Cover Image: The Traitor's Kiss

The Traitor's Kiss

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This book has a fire brewing romance which makes this a page turner that has echoes of Kiss of Deception in it. I loved it also for Sage Fowler independent, feisty attitude as she fights against being married and strives to find her own way. It takes a bit for the story to really get to the meat of what is going but if you wait it out you will not be disappointed and i must say i totally the match maker character she really holds the story bound together
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The Traitor's Kiss starts out verrrrrrrrrry slow. I do recommend it to lovers of fantasy who enjoy a slow burn romance, because this one is a swoony one. But I can think of other fantasies I might recommend first that grab you quicker and really sink into your mind and keep you thinking about it all the time. I did like the spies and worldbuilding! There were some elements that were really cool and me hopeful, but this didn't grab onto me and have me reading furiously. It was a bit of a chore to finish.
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Couldn't really get into this one but it was generally a quick read. Would recommend to anyone who enjoys the genre and is looking for a read.
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A great title that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Strong willed ladies are my thing and Sage is just the thing to keep me intrigued to her story.
I must look into the follow up book!
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Despite the hype, The Traitor's Kiss was SUCH a struggle to get through. Instead of finding a new, unique YA fantasy to rave about, I found badly written tropes, girl-on-girl hate, and all sorts of generic story elements that left me wishing I hadn't wasted the time.

First, I had a really big problem with the fact that Sage, the protagonist, is such a special snowflake and so different from the other girls AND ON TOP OF THAT, she is hateful toward just about every female character in the book. For liking different things from her. It was just. . . honestly, it really sucked to read that and didn't make me like Sage at all, especially not enough to invest in her story.

Then the story follows with the villains all having darker skin and the "good guys" all being white? I thought we were past this but even reading this book as someone who can't speak fully to the racism, it was clear and really tiring to see yet again, especially when other YA fantasies have managed to shift in their diversity. 

The Traitor's Kiss was a disappointment and I really have no interest in continuing the series. I do hope, though, that the author's future work is very different from this book.
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Sage is quite observant, brutally honest, and totally unfit for marriage according to those around her.  Instead she is apprenticed to the local matchmaker and tasked with not only keeping an eye on the girls during their travel to the main city, but also to recommend which eligible bachelor would make a good match. Her astute observation skills catch the notice of an attractive soldier/captain and soon she is recruited to spy for the soldiers too. As the journey progresses, danger increases, and her heart has difficulty staying out of the matching pool. The only complaint I have is that the title does not really reflect the story.
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The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty is the first book in the Traitor’s Circle trilogy. Initially, I didn’t read this when it first came out because there was a rumor going around that it appropriated Mulan. So, now that I have finally read it, I can say LOL what. As it turns out, this book is NOTHING like Mulan. Like, the only thing it has in common is that there is a matchmaker at the beginning. So, I don’t even know how these rumors get started and get so out of control? Anyways, I thought that The Traitor’s Kiss was a pretty fun YA fantasy book with some stakes.

So, this book is about a girl named Sage who is an orphan. She lives with her uncle who is a man of means and social standing. He’s not a bad guy per se. Anyways, to fulfill his duty to Sage, he makes sure she meets with the best matchmaker in the kingdom. It goes terribly. Sage ends up apologizing for messing things up so bad and winds up apprenticing to the matchmaker. From there, Sage and a group of young ladies and the matchmaker end up going on a tour to eventually end up at Concordium. They are protected by an escort group of soldiers. One of which captivates Sage’s attention and vice versa. Meanwhile, there’s treachery afoot in the kingdom.

Is this the greatest book ever written? Absolutely not. Is it a fun story of intrigue and overtly obvious villains with not super obvious motivations for being evil? Yes. Yes, it is. There’s like only one thing that I found deeply upsetting and that was the brutal and unnecessary death of this certain character who I grew attached to due to my motherly instincts. That was like really upsetting to read about. Otherwise, really enjoyed almost everything about this book. I will be continuing on with the series as well.
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I truly enjoyed the MC, but I am a little tired of the super-special-snowflake characters. I mean, why did she have to unfit for marriage and not a lady? Could she not have been a bada$$ and fit for marriage and alady? I don't know, that's just a personal opinion. I did like the story, though the romance bored me with it's predictability. I didn't find any major issues with it and the plot was fun, though it has been done a few times before. Still, this was a quick, fun read that I did enjoy.
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4'8/5 stars.

(Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the chance to read an advaced reader copy)

I loved it. At first I thought it would be something like The Winner's Curse, but it has not been like that. It got me trapped from the first moment, I did not want to stop reading because I needed to know what happened next. The story is impeccable, full of plots, secrets, love in its proper measure, betrayal and many plot twist. The characters are very complete, with guts and brave. Erin has done a great job with this book, it has become one of my favorites. I look forward to buying The Traitor's Ruin to continue the Sage's and Alex story.
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I enjoyed The Traitor's Kiss.  It had a strong female main character.  Secrets abound as well as a developing romance.  There is nothing that should cause problems concerning questionable content.
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I have mixed feelings about this book. For the most part, it's an interesting bit of historical fiction with just a little romance thrown in. But it also pulls tropes from several more popular YA novels, which causes this one to lose some of the originality it started with. While the main characters are fine, the secondary characters often come across as way more interesting and sympathetic. I would gladly read a book that ignores the main couple and focuses on those around them.

