THE KISS OF DECEPTION is the first book in The Remnant Chronicles written by the lovely Mary E. Pearson. It was published last year and quickly became book readers' favourite.
"Full of lush writing and rich, complex characters, The Kiss of Deception is a deeply satisfying, intricately plotted fantasy where no one - no one - is quite what they seem. " ROBIN LAFEVERS
"This is the kind of story I love - a heart-pounding tale of magic and murder, betrayal and romance set in a richly imagined fantasy landscape." CINDA WILLIAMS CHIMA
I, myself, have discovered this book while browsing through Amazon Book Department online. The first thing which caught my attention was the cover. It was beautifully mesmerising. And it has been catalogued and recommended for fans of Throne of Glass series, so of course I couldn't resist. I had to have it.
The Kiss of Deception tells a story of Princess Arabella Celestine Idris Jezelia, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan. But we all call her the name she prefers LIA. Lia flees her home on her wedding day to the Prince of Dalbreck. As you can imagine, she isn't a big fan of arranged marriage when she never had the opportunity to meet her future husband. She resists the old tradition and wants to leave her royal life behind. Her and Pauline, her faithful maid, run away to the town of their dreams and new beginnings Terravin. Her Lia and Pauline start to live their dream simple lives where they aren't the princess and the maid. They are two normal girls with fresh start. But of course, not everyone is happy about Lia's escape. There are her parents, who post a look-out with prize, an assassin who's duty is to kill like to help the Kingdom of Venda and The left-behind Prince who is curios about the princess who was more brave than him. Will Lia find her peaceful life she was looking forward to? Or will she have to stay up to her escape and face her punishment? Or is there more to her destiny that Lia first anticipated?
Let's get over the formalities first. The edition. Hardback. 486 pages divided into 72 chapters. The author also included the lyrics of Songs from Venda and the extractions from The Last Testaments of Gaudrel which make the story more magical and intriguing. There is a beautiful picture on the front cover. A girl standing in the middle of meadow. The title is written in beautiful silver calligraphy. Such a beautiful edition. My heart and skin tingles when I'm looking at it. And you know that you are in long haul with a book or a story if a map of the fantastical country is printing on the insides of the book.
The story itself is written from 3 points of view. Lia's - who is the main story-teller. The prince and The assassin. Now, here is where the tricky, but very clever part comes in. At the beginning, we don't know who is who. We only know the names - Kaden & Rafe. They both took different identities when they arrived in Terravin so we don't know who is The Prince and who is The Assassin until 60% into the book. And this makes you want to read the book even more.
But the best thing about this book is the story itself. Oh my world!! This book took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting to like the story this much. But Ms Pearson managed to describe a wonderful fantasy world full of magic and adventure. Love and hate. Piece and war. I was more and more mesmerised as I read on. The talented author took her time and really thought this story through. There was the background history, the current state of affairs and the usual struggle with responsibility and duty. It reminded me so much of Throne of Glass series!!
And I fell under its charm. I just couldn't put it down. It was a thrilling ride. Exciting. Heart-shattering. Adventurous. Wonderful. Magical.. It was packed with twists and turns I couldn't see coming. An absolute perfection! And as you read on, you got more and more caught into the story. I love how the points of view and story-telling changes between the three main characters. I have enjoy the little attachments of lyrics of songs and stories from The Last Testament. It made so much more sense as you kept on reading.
And the characters? Well Lia is must have become my favourite female character. She is strong, kind, witty, full of compassion and love. And there is this fierceness about her spirit you just cannot help but admire. The Prince ( I won't mention the name not the spoil half of the fun for you) is strong, manly, kind and falls in love with Lia without even realising it. And The Assassin ... well he is one of the most intriguing characters. There is more to him that he lets on. I sense a really interesting history in his past. And of course, I cannot forget to mention the lovely, always faithful and positive Pauline. The best girlfriend every girl needs. The one who goes to the ends of the world with you. I cannot wait to find out more. I need to know more.
I have been having serious withdrawals since finishing the book. All I do is google pictures, reviews, tumblr posts.. It has taken over my life. I have already pre-order the second instalment in this trilogy - THE HEART OF BETRAYAL, which is due to be released July 7th 2015. I am counting down the days.
So well done Ms Pearson!! Your story and its brilliant writing got under my skin and won't let go. And I couldn't be more happier about it.