The Kiss of Deception

The Kiss of Deception

Book - 2014
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"On the morning of her wedding, Princess Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, 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. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets--even as she finds herself falling in love"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2014.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780805099232
Branch Call Number: PEA Y
Characteristics: 489 pages ; 22 cm


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Aug 11, 2019

Princess Lia has her whole life planned out against her wishes. She never quite felt like she belonged as a princess or a first daughter, not being extremely feminine or having the power of sight all first daughters were supposed to have. When her parents marry her off to a distant kingdom and a man she’s never met before to cover up her lack of special power, Lia flees alongside her most trusted maid. They escape to a beautiful port village and start a new life as normal people who are free from the pressures of royalty. There, she meets two intriguing and handsome men and starts trusting them and even loving one of them. However, unbeknownst to her, both know her true identity and both are on a mission involving Lia. I really loved this novel since it incorporated and mixed fantasy, romance and adventure together flawlessly. The characters are all really unique and interesting, while the plot progressed at a nice pace. Additionally, there were many twists that kept me engaged. I am excited to read the next book in this series and would definitely recommend it. Rating: 5/5. @Iron_Rose of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

PimaLib_ChristineR Feb 19, 2019

I'm glad I gave this book a chance, and if you're a fan of YA fantasy, I think you'll find something to like. So Pearson starts off with a gimmick: Lia is a princess on the run from her obligations. Working as a barmaid in a little backwater village she meets Rafe and Kaden. The two men don't know each other, but both work to get themselves into Lia's good graces over several weeks. The catch is that one is an assassin sent to kill her and the other is the prince she was supposed to marry. Pearson alternates chapters where we hear from each of the men, known only as "the assassin" or "the prince" and Pearson keeps us guessing as to who is whom.

I'll be honest here: I didn't like the gimmick. I want to get to know and care about the characters. Lia is a princess willing to sacrifice her country to war to be free of a marriage. NOT because she's averse to getting married so much as that he may be... old and/or ugly! Gasp! (I don't think anyone will be surprised that both the prince and assassin are young and hot). So I wasn't caring for her too much, and we don't really find out anything about the two men because the author is playing games. In fact, I was incredulous that two men could room together for a couple of months and still know absolutely nothing about the other, other than "I don't think that guy is what he seems." And, like Throne of Glass, we have an assassin who doesn't seem able to do his job. So, throwing in unlikable and unknowable characters, an awful title and awful cover, why is this worth reading?

Pearson saves the novel by giving up the masquerade. Once the characters are revealed several things happen. First is that Lia is forced to grow up through a series of events. Pearson shows her confusion and then acceptance that the world is more than just her, and is even more than what she learned in a palace. She gets a sharp tongue and a tough spirit. And by moving the story beyond one little town, Pearson is able to bring in political intrigue and effective world building. By the end, I was hooked and looking forward to the next installment, Regency romance cover or no.

Jan 18, 2019

Even though I own this in hardcover, I decided to listen to the audiobook, because I felt I'd get through it faster that way. Probably not a good idea in hindsight, because of the one moment of narrative 'twist' that happens (and with an audiobook, you can't flip back several chapters in disbelief, trying to figure out how the author fooled you. I also was stressed during this time, which always colors my impression of books

Overall, this book was.....ok. Just ok. The world building was the highlight- the author makes each culture feel fully fleshed out, even though we have the bias of the story taking place within only one country. For me, the characters just weren't interesting enough to really be engaging, so I was more of a passive observer of this tale. There's the love triangle aspect (which had me cringing by its very nature, as well as the way it was quasi-resolved- if love triangles don't drive you nuts, it probably won't be an issue for you).

I wish this one had lived up the hype, but it wasn't poorly written or anything. Just lackluster, for me.

DPLjosie Nov 29, 2018

Good fantasy novel, but what makes this book stand out: the mystery of who is our prince, and who is our assassin. You can figure it out if you pay attention, but if you're skimming it might be a mystery up 'til the end.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Oct 16, 2018

Sweetly romantic fantasy...perfect for fans of Sarah Maas

happyreader64 Jul 08, 2018

Princess Jezelia (Lia) is the first daughter of Morrigan. A Kingdom with rich tradition. Jezelia steals documents from the Chancellor and runs away from a arranged marriage. She begins a new life in another distant community when two mysterious strangers show up.
She has to sort out lies and deceptions. And starts to fall in love.
This book was more than I expected. The author captures and draws the reader into this fantasy universe and makes the characters all unique and real.
I would recommend this first book and the other two to a young adult or adult who would like a fantastic fantasy with believable characters, extensive plot and that has mild content.
In addition the audio is exceptional.
I will be reading more of Mary E. Pearson’s books.

MelifluousView Jan 19, 2018

I enjoyed Lia and her adventures as a regular person. And despite her smart attempts to disguise her disappearance, I liked that there were a few people that did track her down. Pearson's chapter structure which hides which of the young men is the assassin and which is the prince made quite an impression on me. Just like life, we don't know people's motives just by looking.

bibliosara Jan 02, 2018

I started reading this novel in late January 2017. I finished the (lengthy) trilogy by late March. Even for me, a fast reader, this was a pretty big deal. Pearson's captivating break out series is worth every minute.

Pearson takes the 'princess with an arranged marriage running away' trope and spins it on its head. Although The Kiss of Deception starts out a little slow, its worth pushing through. The intensity of the plot builds quickly after about the first third. You'll find yourself not knowing who to root for. The character growth is amazingly well done, not just for the main character, but for the supporting ones as well. Adventure, fantasy, romance (and one of the most well-done love triangles I've read), and fantastic world-building combine to create one of the best YA fantasy trilogies of the past few years.

The plot will leave you guessing, and the characters will make you love them, hate them, and want to jump into the story with them. Highly recommended for anyone ages 13+!

Dec 04, 2017

Really good book-but I have to admit that I almost quit before getting to the good stuff. For anyone considering reading-just hang in there and finish the book, it will get better.

Oct 15, 2017

I didn't expect this to be such a good book. One would think this is those particular YA book with young romance and royal fantasy. But this book is nothing close to that. Lia, the heroine, is such a strong and self-resilient character. The character building is so good, world building is really fantasized and dark. There are magic, royal, spiritual, ancients and different cultures involved. Such an interesting YA fantasy. Can't wait to see the sequal.

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Add Age Suitability
Dec 04, 2017

KyraJR thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

BooksHoldUnsaidSecrets Sep 13, 2014

BooksHoldUnsaidSecrets thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Jul 17, 2016

“If I could only reach out and touch the stars, I would know everything. I would understand.”

Jun 21, 2015

Ve Feray Daclara au Gaudrel


Add a Summary
Oct 10, 2017

Princess Lia flees her home land to escape a wedding that hasn't been approved by the bride herself. With the help of good friends and determination, Lia will make a new name for herself, one way or another, despite being thrown into a raging war outside and in herself. And who knows? She might even find love along the way.


Add Notices
Dec 04, 2017

Coarse Language: Some swearing when characters are angry.

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