Why would you kill off the best character and then expect the reader to still care whether or not the main dude ends up with his little girlfriend?!
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Though I liked the book, I made the decision at the time I finished not to review it on my site. Maybe in the future I will include it in a book list post or another article.
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The Traitor’s Kiss hasn’t been receiving particularly flattering responses for the most part, so I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

First thing: there’s been a lot of talk about this being Mulan with white people, and I don’t really see it. Aside from the first scene where Sage goes to visit the matchmaker and does abominably, I didn’t get Mulan vibes. Sage becomes a matchmaker’s apprentice and travels with soldiers as escort to a bunch of girls going to a matchmaking event; she doesn’t become a soldier, though she learns some fighting. She’s not trying to protect her dad, who died many years before. I found The Traitor’s Kiss more like Kiss of Deception meets Princess Academy. I didn’t pick up on much diversity, admittedly, aside from the Captain and Prince, who are both described as dark-skinned; apparently some of the villains are POCs, though I missed that. Check other reviews for this because I’m sure others have outlined this specifically.

The plot’s pretty typical, aside from the pathetic attempt at a twist. Actually, I wasn’t really sure if it was supposed to be a twist because the book almost overtly tells the reader who the undercover soldier Sage is hate-to-loving with is. I one hundred percent knew what was happening, and the big reveal was obviously anticlimactic. That said, I really enjoy the tropes this made possible for the romance, View Spoiler ». The ship totally worked for me, especially the fakeout makeout. The characterization across the board isn’t really strong enough to make it a SHIP, but ngl I enjoyed it a lot.

I quite liked both Quinn and Sage, in addition to their dynamic together. I thought it was cool how Sage’s talents work equally well for matchmaking and spying; she’s a bit Sherlockian, aside from putting together who the soldier is. *rolls eyes* However, the rest of the cast is pretty lacking in development. I mean, she’s traveling with a bunch of prospective brides, and I know the names of just two: the one who overlooks her low status to become her friend and the bitchy mean girl. By far the worst, though, is the villain. There should not have been villain POVs, which simply serve to spoil any surprise because you know exactly what the villain is doing. Plus, he’s just evil and there’s not much of a point to it since they don’t develop him at all. The surprise death View Spoiler » would have been more impactful with more development too.

Though I had bunches of fun, I’m hoping the sequel has stronger characterization and plotting. Worth a read if you’re shiptrash like me, but probably not if you’re more of a plot reader.
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I had a hard time connecting to Sage right away. As the story progressed though I grew to like her. Quinn was an interesting character. And I liked all the side characters, even though there were a lot of them. 

There was a bit of contraversy around this book from reviewers. Mostly I just thought it was a fun fantastical read.
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I did read this book and I really loved it. However, I was supposed to work with the author to do an author spotlight and everything just ended up happening so far after I initially read the book that I will be rereading it closer to when the 2nd book comes out. The ending killed me! The little brother!
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I LOVED this book! Okay, Sage is this super fascinating young woman who is breaking all of the social constructs that chain so many other young women, She is striking out on her own path, and its dangerous and important, and incredibly exciting. Ash is complicated, dutiful, and has the weight of a kingdom on his shoulders. His sense of instinctual trust with Sage sets off this super sexy romance between the two. I cannot wait for more in this series.
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Surprising, riveting, and full of twists and turns, The Traitor's Kiss was a book I read within days. I'm giving it:
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Going into The Traitor's Kiss, I wasn't sure if I was going to like it as much as I did. The plot line was intriguing, yes, with all of its discussion of espionage, deceit, and war in a medieval-like world, but the novel, of course, did not begin in the thick of all of that. It began with Sage Fowler stubbornly refusing her demeaning uncle's wishes for her to marry.

It took a while for me to like Sage Fowler. As much as I admired her for her love of teaching, her ability to lie to or deceive people so easily and willingly worried me and made me distrust her. However, 20 or so pages into the book, I found myself growing more and more curious about Sage, her perspective, and the kind of world she lived in. After losing her parents at a young age, she had to live with her uncle and his family, who belittled her for her refusal to ever marry and for the low type of marriage her parents had--one of love instead of the expected political or economical advantage. She becomes an apprentice for a matchmaker of high regard, and, although the position provides her with the acceptance and stability she needs--not to mention the opportunity to practice her spying skills--she is nonetheless deprived of her freedom as she must still submit to those who are above her. In the end, I liked Sage and her deceitful ways very much because, if she is to conform to society, then she can at least do so on her on terms for her own benefit, and a heroine who strives to pave her own way through society is always greatly appreciated.

