Review: The Kiss of Deception. Remnant Chronicles 1 by Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deceptionkiss

486 pages
Henry Holt and Company
published in 2014

1. The Kiss of Deception
2. The Heart of Betrayal
3. The Beauty of Darkness (Aug 2016)

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

I had high hopes for this one but almost gave up on it. I should have as it did not get any better.. It was only the fact that I paid so much for it that kept me going. It’s also an easy read and not that long.

The story can be summed up in a few words. Princess doesn’t want to marry a prince she never met before. Runs away with her friend/maid to a far away village and pretends to be a barmaid. Assassin and prince come after her in disguise.

There’s some magic in it but we don’t get many details.

So that’s it. I had a lot of problems with the story, starting with the logic.
Both Kaden and Rafe find Lia within a few pages of the story but somehow a whole army cannot. Wow, those must be some very bad soldiers..
Also…if you steal something, why would you leave a note stating that you did it? That is stupid as hell!

The characters
Lia was supposed to be badass & brave and of course a beautiful princess who cares for her friends but for me she just seemed spoiled and arrogant. Honestly, there’s a war going to happen because of her running away. Staying and trying to save her people would have been the brave thing to do if you ask me. I can understand her wanting to marry for love but running away was the wrong decision so stop trying to portrait her as the poor victim.
Rafe and Kaden are both stereotypical mysterious characters. The fact that you don’t know who is who though was something new and I did not mind this twist. Still, the characters were not very memorable and I did not care for any of them.

Also it annoyed me that the author apparently wants us to believe that poor Lia is the one who gets betrayed although she is the one lying all the time! Not only to Rafe and Kaden but also to her friend Pauline.

The action
For the most part of the story we follow Lia’s life as a barmaid, which is pretty boring. She has three donkeys. She goes berry picking. I was waiting for something interesting to happen but there was nothing…

The love triangle
Oh god, this was one of the worst. Ever. What bothered me most was that it seemed to be the center of the story. Everything else is secondary. The only thing important is Lia’s relationship with Rafe and Kaden and whomever she likes best. Also one of them is falling for her way too quickly. It didn’t work for me at all! Lia’s actions were not believable. She just fell for the first dude she met. There was no build-up or anything.

It just got worse after she got kidnapped. I couldn’t believe how her captor and she herself were acting.

Captor: “Don’t be like that, Lia! C’mon! Don’t act so annoyed at me! I thought we were friends!”
(You kidnapped her, dude! What did you expect????)
Lia: “I hate him! He betrayed me! I wanna run away! …But his eyes are kinda pretty..”
(seriously??)
Captor gets drunk and tries to assault her before he passes out
Lia: ” aww, but isn’t he cute?! I better get him a pillow!”

…..

Most of the time I wanted to punch the characters in the face. Several times. Don’t get me wrong, I do like romance in my fantasy books. I even ship some pairings! ( Phedre/Joscelin at the moment, Alec/Seregil, R’Shiel/Brak, Locke Lamora/Jean Tannen ;D and so on..) but it has to fit into the story, shouldn’t be the center of everything and most importantly has to be believable. Love at first sight doesn’t happen that often and isn’t it more interesting and fun to read about a slowly developing love story?

I will definitely not read the second part of this series.

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