Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers on July 8th, 2014
Genres: fantasy, young adult
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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.
So far, it’s been a rather disappointing reading year for me. I think I’ve only given two books a five star rating, and even the fours have been sparse. The majority of books I’ve gotten through this year have been three star books, which is pretty much an average rating for me, meaning acceptable but not one I enjoyed as much as I could have. That all changed when I picked up Kiss of Deception.
Look, I know I am late reading this. I know I fail as a reviewer since I am way behind on my ARCs. But I have to praise this book from the high heavens. Why? Because it is loaded with tropes and I didn’t even notice. That’s because they are done remarkably well. And like I always say, in the hands of a skilled writer, almost any trope can be enjoyable!
Love triangle? Check. Instalove? Pretty close check. Girl who is the chosen one and must save her world? CHECCCKKK. By all accounts, I should have hated Kiss of Deception. But that is simply not the case. In fact, this is one of my favorite books of the year. I don’t want to say THE favorite because I think I have a contemporary in mind for that, but it is DEFINITELY my favorite fantasy novel.
What makes this book so great? Two things I can think of off the top of my head. The characters and the world-building. As far as the world-building goes, there are a lot of things we don’t know about this fantasy world, but what I do know I am fascinated by. And I never felt that I didn’t know enough to enjoy the book, like I do with other novels.
The characters ended up being some of my favorites that I’ve read this year. It took a while for me to warm to them, but by the halfway point, I was really connected. I loved Rafe and Pauline the most, neither of which are the protagonist. Though I still really liked her too. By the end of the book she ended up being a bad-ass. She never was weak to begin with though. She started out pretty strong and developed into a powerful, determined female which we all know I love. In fact, I was so blown away by her character that I actually wonder what the author is going to choose to do with her in the next book. I mean, how far can we go?
The romance(s) were a lot of fun. I say plural because there is sort of a love triangle–at least it starts out that way. I don’t want to spoil anything so you will just have to see what I mean. But then the author throws us for a loop with the writing and the foreshadowing and the mystery POVs and I loved it. I gather from the reviews that some readers didn’t, and to be quite honest, I don’t understand that at all. I found the author’s deception to be brilliant, if not a bit predictable because I saw it coming and guessed it ahead of time. AGHHHH. I wish I could spoil it but I cannot.
At first I thought the writing was a bit too surface with too much telling, but I ended up loving it. I do prefer my writing a little on the meatier side–more vivid imagery and descriptions to beef up my visuals, and that’s about the only thing I can truly critique here. And I guess I could knock off a half star for that, so I probably will. But even so, this is by FAR one of the best books I have read this year. It’s a page turner, it’s exciting (even though it takes a bit to get going), and I cannot wait until I can get my hands on the second book because that ending left me hanging in a bad way. It was fairly cliff hangery, but it did leave me satisfied in a way. Basically, it stopped at a good point. But I want the next book ASAP and I definitely will NOT wait this long to read the sequel if I am lucky enough to get an ARC.
This book covers the “Sky on Cover” square. I am doing so terrible at summer bingo, omg. I blame Big Brother. But since it is pretty much the worst season ever, I am reading more now. I have one month to catch up.