Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review: THE KISS OF DECEPTION by Mary E. Pearson

Title: The Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publication date: July 15, 2014
Publisher: Macmillan
Source: an e-galley provided by the publisher for an honest review

In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

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.

While the characters are great and the plot picks up, the writing is what stands out. Pearson is a fabulous narrator, which I think is sometimes overlooked in fantasy. The plot is a necessity, but Pearson's writing stood out for me. Lia is the main narrator, but it does bounce to the "prince's" and assassin's" POVs occasionally in the beginning. After Lia and her maid Paulina escape Lia's future marriage, running away to a far-off inn, the assassin and prince follow. There, we don't know who is who and who Lia is exactly referring to. All of this could completely bomb if the writer doesn't pull off the writing. But Pearson basically flipped her hair like Beyonce and blew me away with her writing.

However, at first, I worried about everything. The inn setting felt a little too dragged out. I was too confused with the boys (which I see now is FULLY intentional). I was just feeling iffy about it all, and unfortunately that's a side effect of reading a hyped book. On the flip side, there's a reason it was hyped.

We hit the TWIST and basically...

 Then this definitely happened...

I'm still kicking myself over how gullible I was. You see, I had it all figured out. I guessed and felt right and then Pearson TRICKED me. She completely deceived me, when I thought the only deception going on was between Lia and the boys does this mean Pearson kissed me in an authorly way? So I believed her and BAM, knocked down.

After that, everything picked up and went full force. All these spoilery things that I can't mention, but I'm dying to, believe me. Political strife and personal anguish happens as well as longing and hatred. Once we got over one twist, trauma, or problem, we were almost instantly introduced to another, but in a good way. Unlike other authors who will blatantly place conflict in a plot to force it to be interesting, Pearson does it with ease, making it feel natural.

I had people warn me about the non-love triangle, but despite their warnings, I was still super nervous while reading. From the very beginning, I wondered how it would play out until Lia clearly wanted one guy more. Then the TWIST happened and it was essentially cemented. Then the fun begins and I had a nagging feeling that Lia would cave. It left off with her still only wanting one guy, but I can see a love triangle playing into the mix in the sequel. I really hope that won't happen, but I'll try to mentally prepare myself anyways.

If it does happen, I might even forgive it if I could just get my hands on the sequel now. I liked this book that much.

Verdict: A twisty fantasy with feels and encore-worthy author moves. Bravo, Pearson.


  1. I'm glad you really liked the writing :) Haha! Nick told me that she was so cunfused with the guys as well, I can't wait to see what I'll think of it all :D Oh, so it's a little angsty? Hmm, I can deal when there's character growth and a great plot. I can't wait to read this one and I'm glad you enjoyed this so much, Summer! :)

  2. I've seen another review of this book, and thought it was interesting, but now I'll definitely have to try it! I really like controversial books like this, the ones that confuse you, and I'm glad it was really good.

  3. I think this book sounds just like my sort of read Sunny, I was a little wary too when I first heard about the love triangle, but the twists and tricks that you've mention, can make me overlook that aspect completely and make me want to dive into this book right away! Gorgeous review as always!

    1. And the great part is that there actually isn't a love triangle, but I personally think there's a "yet" added to it ;)

  4. If the love triangle shows up in the second book, I'm done. The last part of this book is SO GOOD. As is the beginning. I really wish that long middle part had lived up to the rest.

  5. The only person I know who read this and didn't fall prey to the author's little deception is April. And I still don't know how she did it because once I got to the twist, I went back and re-read/skimmed up to that point and still think that no matter what, I would have come to that same conclusion. So amazing. Not often I get tripped up while reading a book, so I bow down to her fantastic writing skills. :) I don't care about the triangle so much, if it really exists. I just want MOOOOOOORRRRREEEEE. =D

  6. I may have to wait until the sequel comes out to make sure there's no love triangle in play here. :(

  7. Noooooooo don't give into a love triangle win the sequel. I agree that the second half with the big reveal and on are the strongest in the book. I loved all the political questions. But I'm very nervous about a triangle and won't be able to continue if it happens. Crossing my fingers it doesn't!

  8. I've heard you raving about this title before, but now you really have my interest. I love the sound of the twists, and while the concept itself doesn't grab me, your description of how the author pulls it off definitely does. I adore author trickery!