Friday, May 12, 2017

Review: The Traitor's Kiss - Erin Beaty

The Traitor's Kiss 
Erin Beaty
Series: Traitor's Trilogy, #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Imprint
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sage is a strong willed young woman in a time of compliant maidens. She prefers breeches to skirts, and climbing trees to needlepoint. When forced to meet the matchmaker, she reveals her aversion to being matched. The matchmaker decides to take Sage under her wing as her apprentice, where Sage demonstrates her keen observational skills and sharp intellect. The royal guard also admires these skills, and she is recruited to gather information for the crown as they sense an uprising brewing.

I would like to state, that I am a hard-core contemporary reader. However, I do delight in a fantasy novel from time to time, and especially like when the story lean towards high fantasy. I love taking that trip back to an undefined time, to another world, that is entrenched in its own history, geography, and politics. Ahhh, a true escape from the day to day grind.

I was very pleased with the escape provided by The Traitor's Kiss. I know there are some things that will disappoint the hard core fantasy lovers out there. As far as I know, there is no map, and I know it is somewhat crucial to understand the lay of the land. Perhaps, there will be a map in the finished copy (?). And, although Beaty did a wonderful job with the history and politics of the realm, the world building was still a little lacking. Alas, this is slated to be a trilogy, and Beaty can get that done in the next book. But, like I said, I am a contemporary reader, so this did not bother me. This book was all about the characters for me.

I think at this point, we expect strong heroines, and Sage was just that. She had her own thoughts and opinions. She wanted to make her own decisions, and to make her own way in the world. She valued intellect and learning over preening and being matched. She was essentially an anachronism in this undefined medieval-like time. I loved her spirit, her sass, her can-do attitude. I liked that she was not afraid to get her hands dirty. There were so many sides and layers to her. Her past broke my heart, but  what a future I sense for her.
"I could never be happy pretending to be something I'm not. I just wish being myself didn't cause so much trouble."
I thought the matchmaker was well crafted, as well. Mistress Rodelle had this air of superiority, that came along with the power to arrange political unions, but she also had this nurturing side, which was apparent in her dealings with Sage. Some of her plotting elicited grins from me, as I knew I would love the result. She was crafty, and I liked it.

The captain and his men wormed their way into my heart as well. They were swoonworthy, but also so loyal and dedicated to the crown and each other. Their bonds of brotherhood were quite apparent, and their interactions were often amusing. But what I really liked, was the way they respected Sage. Once she was pulled into their circle, they listened to her, and treated her as an equal. They considered her suggestions, and when they worked, they gave her credit. They appreciated her, and didn't underestimate her abilities. That scored them points in my book.

Some reviews I have read did not like when the book took a romantic turn. Um, I love romance, and this one was totally ship-worthy. I smiled and swooned and all that good stuff. It was a slow burn, but once it got there, it was a wildfire.
"Kissing her had been like tasting sunshine."
This is also the type of trilogy I like - no cliffy! I am a fan of series, which have an overarching story, but also a story arc that is completed in each book. This BIG plot is not resolved, but the smaller plot is. We know enough at the end of this book to expect more, but also be sated, and that always pleases me.

Overall: a promising beginning to a new series replete with great characters, battles, duplicitous plots, espionage, and romance.

**I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy of this book.

Are you a high fantasy fan?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. I was so curious about your thoughts on this one, since I knew you liked it a lot, and I... did not hahah. I do understand why you would, though! I actually DID like the romance, I think I was just too annoyed at that point by the stuff that was bothering me to care too much? I don't see why this wouldn't have romance? I mean, that seems like a given, tbh. I mean, it is called The Traitor's KISS after all!

    I do like high fantasy though I seem to either LOVE them or HATE them, so... maybe that is why this one and I did not get along ;) Either way, I am glad you loved it, great review!!

    1. I am a character driven reader. If I love a character, I can forgive things like holes in the plot or world building, in fact, I may not even notice them, because all I care about is what is going to happen to my new friend. =) That is probably why I read predominately contemporaries, though.