The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1) by Mary E. Pearson
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on July 8th 2014
A princess must find her place in a reborn world.
She flees on her wedding day.
She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.
She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.
She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.
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.
Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.
This is actually the second time I’ve read Kiss of Deception. I first read it back in 2014, and except for remembering that I LOVED it, I didn’t remember much else. When I saw my blogger buddy, Ashley (Twitter: @nosegraze) reading it I decided I finally wanted to finish the whole series, starting with a re-read of book one.
I love the world in Kiss of Deception because it’s creative and complex. The kingdoms of Morrighan and Dalbrek are said to be the honorable “good guys” and the kingdom of Venda the “bad” barbarians. Early on I sensed that things weren’t that black and white, and of course, so does princess Lia.
I find the religion in this series to be fascinating. Venda and the other kingdoms each have their own versions of the Remnant Chronicles, a set of holy books, because the original text was lost throughout the ages. Each kingdom believes that they reign supreme because of their own favorable versions of the text.
Lia is such a great character! She’s headstrong, brave, and doesn’t give up. People think she has it all, because she’s a princess, but that’s so far from the truth. Lia’s just a ‘soldier’ in her father’s army, a pawn to be wielded in whatever way the king deems fit. When she escapes to Terravin with her handmaid, and friend, Pauline, she sheds all the shackles of her previous life. She surprises everyone, including herself, with her willingness to live a simple life as a tavern maid. Even though Lia’s at a disadvantage because of her cushy upbringing, she still tackles any task, waiting on rude soldiers, wringing out laundry, scrubbing dishes. She never once complains because she’s grateful for the chance to live a free life of self-made choices and endless possibilities.
Rafe and Kaden are two extremely different and extremely attractive guys who are both harboring major secrets. Lia’s unaware of course that one’s an assassin sent to kill her, and one’s a scorned prince who is both intrigued and irritated that she backed out of their arranged marriage. I loved how the author didn’t reveal who was the assassin and who was the prince until the end. I had my suspicions and I was wrong! I’m pretty sure I was wrong the first time I read this book as well.
I’m so glad I re-read this book, and now I’m going to read books two and three. They’re huge, just about 500 hundred pages, and beautifully written, so I won’t be rushing through them. There’s a lot of details and inner dialogue to be savored, and it makes these books that much more sweeter.