Cover Image: The Traitor's Kiss

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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Oh boy. So I am going to give this controversial read a 3 stars and here's why:

I really liked the story of Sage and Quinn. This is a fun read about a girl who refuses to follow the social and propriety norms of her time. She doesn't want to be sold off as cattle for the highest bidder in marriage. She wants to be happy and live her own life. After failing at being matched by the matchmaker, Sage becomes an apprentice to the matchmaker. 

Quinn has only ever done his duty and he doesn't mind it. I liked his character because he was well rounded he just needed to have some personal fun. Together they embark on taking down a plot against the King and it was pretty awesome.


"Dark-Skinned Aggressors"

Here is what I have to say about this trope and how it's launched a thousand nasty comments on GR. There are some recent stories that have the trope of the dark-skinned aggressor and it's done in a manner that makes readers offended by the closed mindedness of said stories. This isn't really one of those modern socially negligent books. Instead it's a made up land with multiple kingdoms and ethnicity. Two of the characters (one is the king's son) are described to have dusky skin of one of the many groups in the story. Other characters have blue eyes, pale skin, freckles etc. The actual aggressor in this story is a white character with blue eyes, and he is the one that treats some of the tribes as "dark-skinned aggressors"--No one else feels this way in the story so... while I can see where one would get confused, I am going to debunk this as a I have actually read the story at this point.


Okay I received this story as an ARC, and I do not remember it being marketed as a Mulan remake. I also don't agree this is more like a Jane Eyre story.. because I read that boring story and it really actually doesn't have much in common with Jan Eyre except that she lived with her cousins and was orphaned. Another GR reviewer mentioned how this story is similar to Pride and Prejudice-- and I have to agree with this point. Like I mentioned, you have a young girl in a society that only sees marriage as a valuable point in a young girl's life. Sage wants to be more than a wife and she does occasionally look down on others that want to be married, but as the story progresses she sees that some girls want that option and it's okay to want to marry someone if that is what you WANT. That being said... I don't think it's the author's fault that this was marketed wrong... instead maybe be upset with the publisher and marketing team?


Oh come on, there are mean girls and there are mean boys. That's life. No one was belittling each other on actual characteristics, instead it was all to do with social hierarchy... which would be accurate in that world.
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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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I love love love loved this book. I preordered the hardcover before release day. It's an incredible book and the book itself is physically stunning. The jacket is flawless and then you take the jacket off and oh my goodness. This is the complete package.
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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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I was intrigued from the moment that I read the synopsis for The Traitor’s Kiss. And that cover is simply stunning! When I started the book, it actually took me a little bit to get into. I think part of it was because I was in a tiny book slump but once I skimmed over the beginning and picked up where I left off, it was a lot easier going.

There are a couple points of view in this story and I really think it added to the world building and development of the book itself. Some of the descriptions of the characters threw me off a little bit however I enjoyed the personalities that came across. The ending itself wasn’t abrupt and it felt really satisfying in terms of any cliffhangers. It wrapped up quite nicely and I feel like it explains a lot of what happened in the middle when it came to the soldiers and the political issues that brought everyone together. The Traitor’s Kiss probably could’ve been a stand alone if it really wanted to because it wrapped up that well and there’s definitely more room for improvement and character growth. 

Full review on my blog on 06/23/17
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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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Solid book though I would love more exploration of the world
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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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