Cover Image: The Traitor's Kiss

The Traitor's Kiss

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Member Reviews

The pacing of The Traitor's Kiss was slow in the first third of the book. It started to pick up and was great at the end of the book, unfortunately it was the end of the book. The writing was nothing special.. I really wished the arc had a map because I was confused on the places mentioned in comparison to other places. 
None of the characters had any qualities that made them stand out. Sage got on my nerves a few times because of her stupid decisions and realizations. 

"Most of all, she was done being Quinn's pawn

So she wasn't the one volunteering to do all that stuff then.. Okay...

The thing that really saved this book for me was the romance aspect. I appreciated it so much, it was adorable. How The Traitor's Kiss ended was touching yet annoying. I want to know more! The little surprise in the middle was a great touch; I thought it was a nice twist. I sorta guessed it :)
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It was a bit fluffy for me personally, but I think fans of The Selection will love this book!
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This received a 1 star review from more for several reasons. It is, to say the least, incredibly problematic. At one point the author reference a character skin as being so dark he could disappear in the shadows. Like, there is no place in 2017 for that to be even remotely appropriate. There were alot of other racial stereotyped elements that pulled me out of this in what little I read. This was a mess of blatant racial call outs. Not even subtle. Like in the reader's face, not even close to being explained away.

I just could not finish this novel. World building was great, but character development had ZERO sensitivity check and the pacing was mediocre at best. The off putting, but emotionally strong willed and snotty teen heroine trope just gets old in these YA Fantasy novels as well.. It's pedantic and predictable, but it could be saved with other elements. This did not have those elements, sadly.

Again, this is another PRIME example of why using echo chambers as critique partners and NOT using a sensitivity reader can kill a book series before it begins. 

In my opinion, everyone from top to bottom involved in this needs to take a step back and look at the industry, as this does not represent it.

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It’s rare to find a refreshing take on young adult romance, particularly when the story depends on political intrigue and complicated relationships to drive the plot forward. The Traitor’s Kiss, by Erin Beaty, is nothing if not archetypical, but I can’t help falling in love with the protagonists, and if you love young adult romance with some action and a touch of strategy, then you’ll enjoy this read. Spoiler-free review below!

We meet Sage Fowler, the daughter born to a man of low status and a woman of high birth who were deeply in love. In this world, it’s typically bastards who receive the name of a plant or flower. Though Sage is legitimate by birth and by any other means, the very fact that her parents chose to go against these archaic traditions and name her “Sage” (a very pretty name, I think!), is telling of how she doesn’t quite fit into her society. She doesn’t want to be married and would rather spend her time with her nose buried in books or following a teaching vocation. Instead, she is apprenticed to a matchmaker, whose craft is much more complicated than Sage would have thought. Matchmakers hold the kingdom at their fingertips as they weave political alliance and maintain power balances. They prepare to bring a group of select ladies to the kingdom’s capital for the Concordium, a celebration where ladies and lords are betrothed and matched.

We alternate between Sage and a few other characters from the military escort intended to escort the women. The soldiers we meet are full of character and are distinct from each other. Each soldier has a clear purpose and talent, and I particularly love the brotherly relationships between them. They eclipse the gaggle of women they’re supposed to escort, and I didn’t bother paying them any attention.

Sage is a real gem among gems. I am a huge fan of strong female protagonists, but that strength is hard to balance in romance. I think Beaty did a great job of introducing Sage to us as an intelligent young woman, and kept reminding us that her last name is Fowler, after all, and she’s adept at all things outdoors. She prefers to ride horses in breeches instead of skirts (the travesty!), can shoot targets with a sling, and is not afraid of getting roughed up in order to protect herself and the people she loves.

The political drama of the court was a little complicated to follow, since one of the powers in contention had only brief appearances and seemed negligible, even though their name was thrown around quite often as a threat. So instead, I just focused on Sage and her developing attraction to one of the soldiers in their Concordium escort. Let’s call him Mouse, shall we? Mouse is a lovely and deep persona, and was crafted really well to match Sage’s level of maturity and dignity.

The Traitor’s Kiss could easily be read as a standalone novel, though there are now plans to work the story into a trilogy called The Traitor’s Circle. So, if you don’t care for series’, you can still read The Traitor’s Kiss and feel pretty satisfied.
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I found the pacing too slow, but more than that, I could not get invested in the characters, and I found the portrayal of the "bad guys" to be super problematic.
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I did not and will not read this book because:
- Girl on girl hate & misogyny.
- Dark-skinned aggressor trait. Read Justine's post about how harmful this trope is here:

When will books stop being racist and misogynistic? I'm TIRED of this. 

Read the Aila's full review (with specific quotes) about how harmful and hurtful this book is here:
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Published: April 20th,2017

Published: May 9th 

Genres: Young Adult

Reading from: ebook/hardcover


Pages:352 pages

Series or Standalone: Trilogy

Rating: ---

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

OKAY................ I don't feel exactly comfortable for supporting this book after reading about how this book was offensive. I actually really loved this book but I want to say i'm blinded by my enjoyment by not being able to pickup up on the issues of this book. So this is why i'm leaving my rating as blank, because i;m not even sure how I feel about it.

