Friday, July 28, 2017

Book Review: The Sin Eater's Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1)

Release Date: February 24, 2015
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Length: 320 pages
Source: Purchased Book/Library Audio Book

A startling, seductive, deliciously dark debut that will shatter your definition of YA fantasy.

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she's engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn't a member of the court.

She's the executioner.

As the goddess-embodied, Twylla kills with a single touch. So each week, she's taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love her. Who could care for a girl with murder in her veins? Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to her touch, avoids her.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose playful 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 a treasonous romance is the least of Twylla's problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies-a plan that requires an unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?



Protagonist: Ever since Twylla was young she's known that she is Daunen Embodied. Her destiny is to take a poison monthly that will seep through her skin and kill anyone she touches, and use that gift to kill traitors to her kingdom. However, being capable of killing with a single touch has made Twylla lonely, she's ostracized and seen as a monster for her gift. That is until a new guard sees past her monstrous gift, to the beauty underneath. Honestly, while I liked Twylla at the start of the book, and her character development isn't all that bad, some of the choices she makes in the end honestly rubbed me the wrong way. She's not a bad character on the whole and honestly, I do like a majority of her characterization, it's just that I felt she made some less than wise decisions near the end of the book.

Romance: So, much like Twylla, I really enjoyed the romance at the beginning of this book. It's a romance that stems from friendship and at first, it starts off rather slow and I was sort of getting into it. Heck, even when the dreaded "L" word pops up I almost believe that the two characters deserve to use that word to describe their romance. However, there's a shift when their romance is portrayed as this end all be all, soulmate type of romance, though the word soulmate was never brought up. I have a problem with "soulmate" types of romance, not really because I don't believe in soulmates, but more because it just feels like a lazy way to say that two people are meant to be together, and while the author didn't officially go into soulmate territory, with the way she was describing the love between these two characters, she might as well have.

World Building: So, I have a problem with the world building. The worst part of this problem is that I cannot describe it to you without spoiling a fairly large twist in the story, so I'll say this and hope that you won't be able to understand specifically what I'm talking about. So the world building for a fair bit of the story is really interesting, but then there's this game changing shift in the story that honestly kind of pissed me off. Don't get me wrong, had the author set it up a different way this would have been an amazing twist, but for some reason, it just rubbed me the wrong way and dragged down my feelings of this book's world building.

Predictability: So, for the most part, this story was really unpredictable, I mean, I had assumptions, going into this book, that were shattered, things happened with a bit of randomness, but there were still a few things I was able to grasp before they were revealed. One thing, in particular, was foreshadowed so much that I understood what was going to happen like a hundred pages before it was revealed. Okay, so maybe not that much, I'm not sure I mostly listened on audiobook at x1.25 speed, but it was quite a while before the reveal, and honestly there was another twist, that wasn't foreshadowed to death, that I figured out around the same time, but I digress, it's that first twist that I took issue with since there was just so much foreshadowing and it wasn't really that well-disguised foreshadowing which is probably what hurt the most.

Ending: There's a great deal of this ending that made me uncomfortable, but unfortunately, I cannot describe quite why just know that I felt as though I was supposed to have more emotional attachment to certain things and I just didn't care. As for the final climax though, that had me very excited. I won't spoil it, but it's really good and made me not really care that much about the uncomfortableness I felt earlier and was nearly worth it for the final climax alone. The story ends with an epilogue, but honestly, as much as I love epilogues I just felt like this one was tacked on in case this was never a series.


So, I did really enjoy this story, but the romance, and the shift in the world building, put a huge damper on my overall enjoyment for the book. I'm still excited to read the next book in the series, though that may have more to do with it being more of a companion novel than a direct sequel.


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