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The Traitor's Kiss

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Member Reviews

I just finished The Traitor's Kiss by Erin Beaty the other day and I cannot believe I read it in just a few hours. I just breathed it all in and devoured this little monster. I normally don't find books like these appealing. Readers say this is kind of like Pride and the Prejudice, I can't exactly compare though since I haven't read it. What I can compare it to is Kiera Cass's The Selection only way, way more in depth on the romance and it does have actual political conflict. Rather well plotted out if you ask me. And I loved every minute of my reading experience.
It was driving me nuts at first when I couldn't figure out which of the soldiers were going undercover. I had been wrestling with my speculations and I was anxious to prove my theories right. 😂 If this isn't your first tumble with YA undercover twists, then you'll probably figure them out halfway through. But it was still priceless to see our protag's reaction once she found out.

Slow but progressive read yet still eventful. And the romance is so beautifully developed. I'm really looking forward to book 2!

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I was definitely curious to start The Traitor's Kiss by Erin Beaty. I had heard many good things about the book, and I was really excited to check it out for myself. (Especially considering that the book was described as Jane Austen with an espionage twist.) I love anything Jane Austen, so I was really excited to read this!

There were a LOT of characters to keep up with in The Traitor's Kiss, and the story is told from many different perspectives. It was a bit confusing at first, as some characters were posing as other characters, but I did manage to figure out who everyone was as the story went along, and it was easier to keep up with after a while. I did like that the main character was a matchmakers apprentice. I don't think I've read anything like that before!

The first half of the book started off a bit slow, and as I mentioned, was a little confusing at times. I do get into it more as the story went along, and became much easier to read. The second half of the book had a lot more action and suspense, and was at times both brutal and extremely dangerous. The book doesn't really end with a cliffhanger, but ends with just enough information to make you wonder what's going to happen in the next book in this trilogy. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for info on the next book.

Overall; The Traitor's Kiss was an interesting start to what should be a very unique series! I'll definitely be checking out the next two books in this trilogy, and I'm hoping that we will find out some information on the next book soon!

Happy Reading!

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I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for The Traitor’s Kiss, but since I’m a lover of fantasy, I wanted to read it for myself. I’m glad I did. I didn’t read the Goodreads reviews until after I finish the book and I really don’t think of it as a retelling of Mulan, rather I took the story for what it was.

You can tell the basic plot from the blurb so I won’t repeat it again. The world in which the story takes place is sort of like England in the 1700’s or before. Women were bargaining tools, a source of income, a way to create alliances. All of this was too important to leave to chance, so it was left to matchmakers instead. Sage wanted something more for herself and so she took a chance at something different that would at least give her a measure of independence. The rest of the world building was not as in depth as I’m used to in fantasy, but still easy to follow and well explained. There is a lot of spying, action, interactions, twists, turns, misunderstandings and understandings.

I liked Sage. Although she was prone to be sullen and prejudiced against the rest of the females in her company, she’s also loyal, discreet, a hard worker and an eye for detail. Besides, she loves books and learning and that’s always my kind of people 😉 Sage made a decent spy, even if she got a bit over her head sometimes.

Now, I LOVED Alex. He’s a newly appointed captain, trying to prove himself and doing a fair job about it. He’s charged to be the escort of the ladies traveling to the capital to be married. Alex is handsome, loyal, smart, considerate, and fair.

The romance is slow to build, but awesome! I just love the way Alex was first suspicious of Sage and how Sage was so prejudiced against him, but at the end they fell for each other. I really enjoy when characters are flawed and not afraid to speak their mind or show their feelings.

The writing was fluid and interesting. I did felt like the book was a bit longer than it needed to be. I liked that the ending was not a cliffhanger, we do have an ending of sorts, but it’s also clear that it is to be continued. I do hope that the author keeps this couple together because I adore Alex.

Overall, The Traitor’s Kiss was a good introduction to the world, the characters, and the politics. I expect great things from the rest of the series and from Alex and Sage 🙂

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A good read! I enjoyed the twist on a favorite story!

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I was excited to receive this galley from the publishers from Netgalley, and for the most part, I enjoyed it. At least I must've since I finished it. I liked the dynamic of the matchmaking, but it was hard to follow some of the spy things, and some things made absolutely no sense to me. But whatever. It was not bad!

Sage was one of those unbelievable main characters, who was incredibly intelligent, took to things easily, and while she didn't believe she was beautiful, caught the attention of multiple men.

