The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
|The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: Stunning fantasy debut with excellent world-building, a great heroine and a memorably evil antagonist.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 330||Date: February 2015|
|External links: Author's website|
Longlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2016
Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2016: Older Fiction
In a land of fantasy, Twylla lives in the court, engaged to the prince. But this is no fairytale – he is one of the only people she can touch, made immune to the poison carried in her veins. The embodiment of a goddess, Twylla is the executioner, forced to kill those who commit treason. Nearly everyone around is terrified of her. Until new guard Lief arrives, who could see her as a friend, or even romantically. The question of whether the two could have a future together is an intriguing one, but before long, it’s the least of Twylla’s worries as she’s thrown into danger by the queen’s obsession with destroying her enemies. Can she survive?
I really loved this book, thanks to superb world-building, a great writing style, some memorable surprises in the plot and three outstanding lead characters (plus an absolutely loathsome villain.) Main character Twylla, unable to connect with anyone because of the fear caused by her poisonous touch, is someone I wanted to see succeed and I loved her character development through the course of the novel. The love triangle formed by her attraction to new guard Lief and her betrothal to the prince was brilliant – I genuinely liked both of them and felt it was a difficult decision for her to make, which made the book more interesting. Meanwhile, the evil queen, who manipulates those around her as she tries to get more power, is a hugely chilling adversary. The strength of the world-building is that it does a great job of portraying the current kingdom and Twylla's role as Daunen Embodied, as well as the myths, legends and historical traditions like sin eating.
It’s also got a plot packed full of twists and turns. I was left second-guessing nearly everything by the halfway point as I’d been wrong on so many things that I was starting to doubt myself even when I thought something was fairly obvious (which was worthwhile, to be honest, as some things which appeared to be definitely weren’t!)
Massively recommended as an incredibly good fantasy debut; I can't wait to read more from Melinda Salisbury."
I think fans of this would love Leigh Bardugo's Grisha triloghy, which starts with Shadow and Bone: The Grisha Trilogy Book 1 by Leigh Bardugo.
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