Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deception - Mary PearsonPublisher: Henry Holt (July 8th 2014)
Hardcover: 489 pages
Source: Netgalley
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 3.5/4 of 5 Stars

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.


I’m a big ball of mixed feelings about this book. I loved it, I disliked it (well…it’s more like indifferent sometimes), I was happy, I was sad, I swooned a bit and I yelled a bit, too.

mixed feelings
My face while reading.

Deception is of course a big competent of the book. Surprisingly, more than one way, even to us the readers. I remember the moment that I realized. I was confused, haha. Mary E Pearson does a wonderful job in the aspect, it left me suspicious of if I chose right.

The Fantasy(lite) That It Is

So The Kiss of Deception, story-wise really follows your standard fantasy. There’s quite a few characters. And in this case we have three POVs, with our lead, Princess Lia, the runaway bride, and the two boys, the jilted Prince and the Assassin sent to kill her (plus tack on multiple side characters). There’s hints of power struggles between kingdom, some attempts to go to war,  a little bit of magic, and naturally some running away from responsibilities. Oh and of course the age old: if you’re lucky to receive any happy moments (in a fantasy), be prepared to bawl your eyes out when that happiness is ripped away from you a chapter later. /tears

I mentioned a little bit of indifference. The romance actually seemed to drag the story down a bit (more about the love triangle below!) at times, despite some really cute moments. And for a while I sort of just lost interest in the war between the kingdoms.

Lia & The Mysterious and Handsome Strangers.

Lia struggles with the her responsibilities as First Daughter, and the straw that breaks the camel’s back is her arranged marriage to a prince that she doesn’t even get to meet. I love that she actually ends up meeting the Prince later on, though she isn’t aware. I liked Lia because she was a  bit more interesting your “woe is me” kinda princess. Instead of complaining, she makes a game plan, and she takes things in strides.

The handsome strangers are the Prince, who’s a bit angry that Lia one upped him and the Assassin, who of course is sent to assassinate her to spark a war. The prince was quite captivating and there’s definitely more than what meets the eye with him. The Assassin is also an interesting guy, though he follows more so just your standard: assassin falls in love with target, there’s mixed emotions and loyalties, will love triumph all? – kinda trope. I liked that Lia’s relationship with both Kaden and Rafe were distinct and for the most part, had a purpose. to the story besides just a potential for romantic angst.

The  Love Triangle that Almost Was

We might as well get to the nitty gritty part, because this is what you’re all to read the review right? The big question!

But what about the love triangle!?

I’m happy to inform you that it’s not quite a love triangle (well in reality it’s more like a love chevron as my friend puts it – since it’s not a completed love triangle). The prince and the assassin are (somewhat insta) in love with Lia. But thankfully, Lia does not have a fickled heart and doesn’t spend the book debating the merits of boys and deciding who she should bestow her love on. She picks one, she sticks with it. And her choice makes sense. (Just make sure you pick the right guy, or you might be a little heartbroken.)


There was definitely some super sweet and swoon-worthy moments.

“When I’m not with you, I wonder where you are. I wonder what your doing. I think about how much I want to touch you. I want to touch you. […] His face drew near, and I felt his breath on my skin. “I want to pull you close and never let you go.” he whispered.

I just love it.
I just love it.


Before starting this book, I was a bit scared because of the mixed review (people seems to either love  it or simply hate it), and I so badly wanted to love it. And while I wasn’t entirely head over heels in love, it’s easy to see why people do love it so much. The romance wasn’t obnoxious. The story was intriguing. The emotions definitely flowed and hit you where it hurt.

Overall it was an intriguing fantasy with a (thankfully) not quite love triangle (though there is potential for it in the second book, but hopefully there isn’t, or I will be angry). There’s still unanswered questions, and a cliff hanger that’ll probably having you yelling “Curses!!! I need to know now!!!!” (but isn’t toooo bad! It actually sets up the next book nicely). Easily recommended to fans of fantasy and who doesn’t mind all the feels.

{Thanks to Henry Hold & Netgalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Find Mary E. Pearson:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the Book:

Amazon | B&N |  Book Depository | Chapters !ndigo

Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

0 Replies to “Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson”

  1. I just got done telling Mary @ Book Swarm, that I keep placing my one click finger over the buy button on this. I think you answered many of my concerns, since reviews are all over the place. I may just jump to the audio.

    1. Haha, I think it’s worth checking out! I’m glad I could clear up some stuff 😉 Audio sounds like a good plan! Hope you enjoy it!

  2. First off though…that first gif?! HA! THAT IS THE BEST. I giggled a bit at that. I’m seeing sooo many mixed reviews for this one, I don’t even know what to think! I’m not a 100% epic fantasy person, so I’m not sure if I’ll get to it. Buuut, the storyline sounds positively awesome. Pity the romance wasn’t top-notch, though.

    1. I know right! I had a good laugh when I found it, it was simply the perfect gif, haha.
      Yeah, definitely lots of mixed feelings all around. But in the end I was glad I read it. This one isn’t tooo intensely high fantasy! It’s like a lite version.
      The romance would have been better, but I’m just so happy it’s not a love triangle!

  3. “Just make sure you pick the right guy, or you might be a little heartbroken.” OH NO. Choosing ships–that’s hard. I always end up picking the guy the girl DOESN’T end up with. D: But this one seems really good. Overall. I’m excited for it! 😀

    1. I think this one isn’t too bad! The author sorta leads you to the right OTP 😉
      I hope you enjoy it when you get to it!

  4. Right. Thanks for the great review. Now I’ve got to read this book. 🙂

    All the gifs and quotes are amazing. Why didn’t I read the blurb before now?

    1. Yay! I hope you enjoy it!!
      The storyline is very epic, isn’t it? haha.

  5. I’m glad you enjoyed The Kiss of Deception, Cyn! It hit all the right buttons for me. I also felt the same way about Lia as you did. I thought it was a nice change that she was a bit of a rebel when it came to her arranged marriage. I think this book just touched the tip of the world building (hoping) because there’s plenty of room for more awesomeness. Lovely review! 🙂

    1. I’m glad you were a fan of Lia, too! I thought it was funny (and awesome) that the prince was jealous she thought of running away first, haha. Yes! I’m hoping the rest of the series will be even more awesome!

  6. I agree with all of this! I didn’t have a lot of indifference, but the love triangle really did drag stuff down at times, which was a shame. I loved how it was done, not knowing who each was (but I also had warning on that from someone else), and I was convinced it was the other way around and was SO HAPPY that I was wrong, because I was so rooting for him. (Does that make sense??) I’m going to be so upset if the love triangle becomes more love triangle-y in the next book, but I was definitely yelling “Curses!” at the end. 😀 Great review, Cyn!!

    1. I had no idea going into it and I was so confused when I realized I actually didn’t who was who, but apparently I had just made assumptions, haha. I was so happy I was wrong, too (I’m under the assumption we’re cheering for the same guy, haha)! I’ll be so sad if there’s a love triangle in the next book ): Arg, the ending. What a tease, right :p
      Thanks, Rachel!

  7. I love your use of gifs 😀 You definitely weren’t the only one that didn’t differentiate between the two males. I had a pretty good idea of which was which, and it turned out to be correct, thank goodness. I’m not sure how I would have felt if things were the other way around -.-

    Excellent review, Cyn!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  8. I can’t wait for this book!!! And the reivew is fun too!

  9. Ah, I just brought this & I’m so glad its great! I hear the multiple povs were a little confusing, but more to love! We have a logical girl! Yes, a love triangle where the character isn’t indecisive. Thanks! I look forward to cracking this book open now!

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