Series: The Remnant Chronicles (Book 1)
Publisher: Square Fish
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.
Review: 3.5 Stars
The Kiss of Deception was a mixed bag for me. However it began to redeem itself after the middle portion and had a great ending.
The novel opens with Princess Lia being prepped for a wedding she has no intention of taking part in. I enjoyed the narrative, I could visualize and feel a part of the setting easily from the start and this lasted through to the end of the book. After successfully escaping her homeland and wedding, Lia settles down anonymously in a small village working in a pub ... and so commences the very long middle of the novel, which is almost devoid of action. Aside from the drag in the middle one of my main issues with the story was Lia herself. Personally I embrace the fact that monarchs are not like everyone else, they have duties that require them to do things the rest of us may have more of a right to fuss about. Lia doesn’t seem to share this sentiment.
My favorite YA heroines tend to be those I wouldn’t automatically know was a teenager from the text without their age being given. If I am supposed to take this young person seriously as a force to be reckoned with then an above-average level of maturity goes a long way to achieving that. Lia didn’t have it … however things did get better as I waded out of the middle portion into the danger and action, as did Lia.
One thing I thought was cool (but may frustrate others) involved the two men who pursue Lia to the seaside town she is hiding in, one of them the assassin sent to kill her and the other her jilted fiancee, the Prince of Dalbrek. There are two POV’s other than Lia’s and they go to these two men -however you will need to read past the first half before you know which one is which. Some of their POV chapters are titled “The Assassin” or “The Prince” while others are titled by the names they gave Lia “Kaden” and “Rafe” but you can’t tell which one is which for quite some time. At first I was confused thinking I missed something while reading and went back to figure out why I didn’t know who was who. Finally I realized I wasn’t supposed to. *blush*
I did end up thinking this was fun and clever, but I can also see how some may find the mystery aggravating.
What did I love? The ending! The last chapter completely hooked me into wanting to read the second book in the series. I’ve read a couple YA series where the initial book was just okay but then things really took off in the second and I am hopeful this will prove to be true here. Things are left off in such a way that you can expect a completely different story with different themes and character dynamics. If you love YA fantasy I’d definitely recommend this one despite my issues with the main character … you may not share them and this book has received high reviews in general. Most of all it left off in such a way that I continue to feel invested. Heart of Betrayal (Book 2) will be released in July so it’s a good time to jump in without having to wait long for the story to continue. That said this is a trilogy and won’t be completed until next year.