(Netgalley Review) Corruption and Politics, Princes and Princesses, and Handsome Assassins

 

The last thing Lia wants is to be a First Daughter, or at least the First Daughter of the King and Queen of Morrighan, a country trying to form an alliance with their enemy Dalbreck with an arranged marriage– her marriage. But Lia isn’t having any of it. Instead of being married to a pompous prince she had never seen before, she and her maid make a break for it, escaping to the small town of Terravin. Lia knows this will get a bounty on her head and people will be looking for her. But she didn’t know the prince of Dalbreck would come after her himself, nor did she expect an assassin from the barbarian Vendans, whose futures depend on an alliance between Morrighan and Dalbreck never being made.

 

This book definitely made a good impression on me and I’ll be looking out for its sequel which comes out in 2015. I loved the plot and characters for the most part and I think Lia is a very strong character. I’m glad they showed how Lia had more freedom growing up and how she was influenced on her brothers because that explained why she was so headstrong. After all, if she had lived a more sheltered life, her character would just seem like a phenomenon produced by mediocre writing. I also like the Prince, Rafe. He is definitely a fantastic character and so attractive. This book has a love triangle between Rafe, Lia, and the assassin, Kaden, but I am rooting for Rafe all the way.

I did have some problems for the plot, however. I think Lia jumped to conclusions on the prince’s age way too quickly. She had enough reasons for not wanting to marry him without adding that into the mix, and it just seemed strange for her to conclude that he was twice his age based off of seeing his father. After all, if the men marry old, which seems like the norm here, then there will be a huge age gap between them and their children. Also, I thought the reason for the assassination was a little weak. A bride running away on her wedding day is a huge slap in the face and things were tense as it was between Morrighan and Dalbreck. Even if Lia did return, the king of Dalbreck would probably refuse to let them marry anyway. Why kill her?

Also, I don’t like Kaden’s character at all. Yes, he’s supposed to be flawed, but does he have to be a hypocrite? He has so many pity parties for himself throughout the story, like when he is sure Lia regard him as an animal, or when he is thinking about all the injustices done to him (granted his life hasn’t been a walk in the park for sure) but he has no compassion for Lia even though he kidnapped her, one of the barbarians wants to rape her, and she finds out her captors killed her pregnant sister-in-law. Also, he is very prejudiced against royals in general and makes a lot of disdainful remarks about them in front of Lia and yet he thinks it’s incredibly unfair of her to be prejudiced even though he was going to kill her, but they kidnapped her, and they have given her no reason at all to like them. Really, Kaden? Don’t be a dick.

Aside from the above complaints, though, A Kiss of Deception is a fantastic book that will appeal to Lord of the Rings and Great and Terrible Beauty fans alike.

http://www.indiebound.org/book/

 

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(Netgalley Book) Defy by Sarah Larson

If you’ve read my post about The Sanctum Book One: The Girl, then you know that I love badass heroines. And that’s one of the reasons I love Defy by Sarah Larson. That, and it was impossible for me to put down. (“I have to wash the dishes. I have to write. The dog is barking because someone is at the door. For the love of god put down the book already…. one more page.”)

In the kingdom of Antion, there are two places orphans will go: into the army, or into the Breeding Houses, depending on if you are a boy or girl. For Alexa, due to her ability to fight and her brother’s quick thinking, she was able to join the army by cutting off her hair and then later binding her breasts. Three years later, “Alex” is the best fight on Prince Damian’s personal guard. He would be captain, except he was too young to take on the role when he beat the current captain in a sparring match. Only his twin brother, Marcel, knows Alex is really a she, and they like to keep it that way. But when there is an attempt on the prince’s life and Alex is ordered to sleep in a room adjoining the prince’s for his safety, things start spiraling out of control. The prince shows her glimpses of his real self beneath his spoiled, shallow facade, and Alex finds herself falling for him. Not only that, but she’s attracted her her fellow guard, Rylan, and it isn’t long before it’s revealed that both of them know she’s a girl.

This book is really good. It was funny in some parts, and very suspenseful. I thought the love triangle was well-written, and the romance didn’t have much angst to it, but was still sweet, which I liked. I’d recommend this book to any fantasy lover, as well as someone who likes romance.

You can find Defy here: http://www.indiebound.org/book/