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Well, I'd be lying if I said that I have a single coherent thought about this book because GUYS....THIS BOOK...I experienced feelings that I had not experienced in a while when reading but it was a welcome surprise. So, as I mentioned, I apologize if that by the end of this review you won't have understood a single thing you just read. That's exactly what the inside of my brain feels like right now...frazzled.
Kiss of Deception (lets call it KoD for short) is the first book in a series by Mary E. Pearson and man... OH man, am I excited for where this series is headed. This book incorporates everything I had hoped it would and so so SO much more. Before I begin my ramblings about how badly I want you guys to read this book, here's a description from our ever dependable friend Goodreads:
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
If that didn't convince you of how badly you need this book in your life, well I'm going to try.
In case you did not guess, I loved... and I mean LOVED this book. I heard so many amazing things about it and finally decided to buy it for it to only sit on my shelves while I tried to get out of my terrible reading slump *sighs* After several reading-less months, I finally decided to give reading a try again with this one and I was not disappointed. This book had me screaming and crying and laughing and confused and feeling every single emotion on the emotional spectrum. In other words, it left me a complete mess lying in a puddle of my own tears. What else is new?
So, this book follows our main protagonist, Lia, who flees on her wedding day in order to avoid being bound to a man whom she does not love and has never met. Mary Pearson has an amazing talent of really making you feel for her characters. Immediately, we see what her life is like and why she does the things that she does and so, when she decides to flee, along with her trusted friend Pauline, we are more than happy to say goodbye to life as we know it and follow her into the wilderness...quite literally. She may have been born into royalty but she is far from a princess. She is everything you look for in a badass heroin and that is exactly what she is. She really steps up to the plate when she needs to and her loyalty to her best friend knows no bounds. I loved the friendship between these two and made me realize that everyone should have a Pauline or Lia in their life.
Now... going into this book, I was made aware of several things: 1. How great it is 2. There are several very hot guys that we come across and one may or may not be an assassin and the other a certain...prince? 3. Plot Twist... and MF PLOT TWIST IT WAS. I personally love plot twists because I enjoy being surprised especially when I think I've got the whole story thought out but even though I...sort...of... saw this one coming, I DID NOT SEE IT COMING and I applaud *insert clapping hands emoji here* Mary because this one was either so painfully obvious that it hurts to admit that I was fooled or it wasn't obvious at all and it was brilliantly done. All I'm saying is don't trust anyone you think you can trust in this book.
Gah, okay what else...the world building! There was definitely quite a bit of world building in this book because it does not take place in our own universe and therefore, it was necessary but while sometimes, first books can be quite info-dumpy when it comes to a fantasy realm, this book was not overwhelming. In short there are three kingdoms: Kingdom of Morrighan, where our main protagonist beings her story, Kingdom of Dalbreck, where her would-be betrothed resides, and the mysterious kingdom of Venda, home to the ruthless and uneducated barbarians. It was interesting to learn about the traditions in this world and to see our characters let loose and have some fun (even if it's only temporary). Throughout the story, we learn about the conflicts between the kingdoms and I'm sure we'll learn much more in books to come.
The ending had to be one of the most heart and gut wrenching endings/cliffhangers that I have ever come across and...well... you'll have to read it to find out...yup..I dare you. I'm so excited for where this series is heading and I cannot wait to read the next installment The Heart of Betrayal and see how our characters fair in very different setting from what they're used to.