Title: The Traitor’s Kiss
Author: Erin Beaty
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: The Traitor’s Circle, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
I was browsing in my local library and the cover of The Traitor’s Kiss caught my eye: mint green, adorned with rich roses of many colors, with a sharp, vicious-looking dagger at its center. I’d meant to read it back when it first came out, but it had gotten lost in my ever-growing to be read stack. So I took it home. When I realized that I couldn’t renew it any more, I pushed it to the top of my stack after I finished Brazen. And I’m so happy that I did! Lush with detail, political intrigue, forbidden romance, and unexpected humor, The Traitor’s Kiss was a fantastic, feminist debut, and I can’t wait for The Traitor’s Ruin! Erin Beaty has become one of my new recent debut authors, and I’m excited to see what she’s got up her sleeve next.
Sage Fowler, unlike other young women her own age, does not wish to get married. Fierce, sharp-tongued and the farthest thing from ladylike, she is deemed unfit for matrimony, and instead is apprenticed to a matchmaker, and is charged with wrangling the fine ladies that her mistress retains as clients, often for making political alliances. But she is so much more than she seems: she often spies on her clients in hopes of garnering information, and that also includes the soldiers who escort them across the countries. As whispers begin of a dangerous political uprising that could mean turning the tides of the war, she is recruited by a mysterious, attractive soldier to infiltrate the enemy’s ranks. But the more discovers as a spy, she soon realizes that it is impossible to know who to trust, and she is trapped in a web of intrigue and danger that will determine the fate of her kingdom…
This book was really strong, especially considering that it was a debut. It seemed to jump several genres, combining lots of different elements to make something completely different. Romance, politically charged spy thriller, fantasy: It never seemed to make up its mind, as far as what it was, but that was one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much. The pacing was brisk and exciting, and I liked the way that the book bounced between several different characters; it provided a lot of perspective to the different events that were happening. And the romance! Oh, my goodness, I was swooning more than once! I loved Sage, and the way that she bucked society’s mores with fierce defiance, wanting to stay true to herself and do what she wished even while she fell in love. Alexander was one of my favorite characters, too, full of secrets of his own, and a bright conviction to his family and eventually to Sage. And that ending! At times, though, there were so many different characters and countries that I had a hard time keeping track of everything; I wish there had been a reference in the back of the book. Despite some little flaws, I can’t wait to see what The Traitor’s Ruin has in store! Erin Beaty has done a fabulous job with The Traitor’s Kiss. Next on deck: The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer!