{Review Redux} THE KISS OF DECEPTION by Mary E. Pearson

Don't forget to also check out this fun interview I did with Mary E. Pearson!

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 featured on A Backwards Story on June 30, 2014.
With the third book coming out next month, I want to introduce new readers to this fantastic series!

“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 then the color of my eyes.” 


THE KISS OF DECEPTION is already one of my favorite fantasy novels of the year (2014...and even now, upon re-reading in 2016, I still love this series very, very much!). 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...you won't regret it!

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG ( kissing )
Language: --PG
Violence: PG13+ ( Lia is attacked by a bounty hunter; she is also captured later on. There is also a scene with non-graphic battle description. )
Other:  --
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I really love it!

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. Figures 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.