The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

“I will find you. In the farthest corner, I will find you.”

*Warning* Spoilers ahead

I have been waiting to get my hands on The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson and I had such high expectations for this book. Thankfully, it went exceeded my expectations. I gave it 5 stars and I am so glad I decided to read it.

Mary E. Pearson leads the readers to believe that Kaden is the prince who was supposed to marry Lia while Rafe is the assassin sent to kill her. For the most part, the book is told from Lia’s perspective, but every once in awhile there would be a chapter from the “Prince’s” perspective or the “Assassin’s” perspective. I thought that it was suspicious that it wasn’t titled their names nor were their names mentioned in either of the boy’s chapters. Towards the end, the reader learned that we were being deceived just as Lia was. Neither of us knew their true identities until that last 120 pages. Kaden was the assassin and Rafe was the prince and it completely changed my idea of the two characters. I didn’t see it coming and I am still extremely impressed with Pearson’s writing. It was nothing like I have ever seen before.

I think that Lia was a remarkable heroine. She stood up for her friends and herself and didn’t let any guy think she was inferior. She remained strong and fought back after Kaden and the others took her hostage and never let others tell her how to live her own life. She knew what she wanted and fought for it. I admire her for it. She was confident, compassionate, and extremely strong. I absolutely loved the scene when she started to dig the graves all on her own for everyone who died in Walther’s troop.

Kaden and Rafe are interesting male main characters especially because I had an opinion on the assassin and prince, but it changed after I learned their true identities. Rafe went through so much to get Lia back and purposely got himself taken so he can be with Lia. I’m still not completely sure about my opinion of Kaden. We saw such a wonderful side to him when he was in the village, but he still took Lia against her will and never forgets to mention that Venda means more to him than her. There is still so much that we don’t know about him (like his background, scars, etc.) and I am looking forward to learning more about his character more in the next book. I don’t dislike Kaden, but I am still team Rafe all the way.

The side characters were just as amazing in this story. Pauline is precious and I felt so bad for her once we learned about the truth about Mikael. The truth will come out eventually and I hope she will be okay, especially since she is pregnant with his child. Also, Walther’s death was heartbreaking even though there weren’t too many scenes with him. It was so extremely hard to read it through Lia’s perspective and it was just as hard to read the scene when he told Lia about Greta’s death. He was so kind to Lia and I quickly became attached to him.

The magic system during this book is captivating and I loved the importance placed on women in this book. The legends about the Morrighan, Remnant, and Venda helped so much with the world-building. Lia’s gifts are fascinating and there is still a mystery behind them. I’m excited to explore her powers in the next book.

Overall, The Kiss of Deception was a beautifully written story with incredible characters. Mary E. Pearson did a great job not giving away too much, which makes me all the more excited for The Heart of Betrayal. I can’t wait to pick up the next book to see where everything goes.

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