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Burning Glass (Burning Glass Series #1)

Burning Glass (Burning Glass Series #1)

4.1 10
by Kathryn Purdie

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Red Queen meets Shadow and Bone in a debut fantasy about a girl forced to use her gift for sensing—and absorbing—other people’s feelings to protect the empire from assassins. Steeped in intrigue and betrayal, Burning Glass captivates with heartrending romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s quest for redemption. 


Red Queen meets Shadow and Bone in a debut fantasy about a girl forced to use her gift for sensing—and absorbing—other people’s feelings to protect the empire from assassins. Steeped in intrigue and betrayal, Burning Glass captivates with heartrending romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s quest for redemption. 

In Riaznin, it’s considered an honor for Auraseers like Sonya—girls with a rare form of synesthesia—to serve as the emperor’s personal protector, constantly scanning for feelings of malice and bloodlust in the court. But Sonya would rather be free.

After the queen’s murder and a tragic accident, Sonya is hauled off to the palace to guard a charming yet volatile new ruler. But Sonya’s power is reckless and hard to control. She’s often carried away by the intense passion of others.

And when a growing rebellion forces Sonya to side with either the emperor who trusts her or his mysterious brother, the crown prince, Sonya realizes she may be the key to saving the empire—or its greatest threat.

Editorial Reviews

Amie Kaufman
“Dark, intricate and utterly immersive, Burning Glass will take you on a journey you’ll never forget. Heart-pounding action meets deadly intrigue and aching romance, drawing you deep inside a story full of complex questions.”
Sara B. Larson
“Richly imagined, compelling, and darkly romantic, this book will leave you begging for more!”
Allison Senecal
“I feel like BURNING GLASS has catered to all of my YA book needs: Russian-flavored fantasy, a neat but not overly complicated magic system, a flawed but wonderful heroine, and the only kind of love triangle I can enjoy (one involving competing brothers!)”
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Sonya has a rare talent: she can feel, both physically and emotionally, those around her. With this talent brings the responsibility of becoming the Sovereign Auraseer for the Imperial Majesty, Valko. Sonya travels to Torchev with Anton, the heir to the throne and younger brother to Valko. Sonya is thrown into learning her new role, balancing court life and rules for the first time, all the while trying to discern if someone is really attempting to assassinate Valko. While observing, Sonya finds herself conflicted as she is drawn to Anton, and whether he has the best interests in mind for his country over his brother. Does she betray Anton? Does she side with the Uprising? Or does she honor her duty as Sovereign Auraseer, despite her nature telling her it is not the best interest of the people of Torchev? Filled with mystery and intrigue, betrayal and passion, Purdie's political debut will sweep readers away to a world that is not that different from their own. Characters are richly developed, leaving teens with a sense of who they are and where they stand in this well-paced story. The ending comes to a satisfying resolution, with a hint of a further installment. VERDICT For libraries whose patrons clamor for additional high fantasy tales, this start of a new trilogy will fit the bill.—Stephanie Charlefour, Wixom Public Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews
Revolution is brewing in Riaznin, and 17-year-old novice Auraseer Sonya Petrova is the people's only hope for freedom. Sonya can divine the feelings of others, and as a result of her ability, she belongs to the empire. When the current sovereign Auraseer is executed for failing in her duties, Sonya, as the next eldest Auraseer, must take her place. In a palace of gold, marble, and amber, she becomes the ruthless Emperor Valko's sixth sense, his guard against those who seek to destroy him. The blandly drawn and oftentimes whiny Sonya quickly falls into a problematic willing-unwilling love affair with the manipulative and violent emperor. She also falls for Prince Anton, Valko's treasonous younger brother, but his attitude toward her seems indifferent. The love triangle plays out predictably and resolves, at least for now, in Sonya's commitment (described without graphic sex in one of many over-the-top ways: "Our auras entwined in a beautiful dance and affirmed the rightness of our union"); the political situation likewise plays out without much suspense. Connections to the world-outside-the-book are clear: Riaznin is certainly czarist Russia circa the revolution, while surrounding empires Estengarde, Abdara, and Shengli are analogous to France, Iran, and China, respectively; the Romska Sonya travels with correspond to the Romany, down to their coloring. Unfortunately, this debut is just another first in an epic fantasy trilogy that relies on a love triangle to bring tension to the story. (map)(Fantasy. 12-18)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Burning Glass Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.70(d)
HL770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Kathryn Purdie lives near  Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and three children. Kathryn is a trained classical actress who studied at the Oxford School of Drama and was inspired to write this debut trilogy while recovering from donating a kidney to her older brother. www.kathrynpurdie.com.

