Absolutely Fabulous Historical Fantasy – The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Posted 30 June, 2014 by Heather in Blog, Book Review, Heather, Heather Book Review / 24 Comments

Absolutely Fabulous Historical Fantasy – The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deception

by Mary E. Pearson (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co., Macmillan on 2014-07-08
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

5 Stars
In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

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.


My Thoughts:

The Kiss of Deception is one of those books that I had a hard time putting down. It’s also one of those novels that I wanted to last longer, even though it stopped at nearly 500 pages. While epic historical fantasy, especially in the young adult genre, isn’t something that I pick up all that often because it’s hard to do right, Mary E. Pearson has written a fantastic book one in The Remnant Chronicles series. This is epic fantasy done right, with beautiful settings come to life and realistic situations just tweaked enough to make everything magical.

Princess Lia has grown up independent and head strong, with three older brothers who were free to live their life as they wished. To make a political alliance with another country, the king has promised Lia to wed the prince of another country–sight unseen–and Lia isn’t happy with the situation. She’s so unhappy that she escapes along with her attendant Pauline to a small town far from the capital, settling down with Pauline’s aunt and working as barmaids in the local tavern/inn. But unbeknownst to Princess Lia, who is trying hard to remain anonymous, the Prince has gone after her, as well as an assassin sent by a neighboring territory of so-called Barbarians. The two men meet up outside the tavern, enter together, and compete for Lia’s attentions–all without Lia finding out who the men really are.

I loved Lia. She is such a strong, smart, independent, resourceful, and loyal woman. Certainly not what one would expect a typical royal to be, Lia enjoys working hard at the tavern, and she loves her attendant Pauline like family. Getting away from her father and mother, away from the micromanaging advisors that her father has in court is the best thing for her, and in the small town of Terravin, she’s able to really come into her own as a person. And it’s here that she falls for one of the handsome men that walk into the tavern together, not knowing his true identity.

While it may seem like there’s a love triangle here, Lia really only has eyes for one man. I spent the first 300 pages hoping that she had fallen for the prince, because Mary E. Pearson keeps you guessing as to the identity of which man is the assassin and which is the prince. But I didn’t really mind since these point of view switches from Lia to the small chapters from Kaden and Rafe were seemless and informative. And I was still wrong in my guess of who was who!

I give The Kiss of Deception a five out of five. With romance, political intrigue, warring factions, gypsies, a fun festival, and even an ancient prophecy that is seeming to come into play towards the end of the book, there’s a little bit of everything to enjoy here. Lia is a lively and fun main character, and she isn’t a shrinking violet waiting for someone to save her at any point in the book (which is good for the second half). The two potential love interests are well fleshed out and sympathetic, and I loved how you didn’t know who was who until much later in the book. I can’t wait for book two!



I’m a PhD chemist who loves sarcasm, music, and books-paranormal, mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and romance. Most of my free time is spent at the martial arts studio these days–whether practicing Combat Hapkido or reading books while watching my son’s Taekwondo classes, or even working up a sweat with Kickboxing for fun.

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24 Responses to “Absolutely Fabulous Historical Fantasy – The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson”

  1. Did you guys change the site around? It looks awesome!

    Anyway, I have to say that I’m just getting into epic fantasy. I started reading the Wheel of Time series. Besides LOTR, I haven’t really done much of the epic stuff. It’s piqued my interest. There’s something very alluring about the idea of falling into a different world and time for a lot of pages or books.

    At any rate, I’ll put this on my to-read epic fantasy list at your recommendation.
    Katie Cross recently posted..The Numbers of PublishingMy Profile

  2. LOVED this book!! I read it in one day because it was impossible to set aside.

    “But I didn’t really mind since these point of view switches from Lia to the small chapters from Kaden and Rafe were seemless and informative. And I was still wrong in my guess of who was who!” – Agreed! Multiple POV’s always worry me, but Pearson did a great job. And she also totally fooled me when it came to who was K & R!

    Fantastic review 🙂
    Lea @ YA Book Queen recently posted..Review: THE VANISHING SEASON by Jodi Lynn AndersonMy Profile

    • I’m glad that I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t guess which guy was which. In the beginning chapters, I actually went back and reread to see if I had just missed a name in there until I realized that the author was keeping it a secret. I kind of liked not knowing!

      I don’t know how you got through this in one day. LOL, my days of reading a 500 page book in one day are over. I just can’t do it anymore since I work and stare at computer screens all day now (because we’re a paperless environment). The eye strain is getting to me, so I was glad to read this one as a paper ARC. Even then, I was staying up late just to get a few more pages in and reading it over my lunch break.

      I’m glad that you loved The Kiss of Deception too!
      Heather recently posted..Absolutely Fabulous Historical Fantasy – The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. PearsonMy Profile

      • If I didn’t have other books that needed to be read, I’d be tempted to go back and reread – just to see what hints are dropped regarding K & R! I agree though, it was fun not being sure. It’s always nice when an author can keep you curious!

        Ha! I barely managed! I read on a Sunday, so my day was free, but I had to keep taking breaks to rest my eyes 😉

        Glad you enjoyed it too! The wait for book two is going to be torture!
        Lea @ YA Book Queen recently posted..Review: CHARM & STRANGE by Stephanie KuehnMy Profile

  3. While I’m not a fan of the triangle (yes, yes. Eyes for only one…but there are still two guys involved…), this one really has me intrigued. Now, why doesn’t the assassin kill her once he realizes she’s the one he’s supposed to kill? Is he already in love with her? Bad assassin! No feelings for the target! For shame.
    Mary @ BookSwarm recently posted..Summer TV Season: New ShowsMy Profile

    • The assassin doesn’t just kill her right away because the prince is around her constantly. He knows that Lia is the one he’s supposed to kill right off the bat, but he’s intrigued because she doesn’t act like a royal at all. She’s working in a tavern, willing to cook and clean and deal with rowdy soldiers, standing up for herself. The assassin just keeps putting off killing her because he wants to see what she’ll do next. I don’t think that he exactly loves her, but he’s definitely not what he seems.

      This book is so good. I can’t wait for you to read it too!
      Heather recently posted..Absolutely Fabulous Historical Fantasy – The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. PearsonMy Profile

  4. I bought a copy of this at ALA to have it signed because the bloggers that were in line with me told me it was an amazing book. I’m glad to see that you really loved it as well and now it must be pushed up on my reading pile.

    Thanks for the great review!
    Alexa recently posted..Reading Goals: July 2014My Profile

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