So the main character, Sage Farrow is  an orphan living with her Uncle's family. And lets just say they don't have the best relationship out there.

We get to know she intelligent, calculating and just pretty much good at everything.  

there's really no extremely strong friendship between Sage and any other girls in the beginning, not really good thing a book. However she does become friends with a girl in the book, and it seemed really sweet . 
There also was a lack of description in everything in a way, I also had nothing really to imagine, the author just kept repeating darker, or dark, It was very difficult and could be interpreted in several different ways. And can be harmful and offensive.

The pacing was slow but i absolutely loved it, it was really written well in my opinion. And the romance was slow burning and not instalove(which is a major plus),  They developed a nice friendship, and it was extremely well written.

This book also slightly reminded me of The Kiss of Deception, with the whole characters POVs.
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Sage Fowler has no interest in getting married; in fact, she hopes it never happens. When she is hired by the local matchmaker, Sage can't believe that this job will be anything more than mindless prattle and boring tasks. Boy was she wrong; pretty soon Sage is wrapped up being a spy to help the king figure out where loyalties lie and Sage herself my just start to re-think her thoughts on marriage. 
A fun, fast paced debut novel that I read in one sitting and has me interested in the next in this series!
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I really enjoyed this book and read it in 2 evenings. The style was easy to read and get lost in. I enjoyed Sage's outburst and her quick to anger temper as this is something I struggle with on a daily basis. I liked reading from both her perspective and Quinn's. There was definitely a What The What moment about 60% of the way through just when I thought I had things figured out. I laughed and was brought to tears and for me that is a sign of a good book. I do wish the chapter could have been labeled with the new speaker when it changed between the several point of views but it usually only took a few sentences to figure out who was talking or narrating.
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Holy cannoli I LOVED THIS BOOK!

I just really enjoyed the characters and I love the breadcrumbs dropped along the way that made you question what was coming and i'm proud to say I guessed right.

This is definitely a book that you'll want in physical form because my god the amount of page flipping back and forth that I did to compare and contrast characters and scenes would have been so much better with a physical copy.

Sage Fowler is a well rounded character that I found to be utterly believable. She was a like-able main character without being an unbelievable heroine. She seemed very self aware and I think that was what I liked most about her and her relationships with others.

I don't even know how to write about the other characters without spoilers so I just won't do it! But I loved the boys. I loved their comaraderie and I loved the relationships they built with the brides in this book. 

So well crafted and really just delightful. A fantastic read and what looks to be the start of an amazing trilogy! Pick it up asap!
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I picked up Traitor's Kiss last night and I could not put it down! I was given an ARC of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review - and I feel like I got the better end of that bargain. Sage Fowler is a strong, relatable character for young women. I adore that Erin Beaty spends more time describing Sage's intelligence, wit, and thirst for learning than her looks and beauty. Sage does not allow people to walk all over her and instead charts her own course. She has a dream, to become a teacher, and she doesn't let anything get in her way - not her uncle, her well-meaning aunt, or her eventual relationship. She is also compassionate, offering to help those around her learn more and even willing to risk her own safety for that of others. She is clever and quick witted. 

The plot was fast-paced and interesting. There was a twist that I really liked. There were definitely clues planted before it's reveal, but it still was surprising and enjoyable. I look forward to reading more about these characters and this world, and was pleased when I realized that this was the first book in the trilogy. This author will definitely be one to watch.

From a purely aesthetic standpoint, the cover is GORGEOUS! I love juxtaposition of the flowers with the sword. I saw this book on several bookstagram accounts and book blogs, and I thought it was too pretty not to pre-order. That it was a fantasy novel (my favorite genre) was just a boon. 

The only part that gave me pause is this: The age difference between the teen protagonist and her eventual love. Sage is seventeen years old, and Quinn is twenty-one. While four years isn't a problem in real life for adults, I feel somewhat conflicted about these relationships when I share books with my teenage students. Books can help shape their beliefs and expectations about relationships - and if a four year age difference is normalized to a fourteen year old, it could lead them into an unhealthy relationship. That being said, Beaty's country and culture is clearly not our world, and she even puts in part about girls getting into relationships too early as a negative thing. And I really like how she shaped Sage and Quinn's relationship - he is respectful of her sexual boundaries, admires her intelligence, is willing to let her take the lead in plans regardless of her gender, and supports her dreams and career aspirations. In the end, it isn't an engagement ring that he gives her, but a job interview! If my students normalize partner behavior like Quinn's, I would be thrilled! The age comment isn't just about this book, and their gap isn't even the biggest I've read in YA fantasy (i'm looking at you, Vampire Academy), it's just something I've been thinking about.
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I really loved this book and couldn't stop reading it after about 80 pages. I was up until 2 am just reading on a Monday night. This book was adorable and I really enjoy reading about a kingdom with arranged marriages. Not that I enjoy arranged marriages but I like reading about how different main characters will react to the proposal. At least in this world, you can be matched by someone who tries to put you with someone who is "good" for you.

