What makes a really good fantasy? A feisty princess? A prince who doesn't want to be guarded, but would rather embrace danger? What about some intrigue and mystery? Oh, and don't forget friendship, magic, romance, danger, legends, incredible landscapes, wild beasts... I'm pretty sure you'll find all of that and more in The Kiss of Deception. Lia refuses to be handed over like a prize broodmare in an arranged marriage to the crown prince of another kingdom. She flees the home she has always known and hides in a remote village. The spurned prince takes off in pursuit, tracking her for days with his faithful guardian and mentor. But wait, a third kingdom has sent an assassin after her to prevent the marriage and alliance from ever taking place.
With characters full of distinctive personality - a princess who likes to throw knives and has a gift for languages, a prince who resents that the princess thought of running away before he did, an assassin with conflicted loyalties, and all their assorted friends and acquaintances - the story brings the kingdoms of Morrighan, Dalbreck, and Venda to life. The hints at a past cataclysm, the ruins of unknown structures, the tales of the Ancients, the songs and prophecies all leave the reader wondering if this is a future Earth or another world entirely. To find out, we'll have to read the rest of the series, because this first installment leaves us with a nail-biting cliffhanger.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. It is written for YA audiences and will be released July 15, 2014.