The Sin Eater's Daughter

The Sin Eater's Daughter

by Melinda Salisbury

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Overview

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, Twylla isn't exactly a member of the court. She's the executioner. As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month, she's taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla's fatal touch, avoids her company.But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he's able to look past Twylla's executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla's been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen. However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla's problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545810623
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 02/24/2015
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 258,203
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: HL790L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Melinda Salisbury was born in the 1980s in a landlocked city, before escaping to live by the sea. As a child, she genuinely thought Roald Dahl's Matilda was her biography. When she's not trying to unlock the hidden avenues of her mind, she's reading, writing, or travelling. She lives in the UK and can be found on Twitter as @AHintofMystery, though be warned she tweets often.

Read an Excerpt

When I first came to the castle, many, many moons ago, I was awed by it, by the decor and the beauty and the richness of it all. Everything is faultless and pristine; everything is kept ordered and beautiful. The roses in the tall crystal vases are all cut to the same length, all the exact same color and. There is no room in the castle for things that are not perfect. My mother used to say that gold is not all that glitters. She was right, sometimes other things do glitter. Eyes glitter, at least until the life leaves them. My guards walk carefully at my sides, holding their bodies rigid and keeping a good distance between me and them. If I raised an arm to reach for one of them, they would recoil in horror. If I tripped, or fainted, if reflex sabotaged them and made them reach to save me, it would be a death sentence for them. They would find themselves with their throats slit where they stood as an act of mercy. Compared to a slow death by my poisonous skin, a slit throat would be lucky.“Are you ready, my lady?” Dorin, the elder of my guards, asks, his face eerily pale in the torchlight. I nod and we walk to the stairwell, Dorin at my right and the second guard, Rivak, to my left. And then we descend to the dungeons where the prisoners wait. For me.

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The Sin Eater's Daughter 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book felt endless and going nowhere. When it finally did end I thought the ending poor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ever read shatter me? Same thing!
TheMissCharley More than 1 year ago
I wasn't completely sure about this book when it was recommended to me by a friend. I loved the cover, but I hadn't actually read the synopsis when I started to dive into the book. Overall, the book reminded me of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi in the sense that a touch from Twylla, or the main character, is lethal and can kill you instantly, and then she finds someone who can touch her. That's about where the similarities end. I'm glad too because I was worrying that this was going to be a repeat of Burn for Burn by Jenny Han. This book's plot line is more twisted than a rollercoaster that has five loops in a row and makes you want to puke afterwards (in a good way). Literally, the first half of the book was a nice stroll along the stream on a sunny day where you're enjoying the breeze, and then all of a sudden a freaking tornado comes halfway through the book/stroll and you don't even know what is happening until you realize you are drowning in the stream made of your tears at the end of the book. Literally, what author does this to their readers? Answer: really freaking good ones. I was surprised when I read the author biography on the back, and I read that this was Melinda Salisbury's debut novel. She has set high standards for herself.
SecondRunReviews More than 1 year ago
I’ll admit that I’ve been intrigued with The Sin Eater’s Daughter since the cover first start floating around a couple years ago. I read some mixed reviews and held off on obtaining a copy. Luckily enough SYNC offered it this past summer and I actually remembered to download it before the week was out. I was mesmerized by The Sin Eater’s Daughter. The narration, the world and the religious beliefs of the world had me entranced. I wanted to know more about this sin eating business. I wanted to see it action. Basically, I wanted to hear more about food and how it represented different sins. I was fascinated by the story of the soured cream. Outside of the world building elements in The Sin Eater’s Daughter, the story was fairly predictable. A special snowflake stuck in a love triangle that leads to a revolution. But the world that the characters existed in and the connection to a creepy fairy tale kept me listening until the book was finished. I’m not entirely certain I will continue with the series. The book had a satisfying ending and I don’t necessarily feel the need to read at the other books. However, if I found the other books in series with a good deal attached I might consider returning to Lormere.
