ARC Review – The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

16429619Title:  The Kiss of Deception

Author: Mary E. Pearson

Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: 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.

Huge thank you to Henry Holt Books for Young Readers and Netgalley for this ARC!

River’s Review:

This book took me FOREVER to read. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it. Overall I think this was a case of ‘it’s not you, it’s me’. I don’t think I’m that big of a fantasy fan anymore (it’s all I used to read when I was younger), and I wasn’t really in the mood for fantasy when I picked this up. Between packing for my big move and watching How I Met Your Mother this just took me WAY too long to get into and get through.

Overall it was good. The writing is gorgeous, the characters are interesting, the world is vast. I did want A LOT more world building though. There’s A LOT going on, there are many regions, and a bajillion traditions. But I never really understood where it all came from. There’s hints here and there and I’m leaning towards this is a fantasy-dystopian world? There’s a lot of mention of ancient people, cities, and ‘relics’. I’m torn between these just being a part of the fantasy world or… are they remnants of NOW? I hope this is answered in the next book.

For all the crying over the “love triangle” it was pretty non-existent. I felt that it was more both guys were interested in Lia, but it was very clear which one she cared about the most.

And I was a bit disappointed over who was the prince and who was the assassin. I mean, I shouldn’t be because that means that the guy that I liked isn’t an assassin but… it would have been so much more interesting if he had been!

I don’t know guys, I just wasn’t in the mood for this. But if you love fantasy you’ll REALLY enjoy this one.

Sam’s Review:

This is going to be a shortish review, because a lot of what I’m thinking, my co-blogger, River said better than I could. Kiss of Deception has some of the dullest pacing I’ve read in a book in a long time. It takes its dear sweet time to get motivated in telling its story, there’s random amount of info-dumping, and it wasn’t always engaging. In fact, it was downright boring at times.

However, when the book hit its stride, it was interesting, though I didn’t understand all the smirking males or the point of the love triangle in this story. It was pointless, but inoffensive compared to others I’ve read about. Despite the story being dull at times, the prose was beautiful and eye-catching, There are passages where I just found myself rereading them because the writing was so pretty. The characters were a little hit-or-miss, but I think it’s because the book attempts to over-develop them as opposed to under.

Kiss of Deception is not a bad book at all, it just needs the right reader to sync with. I love fantasy and I did think the world Pearson presented was certainly an interesting one, but it needed more to keep my attention and capture my desire.


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