Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson


August 18, 2014 by mmileti

kiss of deception

          Despite the eclectic mix of fantasy elements in this novel, I found it to be a relatively average YA fantasy. The Kiss of Deception is the first novel in the new series from Pearson called the Remnant Chronicles. It is a perfect story for readers that are new to the fantasy genre, and a great crossover novel for readers that have previously only read books in the young adult genre, but for long time fans of fantasy the novel may seem full of clichés and the major plot points stilted.   It is still an entertaining story, but I did not find myself in love with the plot or any of the characters.

           The Kiss of Deception follows the story of seventeen-year-old Princes Lia. She is the oldest daughter to the King of Morrighan, a kingdom that sticks strongly to its traditions and tales of the world as it once was. When Lia finds herself engaged to a man she has never met in order to secure a political alliance, she and her best friend arrange to flee on her wedding day. This act has serious implications for her country, and soon her father’s bounty hunters, her own betrothed, and even an assassin from a neighboring nation are sent to find her. Lia tries to find a simple life among the common folk in a small village, but her past is bound to catch up with her soon, and when it does she may find herself facing an assassin with a contract on her life, unlocking perilous secrets, and possibly even falling in love.

            One of the best qualities of this novel is Lia’s growth as a character throughout the story. She changes from a spoiled unlikable protagonist who would rather have her own country go to war than get married to a man sight unseen, to a young woman who begins to learn from her own mistakes and truly starts the journey to adulthood. Though I did not particularly like Lia as a character, I admired Pearson’s ability to write a character that altered and grew throughout the story.

            This novel also contains an interesting twist on the love triangle (which is a commonly clichéd feature), so if you happen to like a fantasy with a plot that has a heavy romance element, this book will definitely intrigue you. Unfortunately, I do not enjoy a book as much when the romance element starts to overwhelm the plot of a story, but I still enjoyed some of the other elements of this story’s plot. I was particularly engaged by the mystery of Lia’s world and its history, and I will most likely read the next novel in the series in hope that Pearson will add more world building and magic components.

            It is probably obvious to you by now that I have very mixed feelings about this novel, but many of my problems with the story are personal preference issues. However, there were some structural issues with the plot that made the story seem poorly written, and hopefully Pearson will absolve these problems in future novels. The biggest issue I had was the fact that the majority of the plot’s events seemed placed out of convenience for the writer rather than the sake of the story. My favorite novels are those where the journey is just as exciting and revealing as the destination, but in this book most of the events seemed too convenient. Things seem to happen to Lia and the other point of view characters too easily, and with little explanation to how or why the characters had ended up in a certain situation. I also would have liked to see a little more complexity in the plot, especially at the novel’s beginning.

            Overall, I thought that this was a decent YA fantasy, but I would definitely recommend it to readers that are new to the fantasy genre or that do not mind a story that is filled with common fantasy tropes. There were some intriguing original elements in the novel that would be especially entertaining to readers that enjoy books in the YA genre, but I would not recommend this story to anyone looking for a challenging or genre defying read.

             My rating: 6/10.

             I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley and the publisher in return for an honest review.

2 thoughts on “Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

  1. Great review, this has been on my reading list for a while and I still want to read it, but I’ll keep in mind going in that it won’t be anything “new”. Which is fine, it’s what I expect from most YA anyway, anything different is just gravy 🙂 And I like the idea of a heroine that grows from an unlikeable protagonist to someone I can cheer for.

    • mmileti says:

      I’m really glad you liked the review, and that you are planning on reading the book! I’ve been reading so many genre defying novels lately that this one seemed a bit average in comparison, but it is still a good novel, and I’m sure if I had read it at a different time I would have enjoyed it more.

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If you would like to submit a book for review, or you have any questions about Avid Reviews, you can contact me by email: mrmileti(at)gmail(dot)com

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