The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson
Here we have the story of a Princess. A Princess who is on the eve of an arranged marriage with a Prince from a neighboring Kingdom. A Prince that she’s never even met. This marriage will bring honor to her family name, help build an alliance, and to bring peace to an age old feud between the two Kingdoms. But this is no ordinary Princess, it’s no ordinary feud, and its definitely not an ordinary story.
From the very first page, this story ensnared me, and kept me captivated through to the very end. I enjoy that this wasn’t your normal story of a princess learning to follow the rules. In fact, it was pretty much the opposite. Princess Arabella, or as we come to know her, Lia, did not want to conform to the plans that were laid out for her life. She wanted a life of freedom, to choose who to love, and who she would marry. To be more than a bride used for political gain. And then to run from it all on the day of her wedding, leaving it all behind for a simple life in the fishing village of Terravin, earning her keep as a tavern maid, living in a shack, I knew then that this was no ordinary princess.
Through the unique way this is written we not only get the story of Lia, but we also hear from a few other POVs. One being the Prince of Dalbreck who Lia left at the altar, and another being an assassin sent to find the runaway princess and kill her. There is an air of mystery around these two specific characters because when our prince and assassin meet Lia, we still don’t know their names, or which is the assassin and which is the prince. We learn along with Lia, each of their unique qualities and get caught up in the crazy love triangle right along with her not knowing which is which until she finds out their secrets for herself. Kaden and Rafe are surprised to find that the princess they are in search of, and find, isn’t quite what they expected either.
Terravin might have been one of my favorite settings to read about. I loved the atmosphere with the colorful houses and shops to the feel of the small village life. The simplicity to every day, and the friendships and love that formed between its occupants. Pauline, who Lia ran away with from her old life in Morrighan, became almost like a sister to Lia. They loved and cared for each other and helped each other heal after all that they had gone through in order to find this quiet life of freedom. Berdi, the owner of the pub, was another wonderful side character. She mothered the runaways and gave them what they needed to make a spot for themselves in the small village.
The small peaceful life doesn’t last as long as we’d all like though, and soon Lia is swept away on a journey that she has no control over. She has fallen in love and lost so much yet, still has so much left to lose. Through it all there is immense self discovery on Lia’s part as she learns what lies inside of her and just what she is capable of accomplishing when she has to learn to survive. Beyond the story of Lia’s journey, there is an ancient story wanting to be told. Lia’s life might be connected to it more than she knows.
This was a beautifully told story with a touch of magic, a runaway princess, a prince, an assassin, and ghosts that refuse to stay in the past. There is a lesson to be learned and Lia learns the hard way just what that lesson is, and what she is, and how she can lead those she encounters to live a better life. One without the rules she has been oppressed by for most of her life. One with freedom to live and love.
Scrill was a big part in getting me into this series. After hearing how amazing they were from her, I decided to join her for a reread for her and first time for me. Had I not gotten the recommendation from her to give this a try, I’m not sure if it would have been on my TBR list anytime in the near future. I am so glad I did jump in on this read because this book definitely found a home on my favorites shelf.
Have you had any stellar recommendations from your friends? Maybe even a dud? I’m curious to hear about your wins or flops. Or even a recommendation! Sometimes all it takes is a little nudge to find a great book!