June 2, 2015
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. The Kiss of Deception is the first book in Mary E. Pearson's Remnant Chronicles.
Series Overall: (4.8 / 5) <– 4.75 stars
MY REVIEW OF THE KISS OF DECEPTION (THE REMNANT CHRONICLES) BY MARY E. PEARSON:
I must admit that I started and stopped The Kiss of Deception twice. Not because it was bad, but because it didn’t immediately resonate with me. In fairness, I was only reading a few pages, and while it’s true that books should try to grab you immediately, my mind wasn’t taking the bait. The thing is, the beginning is actually quite good, and completely memorable to me now. For whatever reason (I had a lot on my mind, I was too tired to be reading, etc.), it took a couple of times for it to stick.
And then it stuck. Hard.
The main reason I love this series so much is not the story that suddenly started pulling me in (though the story is fantastic). What got me was the author’s ability to TRICK me. And she got me good.
Perhaps others will say “oh but I totally saw that coming” and perhaps they’d be correct. Time for me to sound like a bit of a pretentious ass: I don’t get tricked often. AT ALL.
Ever seen the television series Broadchurch? I have only watched the first season so far, but premise was that they would introduce a murder in episode one, and over the course of the season, clues and investigations would ensue. Now, I’m not going to spoil it for you in case you haven’t seen it (which you should because it’s very good), but I will say that I knew who had “done it” halfway through the first episode.
And I was right.
And it wasn’t obvious, especially not at that point, nor was it poorly done. I just have an instinct about these things, but I’m not always right every time. I may have even told this story before, so if I have, please forgive me. I drive my husband crazy with this “gift” I have, but I don’t spoil anything for him. I never say what I’m thinking unless he asks. Which is never.
It’s not that I want to spoil it for myself. I just can’t help it. So if an author can fool me, I’m hooked. Maybe others didn’t get tricked on this one, but the point is that I was, and I loved it. I LOVE IT when I can actually fall for a bit of a plot twist. It’s exhilarating for me, and props to those who have the ability to make me do so. It’s why my own books contain plot twists. I adore them when done well, and I love writing them.
Mary E. Pearson does it well. Her characters are so incredibly developed, and far from one-dimensional. One of my favorite fictional characters is in this series, but I won’t tell you who (and it’s not the main character). The regions and settings are nicely handled, and the dialogue is witty. Yes, it’s young adult fantasy, and yes it has a couple of cheesy moments as YA does (it’s cheesy if you are older like me), but comparatively this series is more mature than a lot of the YA genre. I wouldn’t recommend it if I couldn’t handle it.
The second book was fantastic as well, though without the benefit of the plot twist. There are other crafty little nuances that rear their heads in The Heart of Betrayal though. Those serve to keep the action moving and make it a great addition to the series.
Personally, I found The Beauty of Darkness (book three) to be a little less… interesting. It was still a good book, and maybe it’s because the first two were so well done that book three dropped in my rating scale by comparison.
Overall, the series is now one of my favorites, and Mary E. Pearson is one of the authors I specifically follow on as many online platforms as possible (Amazon, BookBub, her website, etc.). I’ll definitely continue reading her other books as well.
If you’ve found my review helpful, go and get your copy today!