by Mary E. Pearson
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on July 8, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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It’s slowly dawning on me that I really love a good fantasy yarn, and The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) fits nicely in that category. In the last couple months I burned through both Throne of Glass novels (can’t wait for book three in September!) and Leigh Bardugo’s fantastic trilogy. Surprise, surprise, I was initially drawn to the cover of The Kiss of Deception, and although the synopsis wasn’t particularly intriguing, I picked it up anyway because I’m a sucker for a flower crown and a pretty dress.
And, as previously, indicated, I’m very glad I did. First let me say as loudly as possible in print, Don’t Be Put Off By The Love Triangle. Yes, it is a frequently used and abused plot device, but this one is different, I swear. Plus, deep down isn’t that part of the reason we read? How many of us will be involved in a real-life love triangle? And by just reading about it we’re not ruining any lives.
Besides, there’s a whole lot more going on in this book than just heavy breathing and smirking scoundrels. The beginning was a bit slow, pretty typical reluctant-rebellious- princess-going-into-an-arranged-marriage stuff, but I was totally caught off guard by the ending of the first chapter, and therefore hooked. And I loved the bond between Lia and her best friend, Pauline.
The narrative switches between Lia, the princess, and the two boys, Kaden and Rafe, can be a bit jarring at times, especially with the excerpts from Song of Venda and The Last Testaments of Gaudrel thrown in, but I promise that it all comes together, beautifully, actually, at the end. The world building is solid, but the best part by far is the character development of Lia. She really grows into her own, and although I was a bit frustrated with her at the beginning, it made me love her that much more at the end. The same can’t be said of the character development of the two boys, Kaden especially, but I get the feeling there’s going to be a lot of it in the second book. I’m dying to find out the history behind Morrighan and Venda, and how Gaudrel and the Ancients figure in. Fascinating stuff.
I flew through the last third of the book. The action, explanations and magic came fast and furious. And, because I’m not ashamed to admit it, I cried. Yep, it happened. And that’s all I’ll say. So if you find yourself struggling a bit through the beginning and middle, stick with it, because The Kiss of Deception is worth it, and you’re going to be as bummed as I am that the next book doesn’t come out until 2015.