Friday, September 26, 2014

Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Title: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Published: July 8th, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt - macmillan
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Synopsis: 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.
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.
"The Kiss of Deception "is the first book in Mary E. Pearson's Remnant Chronicles.

One of my favourite female protagonists and brilliant writing execution
The Kiss of Deception is a unique take on the "prince swoops the princess of her feet" tale.

  • Princess runs away from marriage with said prince
  • Prince goes after the Princess but an assassin also goes after the Princess
  • The princess does not know that she is in the company of aforementioned Prince & Assassin
  • and the reader does not know who is the Prince and who is the assassin!
This book was an interesting and exciting reading experience, as we try to guess which among the two men could be the Prince and the Assassin. I'm still in awe of how Mary Pearson managed to trick me. She pulled of the "deception" very well I must say. Ms Pearson maintained the balance between revealing and withholding information perfectly which made me keep turning the pages.

Right away I have to say that if you're absolutely wary of love triangles then perhaps you'll hate every second of this. But if you're the rational thinking type and can give it a chance, I'll let you know that the love-triangle isn't very triangle-ish tbh. The princess very clearly feels for one and stays true to her feelings through the entirety of the book. But I do know that this supposed love triangle has a lot of political implications which I'm quite excited for in the sequel. Additionally, both the boys are very complex which makes it worthwhile to keep reading because they're not just primarily there for the sake of "love interest". Both the Prince and the Assassin are very much integral to the fantasy and mystery aspects Mary Pearson has set up which I appreciate.

Most importantly, I absolutely loved Princess Arabella Celestine Idris Jezelia (yes, even more than I loved her name.) She starts the book off as a rebellious teenager but she's not entirely selfish. There's a sense of wide-eyed wonderment to her which I adored since the beginning and it was refreshing to see that for once in YA female character. 
Because I don't know about you, but I'm tired of female characters only being labelled as strong  if they're impulsive, emotionless or physically strong. Lia was feminine and admirable and there was a subtlety about her strength and personality. 
Getting back to the point, Lia doesn't lose her sharp tongue or rebelliousness even when she is put in a situation much more dangerous than a princess would ever be used to. She's forced to face some incredibly tough situations but she stays restrained and focused which I admired a lot. 

In conclusion, if you don't appreciate the poetic writing and the slow but steady buildup of the fantasy elements, I'm sure you'll miss half the point of this book to be quite honest. There's very subtle sprinkling of hints throughout the Song of Venda and all the other information shared from lands of the three kingdoms. The fantastical elements don't get established till the later half of the book but when they do, I got chills. 

I am so so so excited for the sequel. I need it in my life. 

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