This book was not only fast paced but it was held my attention the entire way through. Once I had sat down and actually had time to start reading the book, I just couldn't stop reading. This is one of those books that once you're hooked, you just can't stop.

Sometimes, okay no, all the time, I like to read about people falling in love. Not the shitty, insta love, but like actual genuine love. I'm not a mushy person just reading about people being happy makes me so happy and I'm all about that. But that's off topic, I only wanted to start off by saying that I love love but hate insta love so this story was just perfect. The main character, Sage, doesn't just fall in love with the first man she sees. If anything, she thinks that no one will ever love her and doesn't want to get married. She's a character that I could really relate too and I didn't find anything that I really disliked about her. Sage is a strong and independent woman and I really liked how she was willing to risk so much for the land and people that she loved.

My only complaint is that this is going to be a trilogy and I don't really think it needs to be. It finished like a contemporary would and I think it ended perfectly. I'm not particularly interested in the politics of the kingdom and because of that, I did give the book 4.5 stars instead of a full 5. I think that if I had something that interested me besides the love story then I would probably read the next 2 books. That being said, I might read them, I just don't know.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fiction books and doesn't mind romance in their books. This is definitely a book for those who love reading about strong female characters. This book comes out May 9th, and I will definitely be recommending this book to my friends if they are looking for a book with romance but also an interesting story.
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Sage Fowler is a young girl who dreams of finding a job to start a life of her own.  Her uncle, however, has other ideas.  In a world where marriages are done for political prestige and power, she is sent to the top matchmaker to hopefully make an important match for her family.  Things however turn out badly for her and she is deemed unfit for marriage, Sage however becomes an apprentice to the matchmaker and tasked with observing and rating other young ladies to be married off for political alliances and their suitors.  She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them as they head to the capitol for their chance at prosperous proposals.

However, there is much intrigue as their military escort senses an uprising and catch enemies in their area, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. It becomes unclear to her and the reader whom she can trust.

There are secret identities to be revealed and a tempestuous romance,  It is a fast-paced book that was hard to put down.  The characters are intriguing and leave you wanting more in the series. The only flaw was that the secret identities can leave you confused as the point-of-view changes between Sage, the soldier, and the villain. Overall,  The Traitor’s Kiss is  an engaging novel full of intrigue, espionage, and lies.
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Boy oh Boy boy this book was so GOOD! I wasnt too sure what I was expecting when I first requested this title, but I am glad to find this little gem. Right off the bat, this book has you hooked, it kept me reading for hours on end. Erin Beaty weaves a story of love and misconceptions, spies and war with wit and poise. Fans of The winners Curse and Kiss of Deception will love this title. The story is compelling the the romance is swoon worthy. I highly recommend this read.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me a digital ARC of “The Traitor's Kiss by Erin Beaty. This is such a fun debut. The characters are colorful and full of personality. I love the matchmaking aspect. The romance in this story is swoon worthy. Perfect for fans of fantasy with some steamy romance. I will definitely be recommending it for the library where I work. Also, the cover is gorgeous!
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Don't let the Jane Austen comparison scare you away quickly; I enjoyed this book though I dislike that style. However, this book relied quite heavily on romance and there definitely could have been more to the plot.

My biggest issue with this was world building and characterization of general populations. I felt like this book benefitted from previous fantasy books I'd read; I could see it happening in the general realm that all fantasy books tend to take place in. There were a few races that really weren't given personalities other than being bad, and I wished that they had had more interest and humanity to them so that I could better understand their motivations.

The romance definitely drove this book. While Sage seems at surface level to be another exciting heroine, she's not really the most sociable character and I was kind of disappointed by how her relationship with her mentor didn't really progress. Sage is smart, but she looks down on basically everyone else, and I wanted to see some humanity in her--some jealousy or some desire or something. Instead, she falls for her own boy, and that drives the latter half of the book.

Nonetheless, this sucked me in and was an easy read. I felt like the romance between them, while it escalated far too quickly, was believable. I got pretty confused about all the characters and their switching, but I could see how each character's motivations affected them.

This is a pretty solid fantasy and I think that a lot of people would enjoy it. Though I was ultimately disappointed at how it fell for a lot of the gimmicks that prior fantasy novels have set up, I recommend it for those who enjoy the genre.
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This was a fantastic debut! The main character, Sage, was smart and resourceful, feisty and strong, and I really grew to like her! The development was amazing! Also, the budding romance, while a small part, was so well-done and swoony! I eagerly look forward to future books by Beaty!
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This book had ups and downs. The middle got a little slow for me, but then things started to pick up as secrets become unraveled. Pretty good for book 1!
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