Well, I really wanted to like this more than I did. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, and I was expecting a lot but it just didn’t deliver.
Just a small announcement: I’m going on a small hiatus after this post. Next week is spring break, so I’m using that to focus more on my own writing. But I’m also going out of state for vacation, meaning I won’t be on quite often. I’ll try to catch up with reviews when I’m back, but I’m using the next few days and next week actually to catch up on some rereads. 🙂
Title: The Traitor’s Kiss (The Traitor’s Circle)
Author: Erin Beaty
Release date: May 9, 2017
Genre: Young adult, fantasy, romance
Length: 344 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: “An obstinate girl who will not be married. A soldier desperate to prove himself. A kingdom on the brink of war.
With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.
As the girls’ military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.”
I can say one thing’s for sure: the romance in this book is delectable. I’m secretly a sucker for a good romances, and I thought it was done really well here. However, there were aspects I was uncomfortable with, but in terms of the storyline, I can see why it was necessary to keep certain characters’ roles hidden.
I definitely enjoyed Sage as a character. She’s incredibly intuitive, reasonable, and perceptive. We see her logical nature come to a head when she meets a soldier while she and her employer escort a group of ladies across the country. Now there’s the part I felt uneasy about (among other things). Sage is an apprentice to a matchmaker after failing her own matchmaking session a few months prior. In this world, to be self-matched–or choosing your own spouse without the matchmaker’s direction–is extremely frowned upon. It’s almost like the matchmaker holds your future in the palm of her hand, and in a sense, she does–not only of peoples’ futures but also the country’s as many of the marriages are also political. There is a brief comparison of the ladies being carted off and sold like cattle and I quite agree with that statement. But maybe because I’m still not fully immersed in the world that it comes off that way.
One of the more irksome things that kept reappearing was the author’s use of the word “dark.” It was quite often used as an adjective, whether it was comparing the people of Kisimar or even a variety of other characters, including Alexander Quinn, the captain of the small band of soldiers who are escorting the ladies. Using “dark” repeatedly to describe someone’s hair, skin, or eye color is incredibly vague. You really have to use the context clues to help you figure these things out. From what I read, I understood that Quinn is possibly biracial as are a handful of other characters as well. But still, we do have words to describe color, and I really hope the author fixes this in the next book.
This book was a quick and easy read. I find myself eager to read it, though sometimes it was just for the sake of finishing it while other times, it was the totally swoon worthy romance, which really saved this book from getting 2 stars. The writing really isn’t anything special, and I think Beaty’s strong characters make up for that.
The plot also lacked in areas for me. The stakes were high, yes, but I thought everything was resolved too easily. I hope there is a lot more “keep you on the edge of your seat” action and stakes, especially since we see how elevated Sage becomes at the end. I think it’s a guarantee the romance will be good, but you never know about that, too, either. LOL
If you missed it, I’m also hosting a giveaway over on my Twitter for a chance to win a copy of The Astonishing Color of After–one of my most anticipated releases for March and 2018! This giveaway IS international as long as the Book Depository ships to you! 🙂