MontzieW More than 1 year ago
The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1) by Melinda Salisbury is a wonderful story that I stayed up all night to read. I enjoyed this read and it was different and fresh fantasy. It was slow in parts but the plot, characters, and world building was great. Great suspense, twists, and a touch of romance along with this strange world. I got this book from the library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a nice book to read
AsDreamsAreMade More than 1 year ago
Original Review Link: http://asdreamsaremade.com/2015/02/book-tuesday-release-day-the-sin-eaters-daughter/ My mind and emotions have gone through an upside down roller coaster ride. I’m still recovering. I have been dying to get my hands on this book for a while now. It was on my Can’t Wait Books of 2015 list, if you remember. I just….I’m….the feelings….and….oh man. Twylla has spent the majority of her life at the castle where she learned she was Daunen Embodied, able to dole out punishment and death with a single touch. Engaged to a prince she barely knows, with no friends except her guard. When a new guard is assigned to her, he teaches her that she is much more than what people expect of her. Twylla starts to question everything she’s ever been told and eventually must choose between that man she loves and the man who would ruin her. This was a very interesting story with complex mythology and world building. Twylla’s mother is the Sin Eater who is given the job to eat “sins” (aka representative food) after a person dies so they can pass onto the after life. She was originally destined to fulfill this role, but chose to go with the Queen when the opportunity presented itself. The mythology was really developed and shaped much of what was going on in the novel. I did have some issues with the characters however, particularly the romance. Twylla had the potential to be someone who took life by the horns, but she always seemed to be making the wrong choices! It was only toward the very end of the novel where we start to see a possibility of her growth. I’m hoping she develops a bit more gumption in the next installment. I think where this book had me turning off a bit was the romance between her and Lief. It felt…well…a bit cliché? Way to fast. It didn’t seem believable to get to where they got. I would have liked to have seen that hashed out a bit more. It didn’t have me invested in their relationship and because of it, I could totally see where the plot was going–to a certain extent. Lief was eh. Because I wasn’t really invested in his relationship with Twylla, I wasn’t too interested with him–at first. Things change a bit at the end, but still. I have a feeling we have only seen one side of him–a very superficial side at that–and we have yet to meet the real Lief. I can’t decide how I feel about Merek. The end of the novel had you rooting for him all the way, but there are definite touches throughout the story that he’s not all there. Could he possibly be taking after his mother? Maybe? Maybe not. The twists and turns in this book! For the majority of the story I thought, “Oh ok, it’s heading that way” and when it does, you’re not surprised, but then WHAM! Left field, out of nowhere comes a surprise that you’re like "OMG!" But at the same time you’re thinking. “Why didn’t I see that?!” Oh btw, I warn you now. The end is the biggest cliffy that leaves you all like "TELL ME!!" Yea. For all seriousness though, despite the romance bit, I really liked this book. The ending makes up for it. I will be needing the second book shortly oh book gods. Thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't begin to list everything wrong with this book, but here's a few of the big ones. The protagonist is completely passive. Even during the climax, all she does is stand there and watch as others verbally duke it out. This makes for a inactive and poorly paced story where a full half the book consists of Twylla sitting in her room and chatting with her suitors. One of her love interests is a Gary Stu. The other has inconsistencies characterization and she blatantly doesn't care about him. Despite sin eating being in the title, it has no bearing on the story other than to regularly interrupt tonga that actually turn out to be relevant in the end. The cliff hanger that's supposed to leave you desperate for more is laughably bad. Would not recommend you waste any time or money on this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry about give 4 stars
DownrightDystopian More than 1 year ago
