Title The Traitor’s Kiss (The Traitor’s Circle #1)
Author Erin Beaty
Description from Amazon
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.
MULAN! So many images of the opening scenes of Mulan come to mind when I think of a girl going to see a matchmaker and being deemed “unmatchable”. Furthermore, Sage’s work as a spy make me think of how Mulan worked with her unit in the army and became a fundamental part of their team.
Mulan is one of my favorite Disney movies so I was super excited to read a book that, to me, seemed to be inspired by that story.
Casseck — Casseck was the perfect minor character. He was present when necessary and provided the often much needed voice of reason for both Sage and his fellow officers. I hope to see much more of him in the next two books in this series.
Honorable Mention to Charlie. He was such a good page and he idolized his brother. No spoilers, but I absolutely hated the direction that Charlie’s storyline took.
The cover of this book is just ok. It’s not beautiful, but it’s not ugly either. I listened to this as an audiobook and this cover is not anything that I would need to put on my shelf. Maybe if I found it for a really good deal on Book Outlet, but otherwise, this isn’t a cover with a ton of shelf appeal.
While I understand the title of the story, I think “The Traitor’s …” is a very overrused naming convention. I actually thought I had already read this series but I was confusing it with The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer Nielsen.
Something I Really Liked
The plot twist. Ok, so full disclosure, I accidentally read the synopsis of the second book, The Traitor’s Ruin, before I started The Traitor’s Kiss so I saw a spoiler of who Sage ends up with by the second book. As I was listening to The Traitor’s Kiss and I was about halfway through, I could not figure out how the transition was going to happen. I’m actually surprised I didn’t see it coming but I really liked that it took me by surprise.
I think this book could easily have been a stand alone story. I think there is a broader politically driven plot that was set up, but it was not the focal point of this story. I am definitely interested in continuing with this series but the ending of The Traitor’s Kiss left me satisfied to the point where I could wait a while before reading the next book. (Although I won’t be waiting because I want to read the last book when it comes out in two weeks.)
I really enjoyed this book. It was an older book (when I say old, I mean it’s not an ARC and it’s not a 2019 release), but I’m glad I finally decided to read it.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Hopes for The Traitor’s Ruin
More reveal of the overarching story. I think this book sets the reader up with some inklings of bigger problems in this fictional world, but there is not much to work with. I want more explanations about the political landscape.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey – this story is exactly what the title promises, a historical fiction telling of love, lies, and spies. If you liked The Traitor’s Kiss, you will like this book too.
- The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross – another epic story about rebellion, secrets, and spying. The whole series has not been released yet, but the first two installments are not to be missed if you enjoyed The Traitor’s Kiss.
- Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian – another story with royals, spies, and secret identities. While, this wasn’t my favorite read of 2019, I think the series has a ton of potential.