the mystery was finally solved, I found myself kind of disappointed in a way. With such an original concept, I thought that the big reveal was a bit mediocre. Not in the way everything came to light, but rather their identities. Seemed like such a typical choice for her to fall for . . .

Ha! You really thought you were going to get the tea from me huh? Not!

Being that I don't want to spoil your reading experience for this book, I won't go into great detail about the characters. Well, I won't go into very much detail at all. Just know that our main protagonist Lia, is fierce honey! She's a smart girl, with a sharp-tongue to match. She was far from the snooty, uppity princess I assumed her to be. Instead she was down to earth, a bit frustrating at times, but I was definitely impressed with her character progression towards the end of the book. Oh, and the boys are definitely swoon worthy ladies don't fret!

With all that said, I truly enjoyed this book. It took me 4 days to complete because I didn't want to devour it. This is one of those books where you read extremely slow just to savor the chapters, to take everything in. With the story being a bit slow paced, it was easy to let all the details simmer. I was able to see the world building unfold before my eyes, able to grow to love the main characters because they all had a chance to tell their stories. The alternating POV's gave us a glimpse of what they were thinking and feeling at certain moments. It even gave us a bit of a backstory between the main characters, allowing us access to a few secrets they've hidden away.

The Kiss of Deception is a gripping tale that will have you on edge to the very end. With it's slow but intense pace, loveable characters, creative plot, and descriptive world building, how can I not put this on my list of favs for 2014!