Sunday, July 6, 2014

Early Review of The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson

Genre: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover; 496 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (July 8, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0805099239
ISBN-13: 978-0805099232
    Author's Website:
    Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher via NetGalley

Life as a princess is not always as glorious as one would think. Princess Lia knows this first hand. While all her brothers and sisters can marry whom they choose, she's required to be the sacrificial lamb who must marry to form an alliance. She's a First Daughter of the House of Morrighan, something which can be viewed as both a blessing and a curse. There is much tradition attached to the position, the most important being that the First Daughter is gifted with being a Siarrah, a person who can foresee things. The problem is, Lia has never shown any aptitude for the gift. She feels the alliance with the Kingdom of  Dalbreck would be a sham because they won't be getting the gifted princess they seek, but a poor imitation. That combined with the thought of having to marry someone who is potentially twice her age whom she's never laid eyes on prompts her to take her life into her own hands. Just hours before she is to wed she runs away with her best friend and lady in waiting with only the wedding dress on her back and a couple of horses from the royal stables. She's willing to live as a commoner for a chance at a life that's lived on her terms an no one else's.

What she doesn't realize is that once her disappearance is noticed, more than just her parents will come looking for her. For both the prince whom she was to marry will set out to find her as well an assassin who's bent on killing her. The question is who will find her first?


I admit to being a sucker for a good princess tale and this one kept my attention. It dragged a little in the middle, but once the twist was revealed, it picked up momentum and kept me in its grip. I was going to go to sleep, but the book wouldn't let me. I was held captive till I finished. lol

At first, Lia comes across as a spoiled Princess. Two kingdoms are depending on the alliance which would have been forged when she and the Prince of Dalbreck wed. By skipping out on her betrothed, she has put not only the alliance in jeopardy, but the lives of everyone in the two kingdoms. A broken engagement could spur on a war between them and give their enemies an advantage. While I can understand her reluctance to marry someone she doesn't know, she really seemed to not understand the extent of what she had done and it showcased her youth and inexperience in the political arena.

Later, the gravity of what she's done finally hits, but not until after a loss is suffered. That's when she'll start to come into her own and grow as an individual. I love seeing a character blossom right before our eyes because it helps us to better understand them and bond with them.

The assassin and the prince are both interesting characters--and yes, there is a love triangle. The story is not just told from Lia's perspective, but we also get a little bit of theirs. The assassin has been tasked to kill the princess. He hails from another kingdom that doesn't want an alliance to be formed between Morrighan and Dalbreck. Lia, however, has won him over because she isn't anything like what he thought she'd be. He finds he doesn't wish to harm her and he has to decide whether he will disobey his orders or do the deadly dead. The Prince, on the other hand, comes to admire his future bride. He's a bit envious that she came up with a run away before he did and becomes intrigued by her. He sets out to find his reluctant bride not sure if he wishes to marry her, only that he wants to know more about her.

Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. I felt it was beautifully and skillfully written.While it lulled a bit in the middle, the twist more than made up for it. I was totally taken by surprised, and had to reread parts because I was a bit in disbelief. lol While there were some hints to it, I didn't pick up on them and I loved that. Plus, the ending was stellar leaving us hanging as to what will happen next. Revelations were revealed which suggest Lia may be at the center of an ancient prophecy that someone has attempted to erase all accounts of. All of which combines in a cliffhanger of an ending which has left me impatiently awaiting the next book. I for one can't wait to see where this author takes this. Will Lia survive? Will she fulfill the prophecy which was foretold so long ago? I so want to know and highly recommend this one. 

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