**Thank you to Scholastic for allowing me to read a copy of this in exchange for an honest review!** When I first heard about The Sin Eater's Daughter, I didn't think that it had sounded like something I'd enjoy. Then I started seeing countless reviews about how amazing it was, and the more I heard, the more I wanted to read it. Let me just say that after I finished reading, I was absolutely in love with this book. The reader follows a character named Twylla, who possesses this special power to drink poison and then kill others with just her touch. Everyone in Lormere fears her, because her touch is death. Some people can touch her though, like the Royal family, which includes the man she's betrothed to, Merek, who is the son of the king and queen. Twylla is considered the Daunen Embodied, which means that she is practically the daughter of the two gods which symbolize night and day (I absolutely loved that aspect about the book, but more on that later!). Every week, Twylla's job is to kill those that the Queen and King choose, mostly because they are traitors to the kingdom. Ever since she had to kill her best friend, she hasn't exactly been the same. This book absolutely blew me away. It was a bit rough to get through in the very beginning because of all the descriptions, though all of it was definitely necessary in order to fully understand this marvelous world that Salisbury has created. My favorite character would definitely have to be Lief, because he was willing to go out of his way to help and understand Twylla when others wouldn't. Her own fiance would barely ever talk to her, even though they were meant to be wed one day. I felt so bad for Twylla throughout the entire novel. She was literally uprooted from her home because she's the Daunen Embodied. She doesn't even really live her own life-she follows what she's been told her destiny is. She cares so much for her younger sister and since she's the daughter of the Gods she isn't even allowed to see her. I just can't even imagine what that must be like, to be so far away from family but somehow manage to be okay because you know it's your destiny. I'd be so heartbroken. One of my favorite aspects about this book was the Gods aspect. The people of Lormere believe in two gods, one which symbolizes night and the other which symbolizes day; basically, the good and the bad. Twylla was considered the Daunen Embodied because her touch was lethal (bad) but she had an amazing singing voice (good). I also really loved the idea of a Sin Eater. Twylla's mother was a sin eater and Twylla was supposed to take her spot until she became the Daunen Embodied. A sin eater eats the sins of someone after they've died, so at the funeral she would show up and eat away the person's sins in order to get rid of them all. Different foods would symbolize different sins, which I found to be really interesting.  The ending still has me freaking out and eagerly wanting the next book. It left me with so many questions, which a good first book in a series always does. It goes to show how much a kingdom really does lie and conceal the truth. I just need to know what happens!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed The Sin Eater's Daughter. I love stories set in medieval times :) I felt that the story started out really slow, but I realized the author wrote it this way to ensure the reader understood everything that was going on with all of the characters. It was also apparent she wanted to solidify background for the future books in the series. I really enjoyed all of characters, even the evil ones. I must admit though, I was totally shocked with the ending. I definitely did not expect it to end the way that it did, and did not expect one of my favorite characters to essentially be a traitor. I'm happy to say that I was not able to figure this story out by the end, which is always pleasing to me. I was on the fence between giving this story a four and a five, because I feel like the direction the story is turning is slightly farfetched. However, I cannot lie to myself in that I really could not put this book down, and I drank up every ounce of literary awesomeness is expelled from it binding. Though slow moving, it was still fantastic, convincing, and well organized. For that, I simply cannot deny an author praise on her hard work. I will say I am surprised that the average rating for this story is around a 3.5 right now. But, to each their own! I am very happy with the start of this series, and will certainly be purchasing the second book when it comes out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read! I am completely in love with this book and the fact that i have to wait for more is tearing at my mind. I highly suggest this book. Book number 2 cant come fast enough. I look forward to continue reading Twyllas story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Twylla has always had a destiny. Four harvests ago she chose a path that would lead her away from the fraught burden of following in her mother's steps as the next Sin Eater for Lormere. Now Twylla is blessed by the gods and serves at their pleasure as Daunen Embodied--the mortal incarnation of the daughter of the gods and the only one worthy of marrying the crown prince. The gods' continued approval is confirmed each moon during the Telling when Twylla drinks deadly Morningsbane poison without harm. But her blessing and survival come at a cost. The poison lingers in Twylla's blood and on her skin so that her barest touch can kill--something the queen of Lormere exploits by making Twylla a reluctant executioner. Twylla made peace with her role as executioner long ago. Until the return of the prince, Merek, and the arrival of a new guard named Lief when Twylla finds herself questioning many things about her role as Daunen Embodied and the motivations of the queen. Again