Ash/Quinn/Alex... broody, thinks everything he says is right, willing to put anyone in harm's way to save someone else.

Don't get me started on Charlie.

Like I said, this wasn't bad! But, it could have been better and had a better dynamic.

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I actually enjoyed reading this, even though I saw a bit of the bad press beforehand. I found the main characters likable and the story fun and fast moving. However, the "one exceptional, smart woman in the face of all the normally terrible ones who are so dumb as to want a good marriage when they have no opportunity for a good life otherwise" is very rough. And of course, the dark-skinned aggressor trope that weaves through the text is just completely unacceptable.

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I had high hopes for this book, but several early reviews mentioned how the darker skinned people are described as savages. As someone with dark skin, I don't think I can stomach reading the story.

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Look, it seems there are a lot of books causing controversy and debates lately! This is another one which has been the cause of much wrath online. I don't usually like to get involved in those discussions (a lot of the time it is fueled by people who haven't read the actual book)!

For me, I didn't have any major issues with this book, I just didn't really enjoy it. It didn't bring anything particularly new to the table, the world-building was so-so, and the characters were quite underdeveloped in my opinion. I read a lot of YA fantasy, and as a result, the great ones stand out amazingly, and the not so great ones are either quite forgettable, or stick out like a sore thumb, and unfortunately this one fits in the not so great pile...

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There's love for this book, but I just didn't feel it. Maybe it was because I am just so very, very tired of having so many books with multiple POVs, or because the plot felt like something I've read many times before, or... who knows. I do know that the so-called rebelliousness of Sage didn't feel as much like rebelliousness as it did Moving the Plot Forward. And the political intrigue? The war? Meh. Other reviews will talk about the whitewashing and other issues. I didn't even read far enough to register that.

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I liked but didn't love this book. The character development is strong and there is a surprise that I didn't see coming. I enjoyed how the story played out. Overall it was a good retelling.

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I loved this book!!! One of the best Fantasy books of 2017 so far!! The story was unique and intriguing! The romance was so enjoyable! It wasn't insta-love but I found myself wanting them to hurry up and kiss already which wasn't necessarily a bad thing the suspense was refreshing if that makes sense! Great book!!

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Why is it that so many books in YA hinge on the deception and lies of the two love interests to one another? Had this book not had so much of it I probably would have given it a full 5 stars. Honestly, that trope gets a little old. But I suppose that is a discussion for another time. Today we’re here to talk about Traitor’s Kiss, a book that caught quite a bit of shit for having girl on girl hate and a few other things.

So let’s get the girl on girl hate thing out of the way. Yes its there, no its not a big deal. Honestly if you can handle the pettiness of The Selection series its practically nothing in comparison. That and it’s pretty real. I may get more into it another time but for now that’s all I’m going to say about that.

As for the rest of of the story, well its a cute fantasy romance with a bunch of badassery thrown in. The MC isn’t a born badass but she is incredibly intelligent and observant. God I love a smart female MC! Give me more of those and I’ll be a happy camper. She uses her wit and strategy to succeed, a lot like Kestral from the Winner’s Trilogy. If Kestral is one of your favorite characters you’ll probably love Sage.

Our love interest is probably one of my favorites I’ve seen in quite a while. Maybe not quite book boyfriend level. Yet. Honestly he’s so close I could see him becoming one. He’s proud but also has one heck of a soft side for his little brother and the people he cares about. He doesn’t enjoy sending people into danger but he does what he must for his people. I can’t help but love him for it.

Admittedly the world building is subtle, so much so that it seems a little lacking in places. However it does not ruin the enjoyment of the story, rather makes you want to know more. While I would have enjoyed a little more detail the story does quite well without it.

I really enjoyed Traitor’s Kiss and I’m incredibly excited to see where the next book goes. Even though this first book has a nice, tidy, satisfying ending I want to devour more stories in this world. After all, I read it in less than a day. I didn’t expect it to tug at my heart the way it did, I didn’t even expect to like it as much as I did. This book surprised me, and I’m all for stories that can do that for me.

If you like the Winner’s Trilogy I highly recommend this book for you.

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If I could give .5 stars I would round it up to 2.5/5. The very big reason? The slow as molasses beginning. I got halfway and decided to stop. Skimmed the rest of the book to find out what happened. I was also weary of how boring the plot was. I could care less about Sage trying to be a spy because I didn't feel the need for her to be one. Maybe because I didn't feel the danger they were in. And the word building is too short. Told in dialogue, I lost interest immediately. And even though the matchmaking part was like MULAN, this character didn't become a spy to save her father. Sorry this book is nothing like Disney's incredible girl empowerment movie, Mulan.

