The Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson
It’s not unheard of for me to give a book five stars, but I usually reserve such a rating for excellent work that really appeals to me. Maybe I’m too stingy that way, but if you give everything five stars the ratings cease to lose their meaning.
With no reservations I can rate this a five star book. Mary E. Pearson is an experienced writer who knows how to tell a great story. Her writing style is so smooth, and not self-consciously lyrical–if you get what I mean, but there are plenty of pleasing passages.
Lia is a princess betrothed to a stranger. On her wedding day she and her handmaid flee the citadel where she grew up. Their escape is successful for a short time, but eventually she’s found out. The prince she was supposed to marry and an assassin both discover her on the same day at the same time.
Part of the fun is trying to figure out which guy is which, though that shortly becomes clear. Learning the history of the land where the story takes place, as well as the histories of the characters is exciting and interesting.
There are cross-country chases, escape attempts, a little bit of what might be called magic, a prophecy, sword fights, gypsies. Lia encounters danger and a number of engaging characters, some with secrets of their own, in her adventure.
Of course there’s romance–all very satisfying for a romantic like me and inoffensive for those who are concerned about such things.
I hesitate to call it a fun read because that sounds like it’s fluff. It’s an absorbing read. For days after I finished it I was still experiencing world-withdrawal. In fact, I still wish I was reading the book. That’s some good writing.
The Kiss of Deception is a fantasy adventure that rolls from start to finish with no long, dull passages–and it’s a long book. The end is satisfying, but will leave you wanting more.
Fans of Victoria Hanley, Sharon Shinn, and Sherwood Smith will enjoy this book as well.
I look forward to reading it again when it comes out in July. [I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy and was asked not to quote from it.]