Twylla will have a chance to choose her destiny, but first she must decide what to believe and who to trust in The Sin Eater's Daughter (2015) by Melinda Salisbury. The Sin Eater's Daughter is Salisbury's first novel and the start of a new series. The Sin Eater's Daughter presents a complex world comprised of three vastly different kingdoms including Twylla's home in Lormere where the novel is set. While Lormere is a comparatively vast empire, it is also quite primitive with a seat of power traditionally held by siblings in a misguided effort to keep the royal line pure. On Lormere's borders are Tregallan--Lormere's chief supplier of goods that Lormere cannot produce itself and a new democracy that values science over religion--and Tallith--a fallen kingdom that once held vast wealth thanks to the closely guarded secrets of the science of alchemy. Within Lormere Salisbury also offers a religious system that includes invented gods with numerous Christian undertones in addition to Sin Eating. Unfortunately the Eating is never fully explained as reader's are left to wonder how certain foods are chosen to represent sins and how, exactly, a person's sins can be cataloged properly after their death. Despite being the castle executioner, Twylla is incredibly naive for the majority of the novel. At times this creates interesting moments of tension between science and faith as Twylla tries to learn more about her past. In others it only serves to make it easier for her to swoon over her new guard Lief. Of the two male leads Merek, the prince, is far more compelling as he struggles to figure out how to bring Lormere out of its archaic traditions and move it beyond the ruthless rule of his mother, the queen. Lief is little more than a pretty face by comparison. The Sin Eater's Daughter is at its strongest when Salisbury details the machinations of the queen and the intrigue surrounding Twylla's role as Daunen. The queen adds a lot of suspense to the story as an especially chilling villain. Twylla's development over the course of the story is fascinating as she comes to term with the choices she has made and acknowledges that having agency (choosing to accept her role as Daunen, choosing to not follow the path of the Sin Eater) is not the same as having power--something she craves as she hopes to garner some level of revenge for past wrongs. Unfortunately, much of this The Sin Eater's Daughter's promise does not come to fruition. Twylla's character fizzles toward the end thanks to an epilogue that negates most of her previous growth during the novel. This book sets up a lot for the next installment in the series including a twist that upturns almost every conceit previously detailed in the story. Although exciting, this final twist diminishes previous shocks by rendering them largely irrelevant. Since this book is the start of a series, there is still room for a lot of things to change but taken on its own the conclusion remains disappointing. The Sin Eater's Daughter is an engaging fantasy but not without flaws. Ideal for readers who do not question worldbuilding and enjoy a balanced love triangle. Possible Pairings: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski, Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Morgan_S_M More than 1 year ago
As with most fantasy books I read, The Sin Eater’s Daughter was a bit hard to follow in the first chapter but very intriguing. I loved the world building and the descriptions- lots of vivid and dark sensory details. I also became quickly attached to Twylla and loved the unique concept of her role as the court executioner. The Sin Eater’s Daughter is original, lush, twisty, tense and dangerous with a hint of the best fantasy tropes that we all love. I am not one to throw around comparisons lightly because it’s so easy to get burned, but I really feel like fans of Throne of Glass and Girl of Fire and Thorns would enjoy this new series. I also appreciated that the marketing department didn’t compare it to Game of Thrones at all; it’s tired and often misleading. Ironically I did see shades of GoT in the story, including one horrifying scene that fans of the show will be able to spot. There are a few disturbing incidences in fact. And the Queen reminded me so much of Cersei Lannister while still being her own brand of twisted evil, which is frightening. She’s like a coiled snake waiting to strike, full of venom and self-righteousness. I loved the beginning and end of the novel, but the middle lost me for a couple chapters. I was not a big fan of how the romance developed despite liking and caring for the characters. It was building with delicious tension and then moved way too fast from an emotional perspective. I won’t say more for spoiler reasons but this is the main reason I knocked off a star. Odds and ends: there’s a lost kingdom!!! I really enjoyed the history of the land and the description of Loremere reminds me of Helms Deep. I LOVE legends in fantasy novels and need to know more about The Sleeping Prince! I loved the king. I loved the magic and tension and feeling of danger. And just when you think you’ve figured something out, HOLY PLOT TWIST(S) BATMAN! I can’t wait to see where Book 2 goes.