The main character Sage had a lot of anger issues and I was tired of how condescending she felt towards everyone, even her family. She hates it when people are condescending to her, but then she turns around and does it to others. I found her rudeness to be rather unlikeable. There was also girl on girl hate for no reason whatsoever. Sage being arrogant, hating on the other girls who like makeup and dresses. She also complains a lot. It was very hard to sympathize with her when I didn't really like her character to begin with.

For someone who doesn't want a man to marry to help her, she sure thinks differently?

"She began to wonder if she should find a man who might like her enough to protect her—should the worst come to pass."

Then there's the mini love interest twist. It's quite predictable so I wasn't surprised. And the viewpoints with the villain felt like interruptions instead. I grow weary of all the dialogue and wanted more of a "showing" instead of a "telling."

There was also a quote that mentioned some character being so dark he was hidden in the shadows. I don't know about you, but I had to read that part several times to make sure I read it correctly. That line needs to be stricken from the final copy. It's not right to describe someone's skin colour like that.

Overall, I think it's fair to skip this one if you're looking for a fantasy adventure, because there wasn't much of one. Pick it up if you like swoon-worthy slow-burn romances though!

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At some point before picking up this book I read a couple of reviews of this The Traitor's Kiss that described this as a Mulan retelling. I wouldn't call that at all accurate, nor would I market it that way at all because reader's expectations will be seriously skewed. The only similarity is that there is a matchmaker and that the appointment with the matchmaker is rather disastrous. Sage, an orphan, lives with her uncle and aunt, who try to send her to the matchmaker. Sage is described as a girl who doesn't fit the mold, doesn't want and arranged marriage, and prefers getting dirty and climbing trees to household duties, She isn't interested, the appointment doesn't go as planned, and Sage ends up storming out. .Later, she ends up choosing to be an apprentice to the matchmaker she so loathes. The Traitor's Kiss is interesting and kept me entertained enough on a travel day through multiple airports. I appreciate the lack of a love triangle in this book. The characters do get rather confusing at one point in the middle and I struggled to figure out who was really who. The one thing this book seriously lacks is world building. What is the history of the country? Who are all of these people and counties and why are they all fighting with each other? Why is matchmaking so significant in this country? In all, and easy read, but I'm missing the historical context for almost everything that is happening in this book.

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This was amazing. Everything I look for in YA fantasy, with fabulous pacing and characters. Sage is the perfect, plucky, non-traditional female heroine. The romance was a slow burn, and all of the intrigue was a lot of fun. I devoured this book.

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I was incredibly excited about this book but it ultimately fell somewhat flat for me. I had a hard time connecting to the characters, which may have been part of the problem for me. I did enjoy the espionage aspect, it was one of the things that the author did quite well.

Sage, the main character, is wild, opinionated, intelligent, and independent. While I should have loved her, she was actually part of the reason why I had some problems with this book. Sage is constantly disparaging to most of the other women in the novel, which I really wasn't a fan of. A woman who enjoys nice dresses, shoes, and wants to make a good marriage should not be automatically classified as dumb or shallow. Her attitude did shift a bit toward the end, which I was grateful for. I'm intrigued to see how she will develop in future books. The romance was pretty adorable and I could definitely see what attracted them to each other.

The plot moved pretty slowly for the first half but it was a wild ride once it picked up. There was a Kiss of Deception twist that I thought was very well done. I loved how political the matchmaking was and how the war played into this book. The author did a good job of explaining the politics in a way that was understandable. While many spy novels don't quite deliver on spy activities, the second half of this one was pretty much entirely focused around them, something that I really liked. While this book did have some flaws, I'll probably end up continuing with the series since I think the plot does have promise.

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The cover for this book was very lovely and drew me to it at first, plus the description promising a girl who refused to be married and was a spy of sorts? That sounded like it would be pretty interesting, combined with the fact that this girl's country is apparently on the brink of war. However, once I got to reading it, I found that it boring, dull, and had story lines that didn't make sense.