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Burning Glass (Burning Glass Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am going to save you time and money with the following words: do NOT buy this book. Here is a rather lengthy summary on why this book is pretty bad (warning: there will be some almost-kinda-spoilers. Double warning: the savage is real): ---The main character, Sonya, is overly absorbed in her love interests (which are really unhealthy), and it draws away from the plot. *cough* Twilight *cough* I cannot go a page or two without a, "Oo, Valko and I have soo much in common, so I am just going to ignore the fact that I am his glorified slave. Oh, and the fact that he lives in luxury while his people are dying everyday from starvation." Or a, "Oo, even though Anton is constantly shooting me down and ignoring me, I am going to continue to throw myself at him because why not." Most of this book is just Sonya swooning, and there is very little to her story. Okay, so you are obsessed with two guys. What else is there? ---Sonya's ability is largely inconsistent. One moment her sense of self is literally overcome by a mass number of people, and the next she is surrounded by even more people and is relatively fine. Do not get me wrong, the idea of Sonya's ability to sense the emotions of those around her is pretty awesome and is one of the main reasons that I read this book in the first place. How often do you hear about that sort of thing? Kathryn Perdie had the opportunity to really develop the ability and come up with something new in the fantasy genre. But... there is little substance to it, and is not nearly what it could have been. ---Sonya is underdeveloped. I get that it is hard for her to separate her auras from other people- which actually makes the idea of her ability all the more interesting- but it is just an excuse for how little depth she has. We hear little to nothing about her past, she has very few morals to share with the reader, and we cannot even discern her emotions most of the time! C'mon, Perdie! ---Where, oh where, is the major conflict of the novel? The conflict of a story should be apparent from near the beginning. It is what gives a story substance, and instills a feeling of suspense and wonder in the reader. But this story lacks conflict, and therefore leaves the reader with the question: soo... what, now? The protagonist's very purpose is to identify a conflict and solve it, but Sonya's main conflict concerns her love interests! Does Valko like her? Does Anton like her? I hardly care, all I want to know is what is Anton's secret? Honestly, he should have been the main character because he is the only one that something actually interesting is happening to. These aren't even all of the reasons I do not like this book, but I do have a limit to how much I can say in this review. Lucky for you, really. A summary to the summary: While Kathryn Purdie has the ability to captivate a reader with her beautiful writing, she does not have the ability to captivate a reader with substance. I do not read books to be smothered with the main character's love interests. If I did, I would be interested in romance, not fantasy. I want an amazing, trend-setting plot that holds my interest from beginning to end. This story did not have that, and that is why I would not recommend this book to anyone else.
Anonymous 11 days ago
Anonymous 6 months ago
Five stars all the way
Anonymous 12 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good.
vampiregrl123 More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Epic Reads and HarperCollins for providing me with an ARC for an honest review through the Early Readers Program. “I’m not a mirror. And I don’t break like glass.” –Kathryn Purdie Life has been hectic recently. This book took me longer than I would have liked to finish because school and work have been getting in the way of everything, which is why I’ve been absent recently. This book was exactly what I needed in the middle of reading so many contemporary novels. Burning Glass follows the story of a young woman named Sonya. Right from the start I couldn’t put the novel down. (Except for when I had to because life got in the way.) Sonya is an auraseer, someone who has the ability to feel other people’s emotions. But Sonya is special. She can feel animals emotions and what a person was feeling when they died as well. Due to the death of the previous royal auraseer and an accident at the convent, Sonya is forced to become the new royal auraseer. The prince, Anton, comes to collect her and bring her to the palace to serve his brother. As a result, she is thrown into the middle of feud between members of the court and between the two princes. This book is written in first person narration, which I thought worked very well. Soyna’s character goes through a lot in this novel and readers get a lot of insight to her character based on her own feelings and what she feels from others. The love triangle in this novel was very intriguing. The romantic complications between the three characters was written well and felt like part of the story instead of a separate entity. Sonya stands between the brothers which makes the love triangle interesting. She is supposed to be Valko’s auraseer and be devoted only to him for what ever he needs, but Sonya finds herself drawn to both boys. There was a lot of drama which kept me entertained. This novel was a fabulous and entertaining debut by Kathryn Purdie. While this book felt long while reading it, I also really appreciated it. I look forward to seeing where the trilogy will go.
