Title: Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E Pearson
Series? Book 1 of 3
POV: First person, past tense, multiple narrators.
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
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About the Book (from Goodreads)
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, 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— 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.
The first time I saw this book, I was taken in by the beautiful cover. I know, I know. But how exactly does one stop judging books by their covers? The title did give me pause.
Kiss of Deception? Is this a romance? And I don’t know about the deception part…
In the end, the cover, the description, and the promise of fantasy won out. I’m glad it did!
This book is simply too beautiful for words. The story, while appearing simple at first, is intricately woven. There are so many surprises along the way. Once a new development is revealed, it is easy to see how everything before it fits. Yet upon reread, I see that there was even more foreshadowing that I missed! The writing is brilliant, and not everything is what it initially seems. After rereading it, I love it even more!
Not only was the writing so amazing that I now want to read every Mary E Peason book in existence, it also had short chapters! Perhaps I should amend that. The chapters were not always short, but when they weren’t, there were page breaks. And they did not end cliff-hanger-y. I don’t think this can be appreciated enough! It actually makes the book go faster, because I will read just one more section.
The Last Testament of Gaudrel and the Song of Venda
In between some of the chapters, there would a little passage from either the Last Testament of Gaudrel or the Song of Venda. While they are interesting, at first they do not seem related to the story. Even when I thought I know why they were there, I had another surprise coming. It was really fun to reread this book and see how each of these passages fell in to place with the story.
I love Lia. A lot. She is a spunky, strong-willed princess of Morrighan. She is not afraid of hard work, if it contributes to her plans. I love how much Lia’s character develops throughout the story.
While completely different in personality, Paulina is a loyal friend to Lia. I love how her relationship with Lia developed over the course of the story.
The Love Interest(s)
Technically, there is a love triangle. While Lia is conflicted, it is pretty obvious early on who has her heart. Besides, no one is who they seem to be, which make this pretty interesting as a reader. The reader has more insight than Lia, but don’t be too confident. I did say this book was full of surprises.
While a love story was present, it is not the main aspect of the book. I think Lia’s personal growth played a much bigger role than the love story. This is excellent for me, since I am not huge on heavy handed romance.
While the religion of Morrighan is one the features several “gods”, it was interesting reading about the traditions and celebrations. Lia is tired of blind tradition.
“Your kind. You’re surrounded by the noise of your own making and you attend only to what you can see, but that’s not the way of the gift.”
The gift is a knowing that comes from the gods. Lia has grown up thinking it is rare. She later meets someone with the gift, who teaches her that hearing the gods is not just following the traditions. She has to spend quite time listening. While this is speaking of the gods and traditions of Lia’s world, this also applies to Christianity.
Yes, the book just leaves off. WHERE IS THE NEXT BOOK??
It ends the same way the chapters do, not in cliff hangers, but still making you want to find out what happens next. Gah!
Content: Unfortunately, this is not a clean book, and I only recommend it to those 16+
Why did it have to be this way? I would’ve recommended it to everyone!Sexual: frequent flirting. Non-descriptive kissing. Some groping. Pregnancy out of wedlock. Threat of rape (towards the end) and one close encounter.
Violence: Moderate violence. Frequent talk of slitting throats. A non-descriptive, witnesses from a distance, massacre. Talk of a girl killed by an arrow through the throat.
Language: Infrequent. ?ss. B?st?rd. D?mn. Wh?re.
Drinking: Lia and Pauline work in a tavern. Frequent drunkenness.