Let's start with Sage. She's the main female character, meant to be this strong person who is a spy for the matchmaker, enabling the woman to make stronger matches. However, the time jump between when she meets the matchmaker (as a candidate herself, which does NOT go well) and 5 months later when she's into her apprenticeship is quite awkward. When she's sent away from the initial meeting with Darnessa the Matchmaker, she's given the task to observe a visitor to her uncle's home to gauge her aptitude. We never find out how she did! One has to assume she did well to get the apprenticeship, but glossing over the whole event felt jarring. Plus, we never find out what Sage's uncle has to say about the apprenticeship when he was the one pushing for her to get married, not a peep!

Then there's the matter of espionage. Sage and Darnessa are escorting brides to the Concordium, a big meeting where they'll be matched. Escorting them are about 30 soldiers and some officers. Among these officers, multiple ones are engaged in using false names and alternate identities; starting early on in the book, this device felt problematic because it wasn't clear. I understand wanting to be mysterious for the sake of a spy novel, but there's mysterious and then plain messy. Not being able to keep a story line straight falls into the latter of the two.

Speaking of the brides that Sage is traveling with, we hear almost nothing about them! There's one that's slightly mean to her (Jacqueline), one that's nice (Clare), and that is all we hear about nearly a dozen or so young women. They never factor into the story, really, other than being mentioned, and really the whole thing could have been done without them. If they were going to be mentioned as the reason for the journey, I would've expected to get to know them, at least the ones mentioned like Jacqueline or Clare, beyond the bare necessities we get (we hear a little of Clare's family, but not enough to really get to know her as a person).

40% of the way through the book I felt like I was dragging myself through the story and truly wanted to DNF it because I didn't care about anyone involved. There was anyone that was interesting, especially not the main character! Sage get's built up as this strong willed girl who won't be married, who's going to make a life for herself, and I'll bet you can guess what happens by the end: engagement! Like nothing up to this point mattered because that was going to be the end game anyway. I would've been more interested if she'd been one of the Concordium brides that fell into spying with the soldiers and found a way out of her arranged marriage.

The political intrigue in this book tried so hard and fell flat. There was plotting within the country with enemies that had been annexed some four decades ago, but the traitor was not a very bright man and ended up being an arrogant sod rather than someone I thought could pull anything off. The only thing he did that made me feel something other than boredom was hatred when he killed the 9 year old brother of the main male character. At that point I wanted to throw the book across the room. What was that for, really? It added nothing to the story because the character in question already had sufficient motivation to kill this man.

The Traitor's Kiss tried to be far too many things: a romance, a medieval political thriller, and other things I'm sure. I wouldn't recommend it because the writing got far too uninteresting much too quickly and never recovered.

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The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty is a young adult fantasy. It is the first book in the Traitor’s Trilogy, and it is one of my favorite reads of 2017! By far. I freakin’ loved this book. I wanted to re-read it immediately after I finished it. It actually took me 4 days to read because I kept forcing myself to stop because I didn’t want it to be over. I need the second book ASAP. (I have re-written this review twice now, because every time I look at it, it feels super gushy. But I’m not toning it down any further because I want to share my excitement for this book. I seriously loved it so much!)

The Traitor’s Kiss is the story of Sage Fowler, a young lady who ends up as a matchmaker’s apprentice/secret spy when she doesn’t wish to be wed herself. The book is told in multiple perspectives, including Sage’s, and some of the soldiers they encounter. Sage accompanies the matchmaker for her country along with lots of young ladies who wish to be matched at a grand event, where people from all countries come to be matched. The story develops on their journey to the event.

It is really hard to explain the magic that is The Traitor’s Kiss. I loved the mystery of it all. I loved Sage and I really, really loved Ash. The romance is incredibly swoon-worthy and epic. The characters are dynamic and excellent, the world building is rich and detailed and really well done, and I even loved all the military lingo and strategy that played into the storyline. I thought Erin Beaty did a great job of making all of the military tactics/strategy not only accessible and easy to understand, but also super interesting.

I have so much more to say about character specifics, but I will save them for later because I don’t want to spoil anyone, but I would love to chat about this book with anyone and everyone so comment below if you have read it!!

Bottom line: if you love YA fantasies that have excellent world building, great political and military intrigue and an epic-ly awesome romance, The Traitor’s Kiss is sure to be a favorite of yours. It certainly is a favorite of mine. The Traitor’s Kiss is one of my favorite reads of 2017. I am dying for more!

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This book was so GOOD!! Though part of it I thought there was a major typo but it all ended up being part of the story. This one has a lot of intrigue and spy work going on. So just because you think you know you don't! At least not for a little while. One person, I had pegged as a spy wasn't so there's that too. The ending summed up very well and left us with a slight cliffhanger. I am very happy that this is a series as I am so not done with this world and these characters. The setting was pretty straight forward which was nice. No pesky magic, millions of weird names, etc to remember how everything works. It's here are the people, here is their world, and this is the situation. It was all done very well and I enjoyed the world the author created.