With such a feminist heroine to boot, the world-building and plot line of The Traitor's Kiss interested me to no end. Erin Beaty's military background shined in the characters' constant planning and spying in anticipation and preparation for a war, and their tactics (e.g., a biological weapon to first weaken the numbers of their enemy and reversals of roles to spy and gain information from others) always surprised me and excited me. I also liked how marriage and matchmaking played a role in the novel to reveal the characters' vulnerabilities as well as strengths. Seeing all those matches, both of those for social gain and of those for sincere love, and all the researching and, yes, spying that went into them was an interesting take on what is often debated and frowned upon. The setting reminded me a lot of the setting of Mary E. Pearson's The Remnant Chronicles, so it in itself didn't strike me as original, but the world and characters that inhabited it intrigued me. I wish the next book of Beaty's trilogy was out already so I can be back with Sage and her world; I miss it so much.

What also reminded me of Pearson's The Remnant Chronicles in The Traitor's Kiss was the romance. In the first book of Pearson's series, The Kiss of Deception, there is a love triangle between two boys and the heroine, but the boys remain anonymous and are only referred to by their occupation--Prince and Assassin--when the story goes to their perspective in the next chapter. Only until the heroine figures out which boy is which is their identity revealed, so even the reader does not know which boy is the prince and which boy is the assassin for the majority of the book. In Beaty's The Traitor's Kiss, there is no love triangle, but, because Sage and the "handsome soldier"--as the synopsis refers to him as--are both committing espionage, the true identity of the soldier is kept secret in the story until Sage herself finds out. Like in Pearson's novel, there is some switching of perspectives between Sage, the soldier, his comrades, and the antagonist, but all the spying and deceit in the novel makes the "handsome soldier" remain anonymous. I liked the romance in The Traitor's Kiss because it was gradual, very swoonworthy, and surprisingly quite heated, but all the anonymity seemed unnecessary. It added to the suspense in the novel, but, in hindsight, could have been done away with and the story would have been just the same.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Traitor's Kiss for all its action, espionage, and suspense. The world-building was very interesting and the heroine Sage became an unexpected book-friend. I liked the romance as well, but I wish it didn't have all the anonymity around the hero. I recommend The Traitor's Kiss for any who want a YA read that is fairly quick to get through but is not all fluff and for any who have read and liked a couple of Mary E. Pearson's books in The Remnant Chronicles but want something shorter. The Traitor's Kiss has much to offer in its plot, setting, characters, and romance, and it is a riveting read that is sure to satisfy.
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This book was a struggle to get through. What was a 350 page book felt like it was double the size. The pacing was very slow and it took a long time to get to any of the action. In fact, the action truly didn't start until the last 15% of the book. The antiquated views on marriage outlined in the book was downright infuriating at times, even though I realize that was part of the world building. I felt like it wasn't handled in a way that translates easily to our society today. Speaking of world building, it felt like we were missing part of the story. There was never any exposition of the world and who does what and who is against whom. This left me feeling confused for a vast majority of the book. This was not helped by the "espionage" and use of multiples names, which I also found slightly ridiculous given that the narrative would switch back and forth between name use, attempting to be intriguing but ultimately left me feeling confused and irritated with trying to keep everyone straight. I very nearly had to make myself a chart and a map to figure out what was going on. Furthermore, one of the things I love about books is figuring out how the title fit the story when I am done with the book and after two days of thinking on it, I don't think this one does at all, but instead simply sounded good and intriguing and would sell copies. Overall, I would not recommend this book and do not think I will  be continuing in the series.
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Sage Fowler has no interest in getting married, which is how she ends up working for a matchmaker, bringing a group of eligible girls to the marriage market. When their journey runs into political unrest, Sage is recruited to act as a spy by a handsome soldier. The Traitor's Kiss was an exciting read, with plenty of action and intrigue, and an amazing main character. There are still some unanswered questions, so I am looking forward to the sequel.
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Okay so first of all, I found nothing wrong with this book that some people have stated is wrong with it. My problems with this book come from how many questions are unanswered and how bad the world building was. Not to mention, how boring it was. 

It took me forever to read this book, it became a chore. I don't know why I just didn't DNF it. It would've made my life easier and I could've read more engaging books. To be honest, the only reason I finished this novel was because I fell in love with Sage. She is a well done character and very believable. I enjoyed the romance and Alex is a treat. 

There is even some great political 'stuff' going on but sometimes it felt like too much. Maybe that was why it also felt boring because it takes a long time to get to the good stuff. The parts I wanted from this novel. The writing is fine, easy to follow, nothing special but not bad by any means. Something I did love was you can totally see how much work the author put into this novel from all the deception going on in every angle. 

So it's not a bad book by any means just.... a 'meh' kind of book. It will take a lot to power through the first part and my it may feel like it will never end but I did enjoy the story very much.
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