Monday, August 04, 2014

Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

From Goodreads: 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.

My Rating: 3 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson was a book that I was looking forward to reading until I started seeing mixed reviews for it. Since I still wanted to give it a try though, I decided to lower my expectations, and therefore ended up finding it to be an okay read.

Here’s what I liked and disliked about The Kiss of Deception: 

  • The setting was easy to visualize because the worldbuilding was very detailed.
  • The perspectives of Rafe and Kaden were set up nicely so that not only did Lia not know who the prince was and who the assassin was, but they were a mystery to the reader as well.
  • I liked that Lia wasn’t spoiled and was willing to – and wanted to – earn her keep. 
  • Not only was there a love triangle, but both men fell in love with Lia fairly quickly. There was also a case of insta-love on Lia’s side when she finally picked one of her suitors. 
  • I found the assassin to be a rather wishy-washy character. I wanted him to be badass and own the fact that he was an assassin! 
  • I didn’t completely understand the point of the passages from The Last Testaments of Gaudrel and Song of Venda. I thought they were kind of unnecessary and skipped them whenever they showed up at the beginning of a chapter.  
The Kiss of Deception was released in July 2014 by Henry Holt.  

Comments About the Cover: It’s pretty and looks like the cover of a fantasy novel. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Macmillan Children's Publishing Group) for free via NetGalley. 


  1. I was looking forward to this too, but was quite disappointed overall. I somehow knew which of the boys was the prince and which the assassin and didn't actually realise that was supposed to be part of the mystery for the reader till after I had finished! The romance was what let me down the most. I agree about the world-building, and think that might have been what I found most interesting.

  2. Great review! Love that you listed both pros and cons so it was very easy to decide if I wanted to read The Kiss of Deception or not in the end. I'm not really intrigued by hearing there's a love triangle but I really like the fact that the author kept the identities of the real assassin a mystery to the reader, too.

  3. I skipped the passages at the beginning of each chapter too Z, they didn't seem necessary to the overall plot. Whenever there's things like that as a chapter header I tend to gloss right over them. Oops:) Glad you enjoyed this one for the most part, I'm looking forward to seeing how things develop now that all 3 of them are in the same place once again:)

  4. I am sure getting mighty sick of seeing love triangles every which way I look. And insta-love too. I do think the trend is very slowly moving away from those elements because publishers can see that readers are growing more and more tired of them, but it's still frustrating to me to see them pop up as often as they still do. I am still sort of curious about this one though because I do love my fantasies with great world building, but I think I'll hold out to see how the sequel is received before investing in yet another series.

  5. This book was a disappointment for me as well, particularly after seeing how much some readers loved it. All three of your criticisms bugged me, too--and I got really tired of the love triangle. And this is coming from someone who doesn't really even mind love triangles when they're done well! Everything else just felt like set dressing for the triangle to happen...and I just wasn't that interested in it.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  6. I was let down by this one too. That love triangle killed me and I couldn't agree more with you about the whishy washy assassin. I also didn't like the moody prince and I'd put point two in your pros into a negative for me. I didn't like the "gotcha" she pulled with the narrative switch.

  7. I hate love triangles, but I seemed to not mind this one. I think it's probably because I was completely captivated with the rest of the story. I loved the little village, I loved Lia, I couldn't figure out who was who (prince and assassin). I don't know. I just really like this book, and I am excited to read the rest of the series. It's to bad it wasn't perfect for you.


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