The characters were also very good. I loved the banter between Sage and Ash as well as their romance. I also loved the Matchmaker and I wish would have had a bigger part in the story as a whole. She was one character that I so SO want a prequel story too! The side characters were also great although we only get to see/read about a few of them. I hope this gets expanded in the next book.

The story/plot of this one will make you laugh, cry, laugh, and then cry your eyes out as you will never be happy again. Then just around the corner, you are bursting with the feels of happiness. So to say this book will take you on a rollercoaster of the feels is an understatement. This one also has something for everyone. It has a very nice historical setting, war, action, romance, and a very interesting hierarchy that parts of it will make you roll your eyes until you figure out what it all means.

I really enjoyed this one and I can't wait for the next two books!

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I need to pour myself a drink — not many books reduce me to desire alcohol consumption due to extreme irritation, but Traitor’s Kiss gets that dishonourable distinction from…pretty much page one. I should have known — I really should have known better.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t super-excited about this book; it didn't really seem like my cup of tea, but there was just enough in the description to make me think that, maybe, I’d be surprised. It’s happened before — c.f. something like Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones — and so, as always, I am ever the optimist, hoping that a book will exceed my initially low expectations.

Not only did Traitor’s Kiss fail to exceed my low expectations, it didn’t even manage to meet them. I don’t think there are enough negative words in the dictionary to express my disappointment, my irritation, and, by this point, my blistering fury with this novel. This is every young adult-fantasy trope I hate, rolled into one book, that doesn’t even have the decency to be, at the very least, marginally entertaining.

And the core problem lies in its protagonist. Sage is a terrible protagonist — I’m sorry, there’s no polite way for me to say this. She’s awful. Clearly the author wants her to seem “special” because, boy does she go out of her way to have Sage deliberately isolate herself from other characters. The amount of vitriolic “You other girls dress yourselves up so you are clearly vapid and shallow and I am better and smarter than all of you becuase I don’t”-girl-on-girl hate that makes up the entirety of Sage’s inner monologue and dialogue is both staggering and exhausting. It starts to feel like a personal attack from the author upon girls who either (a) like to put effort into their appearance and/or (b) have cleavage.

Now, I’m certainly not particularly invested in my appearance unless it’s a “special occasion” or I’ve got some errant whim to exert effort, but I am definitely a gal with cleavage and, let me tell you, Ms. Beaty, my possession of cleavage — something I cannot control — and wearing of clothing that shows it off — not always something I can control, but usually a personal choice — doesn’t make me, in any way, supercilious, vapid, or unintelligent. My possession of breasts has no correlation whatsoever to my intellect. So what’s with Sage’s hatred? And what’s with reinforcing her attitude as “correct” by making Sage seem special and, therefore, better when in the perspective of male characters? Women can exert effort in their appearance while also wanting to wear trousers or ride horses or push themselves physically. I know plenty of incredibly strong woman who can be both tomboyish and dress to the nines in highly feminine styles, while also (shocker!) being fiercely intelligent and well-read.

Also Sage smells like sage. Someone, please, put me out of my misery right now.

And let’s talk about the writing. Well, first off, the plot is unbearably slow. Now, I don’t mind slower novels, especially if they’re doing interesting things with character development and world-building. Except that Traitor’s Kiss isn’t, and this book is a slog. As much as this novel promises betrayal and intrigue, you’re not going to find any of it here. I mean, if anything, it betrays you by thinking it might be interesting. It’s, truly, a masochistic endeavour, reading this book, begging for it to do something interesting or, at the very least, end soon so that you can be put out of your misery.

Or maybe that was just me.

I doesn't help that there were moments where Ms. Beaty actually wrote jump-cuts in the middle of chapters. I was so jarred by these, I actually flipped back and forth between my kindle-edition pages to make sure I hadn’t accidentally skipped a page. But, no, it’s true: she rights one scene going somewhere and suddenly jumps to something else without so much as a hint or even the decency of a chapter break.

This book is barely over 350 pages, but it feels like twice its length and I, for the life of me, cannot understand how anyone would want to read this unless they were (a) a fan of slipshod writing with poor world building and a special snowflake of a main character that has a vendetta upon the members of her own sex and/or (b) completely inebriated.

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