Happy Book Day to THE HEART OF BETRAYAL and Reviewing THE KISS OF DECEPTION by Mary E. Pearson!

Today is so exciting!

Last year, one of my FAVORITE books of the entire YEAR was THE KISS OF DECEPTION by Mary E. Pearson.

Today, the long-anticipated sequel, THE HEART OF BETRAYAL, comes out!!!!

I was lucky enough to read this one early and let me tell you, it's worth the wait. NOW the wait to next year's finale will be killer.

I can't wait to share my review of this book with you on tour this month! For now, I hope you'll settle for a re-post of last year's review, since I know that many of you are new to this series.

...If you love high fantasy, you're missing out on something amazing if you haven't checked out The Remnant Chronicles!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

    TODAY WAS THE DAY A THOUSAND dreams would die and a single dream would be born.
    The wind knew. It was the first of June, but cold gusts bit at the hilltop citadelle as fiercely as deepest winter, shaking the windows with curses and winding through drafty halls with warning whispers. There was no escaping what was to come.
    For good or bad, the hours were closing in. I closed my eyes against the thought, knowing that soon the day would cleave in two, forever creating the before and after of my life, and it would happen in one swift act that I could no more alter than the color of my eyes.
    I pushed away from the window, fogged with my own breath, and left the endless hills of Morrighan to their own worries. It was time for me to meet my day.

This review was first posted at A Backwards Story on June 30, 2014.

THE KISS OF DECEPTION is already one of my favorite fantasy novels of the year. The world-building is spot-on and the book is incredibly hard to put down once you sink into it. Let's put it this way: Remember how I went through a three-week book slump in March? I read nine books before I got out of it. NINE. THE KISS OF DECEPTION put me into a slump.  (Or maybe it would have happened regardless... But let's blame Mary E. Pearson anyway, mmkay?)

It's very, very hard to discuss this book without spoilers. It's better for you to go into it as blind as possible. But basically,  there is a princess named Lia, a First Daughter, who is betrothed to a prince she's never met. She doesn't want to marry him, even though it would bring their kingdoms together and make both less vulnerable.  She runs away, but the jilted prince goes after her. So does an assassin determined to prevent the two kingdoms from merging. Lia meets both on her travels, but thinks the two men are nothing more than a traveling tradesman and fisherman. She has no clue what danger she's in... or even who she's falling in love with...

I love the double-blind element that Pearson creates. We as readers know what Lia knows. There's so much mystery, intrigue, and, yes, deception at stake.  I was a fan of the world-building from the very beginning, when Lia has her wedding kavah painted onto her back. I wanted to know so much about Lia and her world. I was a big fan of the way the assassin and the prince challenged my brain, too. I already have theories about certain things,  and after that ending...! Well. 2015 can't come soon enough!

I know my lack of explanation and summary make this book sound like less than the amazing story it is.  Do yourself a favor and buy it blind. If you can afford it, buy it next week upon release and help this deserving title make the New York Times Bestsellers List! 

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

I read this book months ago before I had this system in place and don't remember enough to rate it, but I don't think it was too bad. ^^;;;
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I love it! I can't wait to see this beauty in person. I have a feeling it will be very shiny! 

I love the starburst effect around the title creating a unified series image that will be easily identifiable.

The background is great to look at, too. Men on the horizon, birds in the air,  a stormy sky...

I would pick this up blind at the bookstore to see what it was about! 
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Mary E. Pearson
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt // Macmillan
Received: For Review

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.