Title: The Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Audience: Young Adult
Narrators: Emily Rankin, Ryan Gesell, Kim Mai Guest, Kirby Heyborne, Ann Marie Lee
Length: 14 hours (492 pages)
Publisher: Henry Holt; Penguin Random House Audio
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Recommended for fans of: The Winner’s Curse
Content Warnings: violence, kidnapping, animal death, pregnancy, death, sexual assault
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.
Very solid YA fantasy! This is very much a product of its time featuring so many typical YA fantasy tropes of the mid-2010s, but it’s well done and would make a great introduction for readers new to the genre.
There is a love triangle, but not an annoying push/pull that dominates the whole plot. The world building is simple and straightforward. The story featured great use of misdirection leading up to a twist that totally had me fooled. It got a bit slow in the middle, but I LOVED the ending, which kept me screaming on the edge of my seat. I am very excited to learn more about the mysterious prophecy and magic system in book 2.
Be aware that the book includes some surprisingly difficult content like teen pregnancy, violent death of family members, sexual assault, kidnapping, and animal death.