The Kiss of Deception, follows the story of Princess Arabella (Lia) of the Kingdom of Morrighan. Lia is supposed to marry the Prince of Dalbreck strictly for political reasons, though she has not previously met him. Ultimately, she rebels and flees on her wedding day. This obviously has numerous negative consequences and she finds herself later on meeting two men, the prince and the assassin. These two characters are introduced as Kaden and Rafe, although the reader does not know which of the these individuals is the prince, and which is the assassin. At first, Lia also is unaware that they are more than a farmhand and a trader.
I really enjoyed the novel in general, I loved the fantasy aspects of it and also the politics. I had read various reviews on this book before reading it so I knew there was a plot twist coming, which I think made my reading of the novel less exciting in a way. As I was reading it, I had a predetermined idea of who was the prince and who was the assassin, though I wasn’t completely sure, I ended up actually guessing it beforehand, so when the reader found out I wasn’t as shocked or surprised as other people were when reading it. I love and hate my ability to guess things in books because I think that did kind of takes away from the reading experience, I much rather would have not have guessed it.
I loved the romance in it, it definitely isn’t the stereotypical love triangle found in countless YA contemporary novels, so if you don’t particularly enjoy love triangles, I would still read this book because the romance isn’t too overbearing in the story, it’s more subtle whereas the action and the mystery are more predominant.
Characters: (Possible Minor Spoilers)
I would say I was mostly surprised by Lia’s character. I was expecting the stereotypical princess who really doesn’t know how to do much except be royalty, perhaps maybe be somewhat snobby and have this “better than everyone else” attitude. Though, Lia seems to be the opposite of that. Lia, though she is a princess, she knows how to defend herself, she’s strong and intelligent, and she’s not afraid to blend in with the rest of society – in fact, that’s what she prefers. I thought it was really interesting seeing her learn new things that a typical princess would not, and her perspective of wanting to be the opposite of what she is, and to become normal and blend in with the rest of society. I thought that was a very interesting take on this character. I’m also interested to see in the next novel how her character develops even further as well as her “gift” which is still somewhat unknown. I also found Lia’s kavah to be quite interesting as it proves to be a lot different from many other individual’s kavah’s from the past. Hopefully we get to learn more about that in the second novel!
I found that Lia and Pauline’s relationship was beautiful. They are best friends and almost like sisters. They always assist each other through hard times and are always there for each other. Pauline, the reader finds out, had a romantic relationship with someone, and she had fallen in love. Though when interesting information is delivered regarding the person Pauline loves, Lia does what she thinks is the best for Pauline which I think was very well thought out but also very scandalous and possibly can create further drama in the future! I can’t wait to see how that situation plays out.
Without giving away too many spoilers, this novel definitely is an emotional one. There are some deaths that occur and it is very very sad! The Kiss of Deception does a really good job of making the reader feel the emotions of the characters which I really liked!
Now for the two mysterious boys, Kaden and Rafe! – SPOILERS
In the beginning, I actually liked Kaden more, though I’m not entirely sure as to why. He seemed very friendly, and he was looking out for Lia and her best interests. Though, my like for Kaden quickly vanished after finding out more about him. Now, I absolutely love Rafe as a character, he proves to be brave and almost heroic! Though he does have some secrets uncovered throughout the novel, and he also has been lying to Lia, he seems more sincere. It’s interesting how both characters have feelings for Lia, though they lead completely different lives. Though by the end of the novel, I did gain some of my respect for Kaden back, and I almost started to feel some pity for him because I know that he has a responsibility and loyalty to his Kingdom of Venda, and his feelings for Lia have gotten in the way of his ability to fully honour and stay loyal to Venda. But in general, I really don’t like this kingdom. It presents itself as savage and cruel. Though, I do hope to learn more about this kingdom in The Heart of Betrayal (the second book in the chronicles), as Lia is about to enter this kingdom, maybe the reader will gain more information on it from her perspective, and this mysterious Komizar as well!
Some of my Favourite Quotes from the Novel:
“I see only reminders that nothing lasts forever, not even greatness.”
“Some things last.”
I faced him. “Really? And just what would that be?”
“The things that matter.”
“Maybe there was no one way to define it. Maybe there were as many shades of love as the blues of the sky.”
“Maybe there were a hundred different ways to fall in love.”
“Ragged clothes?” He grabbed my hand and examined it. “Chipped nails? Those aren’t enough to disguise what’s inside. You’ll always be you, Lia. You can’t run from that.”
I give this novel 4.5/5. The world and society building was excellent and one of my favourite aspects of the book, along with the descriptive and engaging writing style! The conflict between kingdoms, the politics, and the romance were some of the other parts of the novel that were really well done. I also really enjoyed the mystery aspect and the development of each of the characters. All of the main and side characters I found intriguing and I liked, which is a great quality in this novel! I will most definitely be reading the second book in the Remnant Chronicles soon, to follow what happens next! 🙂