Title: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Summary: 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.
A love triangle, a special snowflake princess, and lots of drama. Yay.
Okay, maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself. This book wasn’t all bad. There were actually some parts of it that I really enjoyed. But unfortunately the things that stuck with me the most were the bad and I have to rant for a minute before I can move on to the good components of this book.
Lia is our main character, a princess who decides to flee on her wedding day, potentially destroying a peace treaty because she can’t stand the thought of marrying someone she doesn’t love. Which I can understand. I think being married of for political reasons would be the absolute worst, and I can completely understand wanting to leave that all behind. So I support her decision, the problem is that I just didn’t really like Lia as a character. She wasn’t awful or anything, I just found her to be annoying. She willingly takes her best friend with her, risking her life as well, they ride to some town where they are going to disguise themselves and life happily ever after in. Except Lia is not very smart about it. She does literally nothing to disguise herself besides change her clothes. She doesn’t even cut her hair. Then she proceeds to loudly chew out soldiers in a very snobby and royal sort of way, discusses her situation with her friends where anyone listening could hear, and even keeps her name the same. But I enjoyed her strength and stubborn attitude and her snarky comments, and that she still had to work for things.
The two love interests in this book were Kaden and Rafe, one who is a prince and one who is an assassin. Problem is, you don’t know which one is which. And that was kind of cool, but also really frustrating. You literally go a majority of this book not knowing which is which. But at a certain point, you kind of make up your mind and decide who you think is who. The problem was, I picked wrong. Which I’m sure was probably the author’s intention except it just pissed me off. Because suddenly, everything I thought I knew about the prince was wrong. And everything I thought I knew about the assassin was wrong. It really just kind of ruined the characters for me, which in turn, make me dislike this book a little. Plus I felt like the author tried to confuse us on purpose, but it gave the guys certain attributes that didn’t seem to actually fit them.
Also, this book had the worst assassin in the history of forever. Seriously. This guy comes into town with every intention to kill Lia, sits down to have a drink, sees her and instantly falls in love with her and decides he is just going to super procrastinate so every day he falls more in love and the likeliness of him actually being able to kill her gets less and less. Bravo, that’s an awesome job you just did there Mr. Assassin. I’m confused though, aren’t you supposed to like, kill her? Maybe I missed something.
Logically, I had a problem with her escape and settling down in the town. She is a princess. A princess. Wouldn’t the king’s like entire army be out looking for her? I mean, the prince and assassin both had an easy enough time tracking her down, but for some reason, it’s impossible for everyone else. The author gave an easy excuse, Lia’s brother telling her that their father wasn’t actually pushing the bounty on her, he was just kind of keeping it within their city. But that’s totally lame and unrealistic. She is a freaking princess. People know she ran away, someone is going to try to find her and get that reward. but magically Lia, a complete amateur, is able to hide her tracks well enough that she can live in this city for months with only one person (besides the love interest) finding her. I might have to call bullshit on that one.
The plot wasn’t bad, minus as the mushy love triangle crap, I like the interesting mythology in the world and the war, even though we don’t really get much information about it. The world building was okay, I’m hoping we get more on the world and the war between the countries in the next book, since it seems like politics will play a bigger part. I was intrigued by the books that Lia stole and the weird prophecy she finds, although I don’t like that it implies that she is even more of a special snowflake then everyone already thinks.
I have to admit, despite all the problems I had with this book, I did enjoy it to a certain degree. Trying to figure out which guy was which was pretty fun and made the book a bit more interactive. The last third or fourth of the book got a lot more interesting, and I liked the introduction of new land and people. Even if I absolutely despised the love triangle and how the plot suffered because of it, I’ll confess that I found each guy intriguing in his own way.
Over all, this book did have some downfalls, but I still flew through it, eager to see what happened next. And even though I thought this book was going to be predictable, which it was in some spots, I was still surprised by certain things as I read. I wouldn’t consider this the best or the worst fantasy book I’ve read in a while, but I enjoyed it enough that I am planning on reading the next one. And maybe rereading this one sometime just to be able to actually know who is who and see if that makes the story better for me.