The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty

The Traitor's Kiss


Goodreads: The Traitor’s Kiss
Series: Traitor’s Kiss Trilogy #1
Source: LIbrary
Published: May 9, 2017

Official Summary

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 lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for 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.


The Traitor’s Kiss is exactly the type of satisfying YA fantasy I like to read.  It has just about everything one could ask for: a strong protagonist, a mysterious love interest, clear world building, intrigue and politics.  Interestingly, matchmakers play a large role, and part of the plot is that a large group of eligible girls are going to be displayed and then set up for marriage (in a way reminiscent of books like The Glittering Court), and yet this isn’t the point of the book.  The point is that there’s a traitor in the kingdom, and everyone is in danger of losing their lives.

There are parts of the plot that are just…convenient, in a way I find is often common in YA.  I was willing to overlook these moments because I enjoyed the book in general, but they did keep the novel from being as strong as it could have been.  In general, however, I thought there were enough unique aspects to help the book stand apart from some of the YA crowd.

There’s a nice mix of characters in the book, though I admit some do run to tropes.  Of course most of the rich marriageable girls are mean to the protagonist, and they have a gorgeous blonde ringleader who’s the meanest of them all and tends towards less than modest dress.  And of course there’s the one nice girl of the group who befriends the protagonist.  And so on. However, I think this kind of stuff is common in a lot of books because people like it.  I certainly enjoyed the book, even as I recognized the patterns that many of the characters were falling into.

The book is one that I think functioned well enough as a standalone.  I understand the publisher’s impulse to keep momentum going on a good thing and an author’s impulse to further explore worlds and characters they have created.  However, this book was just in the space for me where I enjoyed reading one book…but I wasn’t captivated enough to want to read a sequel.  I’ll look for more novels from this author because I think she has talent, but I don’t think I’ll be reading more of this particular series.

3 Stars Briana

20 thoughts on “The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty

    • Briana says:

      It was interesting! I think the book could have been even better even with some minor touch-ups. Like, it wouldn’t have been a huge overhaul to make sure the mean girl wasn’t a rich, blonde, “skanky” girl.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Rosie Amber says:

    A saturated YA market does mean that staying with well used tropes does run a risk with readers. Perhaps the time now is to make her own stand and be confident to create work away from the what has been written before.


    • Briana says:

      I agree. This might have been a good way for her to practice her writing and get into the genre, but now that this book is published, I hope she’ll be able to branch away from the tropes some more.


  2. Raven and Beez says:

    Awesome review! The cliches you mentioned are something that I’ve been running away from TBH because I’ve become so tired of them. However, I hope your next read turns out great 😀


    • Briana says:

      No, I think so, too. Partly I think it’s readers/editors looking for the same traits in every character. Demanding that every novel be “character driven” sounds innocuous and maybe even like a good idea until that gets interpreted as “every female character is extroverted, smart, active. and skilled in the art of war.” Or something like that. Oh, and she definitely has a love interest, but we need to show she doesn’t “need” or depend on him.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marie says:

    Lovely review, Briana 🙂 I’m sorry to hear about all of the tropes in that one – it gets a bit annoying at times, to read the same kind of scenarios over and over again. I hope you’ll have a great next read 🙂


  4. Krysta says:

    It seems like there must be something that resonates about these tropes with readers? Like maybe the people who like to tuck themselves away with a good book are likely to the ones who felt bullied at school or felt like they were in competition with the “prettier” girls? Or maybe it’s just that these tropes are ingrained. I’m at the point where, if I see a female with black hair in a show, I think, “Sadly, she’s probably going to turn out to be a traitor.” Because for some reason females do seem to be given roles based on hair color???


    • Briana says:

      They must be resonating with someone. They’re not even necessarily wrong. You *can* have a rich blond mean girl who wears low-cut tops and flashes her chest at people to get what she wants. But combining a bunch of tropes in one text is what really makes them stand out.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sam Frost says:

    I’ve had this one on my shelf for a bit now but I’m glad that you’ve pointed out there are tropes in it. I still want to read it but I always prefer to know that they exist than stumble upon them as I go. Great review!


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