Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 480 Pages
Publication Date: July 7th, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Source: ARC via publisher (thanks Macmillan!)
Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia's erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.
Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there's Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.
I know many complain that The Kiss of Deception is slow. I urge you, if you feel that sentiment, to read this book. It's a definite change of pace (as in faster), and there's so much more going on. Picking up right after the end of The Kiss of Deception Lia is brought to a place that she's heard only horrifying things about. Slowly she realizes everything as not as it seems, and that the Komizar is more dangerous than she could ever imagine. As she struggles to keep her wits about her in this harsh court, she uncovers shocking truths and dares to fight back.
If I had to describe this book in one word I think I'd use the word 'riveting.' I was so thoroughly engrossed in what was happening. We learn so much more about Venda and the culture. We delve deeper into each of these characters. Speaking of riveting, that Komizar! He's a bit Darkling-esque. He's power-hungry and vicious, yet he cares for his people. The complexity of his character was astounding, I loved it. Lia was fierce in this novel! She was her stubborn self and I loved her character growth. Rafe is perfection. That is all. We learn so much more about Kaden and his backstory. I liked him much better in this book. We also meet plenty of new, strong secondary characters.
Pearson's writing continues to be beautiful and filled with twists and turns. Stellar world-building, superb plot development, brilliant plot twists, immense character growth, smoldering romance, I was highly impressed. The storyline was so intricate, yet it was weaved in a way that didn't seem too busy.
The romance in this book was beyond spectacular. But first let me clarify something. This series does not contain a love triangle. Lia clearly favors one of them in the first book and sticks by her choice. It was such an immediate thing that someone who thinks this is a love triangle baffles me. That thought will be further crushed in The Heart of Betrayal. There are swoon-worthy moments and beautiful words exchanged. I was beaming and staring doe-eyed at the pages. No love triangle people, just love and I ship it!!
I'm half mad, half enthusiastic and pleased that I decided to read this book now. I can push it on you all very early, yet now I have to wait forever until the next book. I enjoyed The Heart of Betrayal immensely, and it has surpassed my love of The Kiss of Deception. I recommend you give this one a try.