Brooke-The-Cover-Contessa More than 1 year ago
I want to thank Scholastic Press for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review. The first thing that drew me to this book is that cover! I mean, look at it. It's totally gorgeous. And then the blurb just made it sound like a must read for me. Unfortunately, that was about as far as it went for me with this book. Once I got started, I just could not get into it and I really felt like nothing was happening for me. Twylla kills with just her touch. Sounds great, right? I thought so. I loved Shatter Me. And now here's a book that sounds like Shatter Me but it's fantasy. And I've been on a fantasy kick as of late. So boo yah! But things are not what they seem, of course. I won't get into why, but suffice it to say, it wasn't hard for me to pretty much figure it out within the first few chapters, the twist didn't leave me flabbergasted when it actually happened because it really was no surprise. I honestly had no connection with the characters in this book. I wanted to feel empathy for Twylla, I really did. But I just didn't. I wanted her to be so much stronger and full of hutzpah, instead she came across to me as weak and needing the assistance of any male she could find: her friend, the prince, her guards. Of course, she gets stuck in a love triangle, which I don't always love, but can appreciate. But I just didn't feel her pull to either guy, and she pretty much made her choice early on so there wasn't much of a competition. And then there was the Prince. I didn't like him, nor did I trust him. I didn't understand how he could be betrothed to Twylla for so many years and yet not have a bit of correspondence with her. Then when he returns, BOOM, he expects her to be head over heels in love with him. Why? And I didn't like Lief. He was so lifeless and boring. I wanted to like him. I wanted to see the true love and watch it grow, but it just didn't blossom the way I thought it would. He was truly one-dimensional, no substance at all. Like if you scratched his surface, you'd just find a robot or maybe some clay. The evilness of this story is really what kept me going. The Queen is just pure evil. Everything and anything she wants to do, everything she touches, it's just sinful and downright evil. I wanted to strangle her on every occasion I saw her. She was only out for herself no matter what. She craved power. I wanted to read to the end to see just what would happen. Would she get it? or would good win out in the end. The start of the book is strong. Lots of background to show you why Twylla came to the castle and why she has to stay. Plus we get some good background on her family. However, there are some areas of info-dump which did take me out of the story. I still read on. I was sure there would be action and fight scenes and I wanted to know it all. But then there wasn't any of that. There was a lot of pining and a lot of worrying and a lot of "omgosh what could I possibly do now?" for the rest of the book. I was a little bored but I kept reading because I thought it could only get better. And I know that sometimes in first books, it's not until the final quarter of a book that you really get into the nitty gritty, the down and dirty. But it just didn't happen for me The writing is good. There's so much potential for this to be a great book. Unfortunately, I didn't find it great for me. I know there are a mix of reviews, so I really can't say if I would recommend it. I think people need to really read it and find out for themselves if it's for them. For me, as a lover of authors like Sarah J. Maas, it just didn't live up to my expectations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought I knew where the story was going but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was wrong .
