A Middle of The Road Read | The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty
Series: Traitor's Trilogy #1
Published by: Imprint on May 9th 2017
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Source: Audiobook Purchase
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
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 proper lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for a suitable 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.
With secret identities and a tempestuous romance, Erin Beaty's The Traitor’s Kiss is full of intrigue, espionage, and lies.
The Traitor’s Kiss (Traitor’s Trilogy #1) by Erin Beaty is not a bad read. In my quest to find another suitable audiobook after my tremendous success with a few recent YA releases, The Hundredth Queen, A Court of Wings and Ruin, and Crystal Storm, I desperately needed another YA fantasy — and fast. I will admit, the fantastic cover and the intriguing premise lured me into its web. Though I did not think The Traitor’s Kiss was a superb audiobook, it was rather enjoyable.
The story follows Sage Fowler, a girl raised by her aunt and uncle in a world where women have very little choice about their lives and, more often than not, are worried about entering the perfect marriage. Or in a word, ‘matched’. Sage has no desire to be matched. After the death of her father and mother, her one true desire is freedom to live her life how she desires. Though when her uncle decides it is time she meet the Matchmaker and become matched herself, Sage ruins her chances at being matched. After this terrible first meeting with the acclaimed Matchmaker, Sage does get a second chance. The Matchmaker offers her a job as her apprentice and gives Sage a reason to do something else other than get married. However, her simple job of matchmaking quickly becomes a chance for her to put her attitude and smart mouth to use.
At first, I really liked this story. I enjoyed Sage and her backstory, how she loved to teach others and just wanted to make her own decisions. Nevertheless, as time went on The Traitor’s Kiss became a slow, daunting task. The story is told through multiple perspectives, something I normally enjoy, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if there were a different narrator. Each character sounded like the next and I just did not feel there were enough variations in the voices considering the large cast of characters. This is very noticeable when it came to the men, good guys and bad guys, people pretending to be other people. Without giving too much of the twist away, it threw me for a loop and became confusing as heck when the true nature of the leading male is revealed.
A second thing I found wholly unbelievable, was how every man in the book swooned over Sage and her epic cleverness. Even with the simplest of ideas, they viewed them as grand gestures. Apparently, no one else in the entire group of soldiers could have come up with their own solutions. Yes, I said that right. She had better ideas than trained military men (*shrugs*). It does force you to suspend disbelief — a lot.
Even with all the above being said the last 40% of the book was great. I liked the spying, Sage using her (and I use this term loosely) ‘skills’ to discover her own way of helping her group. Sage’s friendship with Claire was endearing, considering the rest of the women were pretentious. I guess if all you had to worry about was finding a husband, it does make sense. Still, it caused me to do many eye rolls. There was also some great battle scenes, a decent adversary, a budding romance, and of course death, which kept me listening until the very end.
Overall, The Traitor’s Kiss is not bad, but it could have been so much better. The book essentially needed three things: more general world building, more explanation about why marriages were so important and how they came to be important (ex: the Concordium), and a narrator who can make each character sound unique and different from the last. To me, the ending is the best part of the book and it does have me patiently waiting for the next installment.