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.
I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I am in no way compensated for my opinions.
I really, really enjoyed this book. Let’s break it down.
The first awesome thing about The Kiss of Deception is that it’s successfully written from three different points of view (and at one point, four points of view). Also, it’s in first person, but for once, it was necessary for it to be this way.
The story starts out with Princess Lia on her wedding day. She marrying a prince she’s never met to forge an alliance between two kingdoms. Lia, however, has other plans and escapes the kingdom along with one of her ladies before the wedding happens. They travel to a distant town and start new lives working in a tavern.
What Lia doesn’t know is that there’s two people following her, the prince she left behind and an assassin. Both boys show up in the new town on the same night.
Here’s where the first person becomes so important. At the top of every chapter (except the ones written from Lia’s point of view), we get a name or a title. So either Rafe, Kaden, The Assassin, or The Prince. Because it’s written in first person, you don’t know who is the prince and who is the assassin. I found this twist SO GENIUS. So while Lia is falling in love with one or both of these boys, the reader isn’t really sure who is who. Maybe they speculate. Maybe they’re right…but then again, maybe they’re wrong. The only other thing I’m going to say on this point is read carefully, the author drops lots of clues, but the surprise is so worth it.
I liked Lia as a character. She was a princess, but not afraid to get dirty and work hard. She also wasn’t afraid to stand up for what she believed in and recognize her own flaws. There’s a particular scene near the end of the book where she kills a horse to save a child from having to do it himself. The characterization of Lia in this scene was so spot on. It gave me ridiculous amounts of respect for her.
Of course, then there’s the boys. I can’t speak too much about them or it’ll be too spoilery, but I’ll give a few juicy tidbits.
The competition between the two boys is amusing and downright hilarious at some points. While one is clearly winning through most of the story, the different points of view leave the reader wondering if he’s really the person Lia’s supposed to be with.
Kaden is very much the quiet, pensive type. He has a lot going on behind his eyes, a past that molds him into the type of person he is. He always seems gentle, but surprised when people show him kindness.
Rafe is boisterous and sure of himself. He’s kind, but he has secrets of his own that he can’t let Lia find out.
The setting of the story is rich with history and local color. The author did a great job of rooting me in all the different places and cultures. I liked the languages and the way the history wove itself through the story without being overbearing. It was like solving a puzzle little by little, which is the most rewarding type of reading, I think, and even better because I was still surprised in the end. The characters are dynamic, multifaceted, and a constant surprise as the story progresses. I found myself relating to the characters, even when they did things I didn’t agree with.
Artfully crafted, with twists and turns that kept me up at night, The Kiss of Deception will delight fans of Graceling by Kristin Cashore and Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb.
The only disappointment I had from The Kiss of Deception, was when I reached the end. Thank god it’s a series. I need the second book NOW!