Published by Henry Holt and Co on Jul 8, 2014
Genres: High Fantasy, Romance, YA
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
A princess must find her place in a reborn world.
She flees on her wedding day.
She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.
She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.
She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.
The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.
Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, 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. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.
The Kiss of Deception has a really corny title and it doesn’t exactly break new ground as far as fantasy novels go, but it was still a solid read. The writing is enjoyable and it’s easy to get sucked into the story. For the first seventy percent of this book I really couldn’t put it down. The best thing this plot has going for it is a pretty big twist I really didn’t see coming that made me go back and see the story in a whole new light.
Normally I’m not a big fan of love triangles, but I didn’t mind this one. I think it’s because Lia makes her feelings known early on about which of the two boys she prefers and she sticks to her guns throughout the whole novel.
Lia was likeable as the runaway princess. She’s got a feisty attitude, she’s got goals, and she goes after what she wants. I like that. Unfortunately, I found the fact that she was willing to duck out on a marriage alliance that could have saved her country from war to be pretty petulant of her and I couldn’t help but hold it against her. She also drags her good friend into this mess, knowing that if they’re found her friend will be in a lot more trouble than her. Also, Lia really has no reason to think she’ll hate the prince or her new life. She just assumes she will and decided unfounded hunches are enough to totally blow up this alliance and abandon her family, who she says she cares about. I don’t think this was an intentional character flaw (Lia is selfish and has to learn about taking responsibility even when is sucks) because it didn’t feel like anybody told her, hey, you’re acting stupid.
The two boys were good. Not exactly memorable, but not offensive either. I ended up liking both of them, and I felt like I understood them and their motivations.
The cast of secondary characters, particularly Lia’s best friend, are fun too and fairly well rounded, even if they don’t get a lot of page time.
Like I said, I really liked the first two thirds of this book, but the last part just wasn’t for me. If I hadn’t liked the first part so much, I would have knocked this book down to maybe two stars. The last third of the book is basically a quest-like travel story where Lia goes cross country. For me this part really dragged. It also became clear at this point that this book was essentially a set up for the next novel. That’s a personal pet peeve of mine, and it really annoyed me.
Even though I didn’t love the ending, I’m still glad I picked this up. It was a fun read and I’d defiantly continue reading the series.