The Kiss of Deception is the first book in The Remnant Chronicles. I believe it caught my eye while browsing at Powell's, but I don't really remember. I did put a hold on it, so it came up somewhere. Overall, I enjoyed the book.
The story is primarily Lia's who is a runaway princess and bride. She is angry that she's been given away without her consent in a political marriage and, thus, on her wedding day, runs away before the dead is done. She's accompanied by her faithful maid, Pauline, who's adoptive aunt is a pub and inn keeper in a smaller town of the realm. Lia and Pauline take up life at the pub. While Lia misses her 3 older brothers with whom she grew up in a tomboy-ish sort of way, she's happy to be away from the life of a princess. She's followed, though, by both an assassin and the prince she was to marry. Their stories are told in such a way that it's possible not to know which is which until about 2/3 of the way through the book. I didn't find that to be much of a mystery, though, myself.
I enjoyed the pacing of the book. I liked Lia quite a lot. Lia is a linguist, which made me think of my daughter who should definitely read this book. There were rough parts which made sense as part of the story and, while I didn't love them, I also appreciate when some reality about war makes its way into books.
On the not-so-great side of the coin, I think I was supposed to be more upset about one of the rough parts toward the end than I was. I just wasn't invested enough in the character to which it happened that it mattered that much to me. Which leads me to realize that I wasn't super invested in really any of the secondary characters. Also, I didn't love the end. While the author made a point of creating an end, it's really just the middle of the story. I prefer it when each book in a series has its own conclusion and that didn't really happen here.
Still, I did like the book and I will likely read the next installment. It's not super short at 486 pages, but it goes by quickly. It's a good book and worth a read.