ARC Review: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson


Title: The Kiss of Deception
Author:  Mary E. Pearson
Publisher/Year:  Henry Holt and Co 7/8/14
Length:  339 Pages
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1


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.

My thoughts

I wasn’t sure what i was getting myself into with this story – just that it sounded interesting and very different from what i’ve been reading lately.  I’ve been a sucker for books like this before, YA but a bit of fantasy – and if you remember the Graceling series – this is kind of where i was going.

So in this story – we are united and introduced to our leading lady Lia – on the day of her arranged marriage – one that she’s not overly excited about.  She’s getting the traditional Henna tattoo on her back and sorting through things in her head about what’s to come.  If she’s going to be stuck in this marriage to someone she’s never met or if there’s something different out there for her.

Turns out  that she’s decided that she wants more – and she flees – with her aide and they run for a village far far away that Pauline her aide was born in.  They spend several weeks there, working and hiding out – all while they get to know the folks in the village – along with 2 strangers that have arrived – separately but seemed linked in a way.  These 2 become our leading men – Kaden and Rafe – one that’s an assassin that’s been sent to kill Lia and one that’s the prince that she fled from.

What i liked about this book is the style of writing – i’m sure it was intention but each chapter is from someone different’s POV and you’re never entirely sure who is who until the latter 1/2 of the book.  We get names at the headers of some, and then titles like Prince or Assassin on others.  I kept trying to work through things in my mind to resolve which was which.

The undertone of this story is that there’s a history that first daughters are gifted in the sense that they can see visions or hear things that was made to save civilization after all was destroyed.  there’s a fierce war going on between where The princess and prince came from and where the assassin came from – all because of things that we don’t yet know, but we do know that the gift that Lia is supposed to have is feared.

Throughout this story – she thinks that she doesn’t have the gift – and it’s not until she meets some nomads who tell her otherwise, and she realizes that her tattoo isn’t coming off and that there’s more to it than she believed.  She’s also managed to translate some texts that she stole from home that seem to be very valuable that she begins to think that there’s more to her life than what she knows.

The other bit to this story is what’s not necessarily the point – but what i got out of it anyway.  we get a coming of age story – of a princess who’s lived the life that her family expects – yet she chooses for herself the path that she wants and gains her own strength.  That’s something that we get a lot in stories like this – in the YA genre – but it’s still important none the less.  the other bit is that we see a lot of internal conflict of our leading men – they know what’s right and wrong – but is love or loyalty more important?

That’s kind of where we are left off at the end of this first installment.  no one is safe – and you don’t know yet who’s able to protect whom and who even wants to.  I like that we see a happy reunion of sorts – but i don’t know if it will be short lived or if someone will come to their rescue.

So i guess it means now that i’ll have to wait until 2015 to read the next installment unless our friends at Netgalley bestow the 2nd ARC to me as well.  enjoy!