Reading-is-My-Treasure More than 1 year ago
Weird. That was my last impression of The Sin Eater's Daughter.  There were so many weird elements to the book, especially the concept of Eating. The Sin Eater literally ate food at a funeral that represented the person's sins. I wasn't expecting that! The mythology and the stories were pretty interesting. I liked the reasoning behind Twylla's role as the Daunen Embodied. There were some twists that I kinda/sorta saw coming. That's all I'll say. You'll find out what happens! The mythology and some flashbacks helped develop the world. It was an odd one, but it was really interesting. The flashbacks also helped me get to know Twylla. Twylla was an interesting character. She was so submissive throughout most of the book. She just let things happen. She succumbed to "destiny" and didn't make her own choices. This was a heroine that had a hard time taking control of her own life. However, one of the biggest points/themes of this book was choice. You always have a choice and there's always a way for you to choose what you really want. I loved how this tied in with Twylla's growth. Even though I didn't like her very much, she was a pretty good character. I'm certain that she's going to continue to grow and will become a stronger person. The plots and the schemes and the lies . . . oh, I loved them. There were lots of twists--some that I saw and some that I didn't, as well as some weird ones. I loved how they wove together and how the schemes were carried out (well, I didn't always love it since I did roll my eyes a couple times).  The romance was iffy. I didn't sense very much chemistry between Lief and Twylla and there wasn't enough development before certain events in order for me to become completely convinced of their connection. Their romance also felt a bit too . . . too romance-y? Too sappy? I'm never sure how to describe this happens in books, but in a way, it was an over the top kind of romance that I didn't like reading very much (it's a kind of romance that usually doesn't work for me). Lief . . . eh. Since the romance was so iffy for me, I didn't like him that much. I kinda liked his personality at first and he seemed to be very loyal, but there wasn't much about him that made me love his character. Maybe he'll seem better in the next book. As for Merek, I wasn't sure what to think of him. He just wasn't convincing to me. There was something about him that didn't seem genuine to me (it was more about how he was written than how his personality was). Overall, The Sin Eater's Daughter was an interesting fantasy. Despite the shortcomings in romantic development and some of the characters, the book had enough great aspects to it for me to want to read the sequel! Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Twylla's character growth left a lot to be desired, and truthfully, I don't feel like she took as much from her journey as she could have. She was outright lazy; always waiting around for stuff to happen to her instead of even attempting to go out and make stuff happen for herself. Then there was the 'love story' or love triangle, I guess I should say... Let me start off by saying that I would stongly advise Twylla to pick neither of them, because those guys were terrible. The guard had me until the end, but after what he did... not so much. There's no way I'd forgive him after that. His reasons for doing it were so selfish and douchy, let's be real, and his apology was lame. I give him props for being honest about being a total liar during the entirety of the book, but that's about it. The prince was just sad, which I guess wasn't his fault, but damn, the guy was as cold as his hands supposedly were. Maybe he was just born with bad circulation because his parents were siblings. Maybe he could get some gloves in the second book? Idk. Twylla made it pretty obvious she only saw him as a charity case though, and for some reason, he was cool with that... To which I'd say: I sincerely hope one of them grows a backbone soon. Despite all that, I gave this book 4 stars because from the very first page, I couldn't put it down. This author is a story-teller in the truest sense of the word. I was entertained from begining to end, and there was never a lag in the pace; it was easy to get through. I know Melinda is most definitely a talented new author. Not every story can be our cup of tea, and in the end, this one wasn't mine. I encourage anyone thinking of reading this -however- to go right ahead. This is engaging, well-written lit, you could very well love it, and if you don't, I can promise you at least, that this isn't one if those books that makes you angry enough to chuck at the wall. It's safe.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury Book One of The Sin Eater's Daughter series Publisher: Scholastic Publication Date: February 24, 2015 Rating: 2 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court. She’s the executioner. As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company. But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen. However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love? What I Liked: Huge case of Alyssa-is-the-black-sheep, with this novel. To be fair, I was really, really excited to read this book, for months. I remember seeing the words "seductive fantasy", and was sold. And of course, the cover is gorgeous. The concept of a touch killing people isn't new, but I haven't read too many books with this concept (Kresley Cole's Arcana Chronicles features Aric with this ability) - I haven't read the Shatter Me series (soon though!). Twylla was a commoner - the Sin Eater's daughter - until the royal took her in, because