"Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.”
I absolutely loved this book. It had everything I love in a book. Strong characters, a fantastic world building, an interesting storyline, and a little bit of romance. I am happy after all the ‘okay-books’ I had lately to finally have read a 5 star book again.
I admit, before “The Kiss of Deception” was mentioned on booktube I had not heard of it. It got excellent reviews and the cover looks quite appealing to me. I like the mood the cover creates. Even though I usually do not like to the horizon looking people on book covers I do not mind it this time. It is skillfully done.
The book is about “a princess [that] must find her place in a reborn world. 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.” (Goodreads)
The storyline is well done. It is nothing absolutely new but something I have not read in a while. We have this princess who decides to leave her royal life behind and live with the common people. What I liked was how fantastic the transformation was written. Lia is a smart person but still, has never worked a common job before in her life, so of course she is clumsy and unprepared in the beginning. But she is not a naïve and spoiled child. She learns quickly and works hard to improve. Finally an author got that right. The protagonist does not have to be perfect at everything from the beginning but also does not have to be the clumsy and naïve girl throughout the whole book, either. A smart person can learn a new task once in a while. So thank you, Mary E. Pearson!
What I loved most about the book was the world building. You notice from the beginning that there is much thought behind the world and traditions. But compared to other books it is not just thrown at the reader. You explore and learn more about the world as you read along. It is not told but shown to you. Since this is the first book of a series I am sure we will learn a lot more in the next books. I find that refreshing. Lately in books the authors tend to just explain everything in the first book and then forget about any world building in later books.
The characters are very likeable (even the assassin). I already said I enjoyed Lia’s character. She is smart and headstrong but also not perfect. She has a big heart for her friends and family but looks after her own, as well. The reader does not know who the prince and who the assassin is for a big part of the book. I really enjoyed that suspense. You have your guess and then you doubt yourself and then there is another clue…It makes the book a little bit more interesting. I had hoped for a certain constellation but guessed right. There is kind of a love triangle – but not really. Lia falls in love with one person but there is someone else who falls in love with her. I know a lot of people are annoyed that so many books have love triangles now but it works really well in this book. The situation described in “The Kiss of Deception” is one you find very often in real life. Two people fall in love but there is a third person who falls for one of them, too. Is that really a love triangle? I would say no, but it gives way for interesting storylines in the next book. So it might turn in a real love triangle at some point.
Mary E. Pearson has an enjoyable writing style. It flows nicely and draws beautiful pictures. The story never slows down too much but does not feel rushed either. I am looking forward to reading more books by Mary E. Pearson.
I would recommend “The Kiss of Deception” to anyone who enjoys fantasy books with slow world building and a romance in it. It centers on the love story, so you should expect that. I am looking forward to the next book and cannot wait to read how the story continues.