UrbanGirlReview More than 1 year ago
I had mixed feelings about this book. There were parts I like and there were parts I hated. So, I'll split this review into what I liked and what I didn't like. Starting on a good note, what I liked: Big one for me - character growth. I could see a steady progression of growth in Sonya throughout the book. Revolution theme. Seeing the rising of a revolution and the problems that arose with it. World building. I really got a sense of the countries and cultures. What I didn't like: The inconsistentness of Sonya's 6th sense. For example, in the beginning Sonya feels the anger/hunger of the peasants at the gate of her convent and it controls her to the point that she ultimately kills her friends. Then later she has no (mostly but I'll get to that later) problem controlling her emotions in just as high emotional situations. The only time she can't control her emotion 6th sense is when the emperor feels any passionate/lusty type emotion toward her. She's then all over him later blaming her 6th sense for the lack of resistance. The books focus was much more on her love interests then it was on revolutionary plot or that there were starving people in the world. Lastly, for Sonya having killed her friends in the beginning of the book, she got over it pretty fast. She "punished" herself by holding a statue with her friend's blood on it (she can feel the pain of her dead friend through the blood). But that stopped even before a quarter of the book was done. Aesthetic note: For me the book was really a three part book. The first part was between the convent and arriving at the castle, the second was arriving at castle and finishing reading the poetry book, and the third part was between finishing the poetry book and the end of the book. I had an ARC so maybe there was a page that said part 1, part 2, and part 3, but if not, it would have been a nice physical transitional between the grown of the character. *Thank you to Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for providing this book.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie Book One of the Burning Glass series Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books Publication Date: March 1, 2016 Rating: 3 stars Source: eARC from Edelweiss Summary (from Goodreads): Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer. Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her. But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself. As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray. BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go. What I Liked: I'm going to be honest - the very beginning of this book didn't go well for me. I pushed past it, and made it to about 40%, and I realized that I was rapidly losing interest (mostly due to the romance at that very point). However, I am so happy that I was adequately encouraged, because the book was pretty good. Unfortunately, this is going to be one of those cases where I was so happy with the ending... but the more I thought about it, the less I liked the book. Still, three stars means I was okay with the book overall, I liked it overall. Eight months ago, Sonya was finally captured and taken to the convent were Auraseers - like empaths - are trained to serve the emperor. Auraseers are supposed to be trained from a young age, but Sonya's been going from caravan to caravan since she was little. Fast forward to present day - Sonya's power is out of control. She feels everyone's emotions too strongly, and a terrible mistake leads to her leaving the convent and becoming the Sovereign Auraseer, protector of the emperor. In the palace, she'll discover that she must master her power, because she's realizing that she can't tell the difference between what she is feeling and what others are feeling. Sonya will learn the truth about what the emperor's younger brother is up to, and she'll have to decide who to betray. First thing I will say: the official synopsis makes it seem like everything hinges upon Sonya "choosing" the emperor or his brother (they're a year apart). This would make you think that there is a love triangle. The answer to that: yes and no. Technically no, because Sonya only feels a certain type of way to one of the brothers. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
AvaJae More than 1 year ago
Right from the start, BURNING GLASS drew me in with probably one of the most intense first chapters I’ve read in a long time. BURNING GLASS is the type of book that grabs you by the throat from the first page and doesn’t let go until the end. With fascinating court politics, very complicated characters (and no pure evil antagonist), intense conflict and so many fascinating layers of world building, I really loved reading this. The world vaguely reminded me of a SHADOW AND BONE Russia-type setting, but the magic was completely unique and soooooo interesting to read about. I loved some characters, hated others, was suspicious of many more and all in all really enjoyed reading this. I will say there was one background mythology and a throwaway line about it that was kind of ableist, that I didn’t love, and the love triangle didn't work for me in that one character was...not a viable option to me at all for spoilery reasons. But neither of those points ruined the book for me, personally, and I still found it a very enjoyable read. Overall, BURNING GLASS is a wonderfully written, very exciting and emotional YA Fantasy, and I can’t wait to read the next book. Diversity note: Sadly, I don't remember there being much of any.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago