The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson is the first book in the Remnant Chronicles. I decided to wait until now to read it because I have seen so many of my favorite book bloggers and BookTubers go through the agony of having to wait until book 2, The Heart of Betrayal, which is now currently in bookstores! While I definitely enjoyed the book and I appreciated the clever style of storytelling, I wasn’t as in love with it as many other people seem to have been.
I love the unique storytelling style that Mary E. Pearson uses throughout the first book. It’s told from multiple viewpoints, (one being the Princess who decided to flee on her wedding day, one being the Prince she was supposed to marry who journeys to find her and the third being an assasin sent from another kindgom to kill her) but it isn’t until you’re about 75% through the first book that you find out which male is the Prince and which is the assasin. I thought the way Pearson decided to do this is very clever but I’ll admit that it was confusing at times. I also felt as though the pacing was a little bit off. The book starts out really strong with the adventure of Lia fleeing, but it plateaus in the middle for a while before it picks up again toward the end. I did however love the ending and I think it is a great foundation for the series. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the second book.
I think Lia is a great character and I admired her decision to run away from her kindgom instead of being forced into a marriage that she didn’t feel was right for her (don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler!). I understand that the Princess may have been deprived of men for the majority of her life, but I wasn’t into the love triangle. I felt like it was too insta-lovey and in general, it takes a lot for me to be able to get behind any love triangle. I do ship Lia with one of her suitors though! Overall, I really would have loved this book more if we were to learn more about the world the story is set in and the secrets hiding within it. I found that for me, the most interesting parts were those dealing with the documents Lia stole from the Chancellor’s secret collection and I expect that will be explored further as the series continues.
Final Thoughts: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson takes an innovative approach at storytelling but it can get slightly confusing (even if you’re devoting all of your attention to it). There were pacing issues in the book and there could have been some more worldbuilding, but it lays an interesting foundation for the rest of the series. Warning: this book contains a love triangle. If you enjoy fantasy and you can devote the time to reading the entire series, I would say to go for it!
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. (via Goodreads)