Thursday, June 19, 2014

Early Review: The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson

Release Date: July 15, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Goodreads | Website | Twitter

In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.
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 assasin 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.

Man, I loved this one! You know a book is good when the first thing you do after you finish is go check out the release date for the next book.
Nooooooo! 2015?!
*sobs quietly*
So this may be labeled Young Adult, but I think it's one of those books that is more of a story about a young adult. Does that make sense?
Also, the blurb? It really doesn't capture the scope of what's inside that cover. In fact, I put off reading this for quite a while because it didn't sound very interesting.
That, and my eyeballs don't always work exactly right. Every time I looked at the title, my brain kept telling me that this was Book One of the Revenant Chronicles. So, yeah. I'm looking at a cover with a girl with flowers in her hair, and I'm thinking that it's some sort of Zombie Romance for teens.
*cough, cough*
It's not.

Lia's a feisty little princess who doesn't want to marry the son of a crusty old king. Best guess (since she's never actually met her fiance) is that he's only half as old and crusty as his father. Which would still make him pretty darn old...and crusty.
She's had time to chew the situation over for a while, and decides that since her parents don't give a damn about what she wants, the only sensible thing to do is make a run for it.
So with the help of her BFF/Lady-in-waiting, she goes on the lam...instead of showing up for her wedding.
And that's pretty much the start of the adventure for everyone concerned.

As far as the two mysterious strangers from the blurb go, it isn't really the conventional love triangle. What I mean by that, is that Lia isn't torn between her love of two men. She only has the hots for one of the guys, but both of them are smitten with her.
So sad that I never really get a chance to use that word in real life.

The majority of the story is told from Lia's perspective, even though she's not the narrator. Every now and then, though, the author throws in a chapter told from either the prince or the assassin's point of view. I don't think it always works well when you switch viewpoints, but I really enjoyed it this time around.

Another thing I liked was that even though this is Fantasy and there's a bit of an Epic Journey  to the book, it didn't feel like it. I guess what I mean is, I'm not a huge fan of some of those stories, because they tend to drag on and on and on. This one worked for me, mainly because the author didn't bother to describe every shrub, or feel the need to go into detail about how the sunshine smelled.
And if you happen to be a reader who enjoys lots 'n lots of descriptive prose? Well, I'm not trying to belittle those books.
I just don't like to read them. At all.
"The water was blue."
I don't need two paragraphs describing the blue water.

Even though the main storyline is character driven, there's an overall feeling that you're also reading a sweeping tale of kingdoms at war. You're just not sure what the underlying cause is...yet.
There's also a bit of magic and prophecy, but they always seem to sit in the background. Sort of like they're just waiting to reveal themselves as major players in this story.
And of course, there's romance, but it doesn't overwhelm the book or the characters.
As an added bonus, there are even a few hints that perhaps this world is ours, set in some distant future.

By the end, I was so caught up in what was happening that I didn't want to put it down. And when it was over, I felt like I hadn't even scratched the surface of what the author is planning for this series.

Highly recommended!  


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