Cover Image: The Traitor's Kiss

The Traitor's Kiss

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Member Reviews

I don't know how to start this review properly. I have so many thoughts and I don't know how to organize them into a coherent format. I liked this book and I didn't like it. There were parts of it that were really great, but most of it just fell really flat to me. Then I have to ask myself, why did I keep reading if I didn't like it all that much? I usually DNF. I know some reviewers have no issue writing negative reviews and I used to too, but I don't like to push myself through something I'm not enjoying anymore just so I can write a critical review. It's just not how I want to blog. But in this case, I kept reading because of the characters. I loved them. And they were the only thing that kept me reading.

Another review pointed out the girl on girl hate in this book, and yeah, it's bad in the sense that Sage is a tomboy and there are occasions when she looks down on the brides that are to be matched at the Concordium. And there is a bride called Jacqueline that's particularly cruel to her but she doesn't even seem to really have a reason to be. The behavior doesn't lead to anything and it's just there for two girls to be feuding. It was weird. Writing tip #1: If a character's behavior doesn't affect events in the book, probavly don't include it? Just like I don't need to know everything that everyone is wearing in every scene, I don't need to have characters in the book that do nothing for the plot. Also, Sage has one female friend--Clare--who is also a bride, and once again she has no influence over any events in the book.

I really liked Sage though and the cattiness didn't bother me because it wasn't that bad and there were other things going on. Plus, it's realistic to me. I know we'd like to believe all women love and support each other, but that's just not the case. At least it hasn't been in my life. I've had a lot of great female friends, but I've also been around a lot of girls who are fucking cruel to each other. There's always a reason though, so if you're going to include it, at least make it realistic.

As for the story itself, I found most of this reallllllyyy boring. I don't care about military maneuvers and court politics. I wanted more action. And sadly to say, this one didn't have a whole lot of that. There is spying, yeah, but there isn't any great excitement that comes from that, and to me it read really dull. There was just so much talking, and talking of things that were eventually going to happen, but it took forever for us to get there.

Most of the dialogue was great, but there were a lot of clarity issues in the writing that I really hope are cleaned up before the book is published. I consider myself a pretty smart person, but I got confused a lot. Yeah, there was wonky formatting in my eARC as well, but I still should be able to fall what's going on, one would think, and when a certain twist happened, I was totally thrown for a loop and not a good one. There were things said earlier in the book that made this almost improbable to me, so for god's sake catch this stuff in the copy edit. I hope.

The only thing that made this book enjoyable for me were the characters. Without that I would have DNFed for sure. I'm not sure if I will continue the trilogy or not. There were just so many pages and hardly any plot. I don't know about this one, guys.

Swoony and shippy romance though, so there is that.
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If you love any girl who doesn't see the world like the rest, a girl who doesn't need a man to complete her, sage fowler is the heroine you're looking for. This book had so many twists, so many turns I couldn't put it down. I cannot wait to read the rest of this awesome trilogy. Seeing as the first one completely ruined (and slightly) put my heart back together again.
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Actual rating: 3.5

Sage Fowler is a wonderful character, at least for the first half of The Traitor's Kiss. She's smart, sarcastic, and unable to hide the disgust she often feels for the rituals of social niceties. In addition, because of her unusual upbringing, she's perhaps more comfortable in the woods in boy's clothing than she is dressed and behaving as a proper young lady. 

When she comes into the employ of an powerful matchmaker, Sage's character expands further, and her ability to read people becomes a crucial skill in her new work. Things get even better when, through a series of only vaguely plausible (but, seriously -- who cares?) events she begins to use her skills to spy in earnest rather than just watching the eligible brides around her. At this point, the book  is wonderful -- funny, well-paced, and a ton of fun. During the second half of the story, however, additional characters are introduced and the focus shifts away from Sage, something which immediately cause the book's light to dim. In addition, once the central romance begins, Sage loses many of her dimensions and is too often little more than a stereotypical smitten girl. 

I'd eagerly read a trilogy of books about Sage doing cool stuff in her matchmaking career, but the romance and politics are much less compelling. Frustratingly, those things were very much the focus of the story's end, so it seems likely they'll be at the center of book two as well.

Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan for the ARC!

[the above review will go up at the link below a month before publication]
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Sage completely refuses to be married, and because of this, she is apprenticed to a matchmaker, to pair others together in relationships.  But the matchmaker Sage works with encourages her to hone her powers of observation, and those powers of observation turn out to be useful when Sage is recruited to be a spy.  But when everyone around her has their own motives, Sage will have to be very careful.  Trusting the wrong person could be fatal.  Sage is a headstrong, compelling character, and readers will enjoy getting to know her and the world she lives in.
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I was a little disappointed in this book.  There just isn't very much happening until the last few chapters, and that is when the story really comes alive.  Until that point, it is pretty much about two characters trying to decide if they can trust each other. The male narrator almost put me to sleep for the first several chapters because everything is about politics and military manuvers that I didn't care about or understand at that point.  I was invested in the female narrator from the start, though, and she is really why I kept reading. I think she should have been the sole narrator because the dual perspectives worked against the story - every reader is completely aware that they can trust each other and that means the theme gets old quickly.  I think there is a bit of a cheat as well when the story takes a twist that feels like it was more about tricking me as a reader than anything else.  In addition, there are also a mind boggling number of male characters who all have a variety of names and code names, and they are way too easy to mix up.  While the ending left me pretty satisfied, I felt like I had to work really hard to earn it, And I'm just not sure how many of my high school students would be willing to stick around for the payoff.  Language and situations are appropriate for grades 8+.
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Thank you, Netgalley, for a copy of this book. My opinions are entirely my own.

Oh man, this book was SO GOOD! 

When I first jumped into The Traitor's Kiss, I wasn't expecting this beauty. Such a welcome surprise, and it left me reading for hours on end. I honestly couldn't put it down.If you are a fan of Kiss of Deception, you are sure to love this book. Twisty, smart, engaging and thankfully bereft of Purple Prose, debut Erin Beaty weaves a story of love and misconceptions, spies and war with wit and poise. 

Our heroine, Sage Fowler glows and blossoms, and Beaty gives her just the right amount of character development to leave us enamored. Sage isn't perfect, and just the right amount of admirable and witty for her character to be engaging and adored. Beaty's supporting cast is each given their time to shine and grow as well.

The twists will keep you reading, the romance will keep you dreaming. If you love Kiss of Deception or The Winner's Curse, you must read this book!
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This is the best book I've read so far in 2017! The plot was amazing and there were a lot of characters but they were all very unique and unforgettable. The romance was so swoon-worthy, the chemistry between Captaij Quinn and Sage was off-the-charts! I couldn't put the book down! This is easily one of my all time favorite books. I highly recommend it!
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