she is Daunen Embodied. She can kill with her touch, she has poison in her blood. She has killed many men, for treason, include her one and only friend. Twylla is a prisoner, engaged to the prince, slave to the queen. When a new guard is hired to protect Twylla, he makes her question who she is - or who she has been told she is. With or without the guard's help, Twylla must realize the danger that lies in the kingdom before the queen destroys everything and takes it all for herself. I think the beginning of this book started really strongly. I was completely sucked in and wanted to know more about Daunen Embodied, the kingdoms' conflicts, the Sin Eating. I think the world-building is very well done - probably the best thing about this book. And Twylla's initial characterization (her guilt over killing so many people, including her best friend). I think my issues began when the guard - Lief - is introduced.  What I Did Not Like: When Dorin - Twylla's guard - falls ill, the queen hires a new guard, a Tregellian (from a neighboring enemy kingdom). I did not like Lief from the start. He is too childish, too stupid, too familiar. He speaks out of turn all the time, and disrespectfully so, to Twylla. I know Tywlla is lonely and kindhearted, but if my NEW, TREGELLIAN guard was speaking to me like that - I wouldn't be put at ease. And then he always apologizes (like an imbecile), and is always in Twylla's personal space. Something about him really irked me (and we find out why, in the end), but something about Twylla letting him do what he wants irritated me too. Also, tell me why a GUARD serves a lady her food on a tray, or delivers messages, like a common courier. Guards are supposed to be stationed outside one's door, never leaving his post. Instead, it is Lief who is bringing her food, and messages, and entering her room like he owns the place. That's what FEMALE SERVANTS are for... correct me if I'm wrong, but I know enough about medieval history and fantasy to understand this basic concept.  Okay so I basically hated Lief from the start. Something about his character, his being, is so wrong. I don't understand how others like him so much - he seems like a cartoon character or something, to be honest. Very one-dimensional and childish. He is never a GUARD to me - not once does he have to prove himself as a guard (meaning, not once does he actually perform his guard duties), and he's always "grinning" and "teasing" and "winking" at Twylla. Guard much? No. Aaaand, insta-love. There is that too. To make matters worse, there is a love triangle. Oh, yes. We already know that Twylla is engaged to the prince (the queen's son and king's stepson). Twylla doesn't really like him (he's the queen's son), but it would seem that he falls for her. Twylla (stupidly) falls for Lief, someone who spouts pretty words and flexes a few muscles, and has her in his lap like nothing. Talk about insta-love, in terms of Lief and Twylla. There really isn't much "Twylla and Merek" (the prince), because Twylla is so caught up in Lief (why), but it's obvious that the prince won't give up. Good for him. Although, this is one of those cases where I wish Twylla would end up alone. Or die, even. I wouldn't mind. I don't hate her, but a tragic story is fine, too. That won't happen, though.  After the initial world-building and whatnot in the beginning, my interest tunneled. When Lief was introduced into the story (which is like, forty pages into the book), I was like, here we go. Dumb girl falls for idiot boy, everyone rebel and save the kingdom. Barf. Here's something else that bothered me: the whole fake-princess-and-evil-queen thing is really grating on my nerves. A common girl is taken in by the royal family and engaged to the prince but then she falls for someone who isn't the prince OMG! This book. Red Queen. A Wicked Thing. All three books coming out in February 2015. All three featuring an evil queen, a commoner-turned-princess, an engagement between that girl and the prince, a love story with the girl and another guy... and a rebellion to rid the kingdom of the tyrant queen (and possibly king). SO OVERUSED. SO CLICHE. I'M SICK OF ALL OF THAT. Perhaps this is circumstantial. Perhaps not. I'm really sick of those plot arcs though. Can we stop with evil queens and rebellions and twisted love triangles? Thanks. The story kind of goes downhill after the big reveal, too. First of all, the big reveal is revealed in such a pointless, anticlimactic, thrown-in-there way. Twylla gets mad and paranoid for no reason, and then the big reveal happens. And then I got really REALLY bored, because things about Twylla's power as Daunen Embodied were revealed. I like things as they were, in the premise of the novel. Once other things were revealed, I was like, snooze... And then things become all about the evil queen being evil and wanting to overthrow the kingdom and marry the prince (her son) to preserve bloodlines. Yep. I was pretty much done by that point. Would I Recommend It: Not really. This is a huge case of pretty-cover-lures-all-and-disappoints. At least, for me. There are a bazillion positive reviews on Goodreads, and I know I'm one of the few that didn't enjoy the book, so there's plenty of hope for you yet! Rating: 2 stars. I'll probably pass on the next book - I'll wait until the synopsis is revealed, and then make that decision. Synopses are important, yo.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful. It captivated me and made feel the emotions instantly. It's one of those books that made you become the main character and live with with her throughout the events. Whoever is unsure of reading this book... Read it believe me it worth the money.