Sunday, July 13, 2014

ARC Review: Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Goodreads summary:

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 assassin 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.

My review:

Kiss of Deception was indeed an epic fantasy.  I highly enjoyed it and will definitely be reading the sequel, but for some reason it just didn't have the "wow" factor for me.  I had a couple problems with it, mainly the pacing and the writing style.

What I liked:

Lia is such a kick-butt heroine.  I loved her!  Not only is she unafraid to work hard for what she wants, she is also intelligent, smart, and sticks up for her friends.  She's not some naive princess; instead, she thinks things through and does her best to make the right decisions.  I was pleasantly surprised that there wasn't much insta-love, too.  The romance is really only centered on Lia and one guy, and I liked their sweet relationship.  Which brings me to...the love triangle.  Or lack of.

So, I liked the two love interests.  They were well-developed and had integral roles in the plot. wasn't much of a love triangle.  There's really only one guy that Lia's in love with, so I kept wondering why the other guy had to be in love with her.  It seemed a little pointless, because his character would be much better if he wasn't in love with Lia.  Just my thought. *shrugs*

Also, the setting was fantastic!  The author really worked out every detail of the world.  It felt so real, and it was such a treat to read a book with such wonderful world-building.  It reminded me of reading about worlds like in the Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings.  And of course, the plot was top-notch.  The three points-of-view help add to the suspense, and despite the slow pacing, there are many well-crafted twists and exciting action scenes.

What I didn't like:  

The pacing wasn't great.  Even though I was really enjoying the storyline, it took me forever to finish this book because it was so slow.  Honestly, the writing style just weighed it down.  I feel like a fantasy book like this should have a slightly faster pace to it.  But instead of having a little more action, the story was flooded with endless descriptions and lengthy paragraphs.  Yes, the descriptions are good in that they add to the world-building and help the reader feel lost in the characters' lives; the problem was there there was just way too much.  Also, some of the paragraphs really should've been shortened.  They take so long to get through, unlike short lines of dialogue, which would have suited the story better.

I had issues with the slow pacing and overly descriptive writing, but despite that I really liked this book.  It's so fun to read a well-developed fantasy with such in-depth world-building and characters.  This is one fantasy book you definitely want to try.  I'm looking forward to the sequel.

*I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thanks!

My rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars

~ Kaitlyn

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