I still have a hard time believing this amazing world all began with a book that I picked up just out of curiosity two or three years ago. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson was just so good, I could barely put it down, and ended up reading the second book right after it, and just as fast. Lia started everything off when she ran away from her wedding, and was pursued both by an assassin and her betrothed. What made it fun was that while you had names of characters, Pearson played with her readers as well by never fully revealing who bore what title, besides Lia of course. This one little quirk propelled her story forward through three books, and then just when I thought I was getting the ending that I had so helplessly wanted, it still felt like there was something left for these characters, and their world. Did I know this book was coming? Heck no, nor did I foresee her having ‘thieves’ as her main characters, but I am beyond happy that she decided to write this book, and continue in this amazing world of hers!
Description of Book: (The Quick and not so eloquent version)
A reformed Vendan thief, now Rahtan, and her crew hunt after a wanted criminal in a territory known for shady dealings and its almost mafia like family. There, she runs into/meets the new head of the family, the Petrei, Jase Ballenger. Both are enemies from the start, but slowly they come to see each other’s world like their own, and things get complicated.
When I picked this up, it almost sounded like Six of Crows with the thieves, something I’m a little ashamed of, though considering how good that duology and its crew of thieves was, not very surprising. This series definitely is not Six of Crows, it actually focuses more on the politics of the world, with alliances, and power struggles than a big heist or underdogs really. This first book in the series was filled with lots of pride (that Ballenger pride), conflicts of interest, growing love/friendship, power struggles, misunderstandings, and ancient history that really isn’t so ancient in the scheme of things.
To get this review started there are a few things to know about this book; One: It follows in the world of ‘A Kiss of Deception’ with all the Kingdoms, Morrighan, Dalbreck, and Venda. While I think it’s possible to read this book without having read the others, I’d still say that reading the other books first is probably the best bet. The events of this novel are closely tied to the ending in the earlier series, and are heavily influenced by it. Also, it makes everything about the events in this novel that much more impactful. Second: Yes, there are characters from the Kiss of Deception series in this book, though the ones I wanted so badly weren’t until late in the book (I was a little annoyed until that part, but I’m so happy now). Third: Is this worth reading if it isn’t just about our main characters from last time? Holy cow, it is worth every second of reading. I honestly don’t know who would ask this, but figured it was worth stating. This book is worth every penny and second you put into it.
4.5/5 starsLike I said before, this book was phenomenal, taking place right after all the events of the Kiss of Deception series, but with new characters, and a whole new setting. I think that new character, new setting is what set me back a bit, and made this a 4.5 instead of a full five star review. It was amazing to go back into this world, but I won’t lie that there was still a lot of unfinished business I had with characters from the earlier series. The ending in that was just a little too open for me, and not quite what I felt like I needed. Still loved it, and wouldn’t have it end any other way, but sometimes you just want that sappy ending where everything ends perfectly, and that series did it, but just with a little twist, one I wasn’t fully ready for. So that impacted this a little with some very hopeful expectations. Once I got over myself this book was fun and quick, Kazi and Jase constantly keeping things interesting with their secrets they can’t tell one another, and yet the ones they also tell themselves. I wouldn’t say it’s forbidden romance, but I would say there are a heaping load of obstacles between them, and none of them are easy to get over.