Monday, February 2, 2015

Title: The Sin Eater's Daughter
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Series: The Sin Eater's Daughter, book #1
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Source: received from publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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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?



I had exceedingly high hopes for The Sin Eater's Daughter, what with that stunning cover and a synopsis that sounded beyond awesome. And while I do think that summary is a bit misleading, this novel went above and beyond my expectations.

Salisbury's debut is magnificent in its exploration of a desperate kingdom, where fairy tales are real and death waits at every turn. You may have read other stories where one character's touch means a death sentence for those on the receiving end, but you've never read one like this. For the first 80% of the book, I was pretty sure I had everything figured out, so I wasn't expecting the turn toward crazy that this story took at the end. The Sin Eater's Daughter is far from predictable and it follows no discernible pattern, but I was positive I could've guessed where the book was headed from the very beginning. I love the author's use of misdirection to mislead me, to make me see what I wanted and ignore what was really happening. Even if I do feel stupid for not seeing it earlier.

Twylla's world is small and full of despair. She's kept separate from anyone and everyone, never allowed to bond with another soul. Not that she'd want to bring that trouble to anyone else's door -- she's learned her lesson the hard way. The one person she might actually be able to call an ally and friend has been gone from the castle for years and now that he's back, Twylla's hardly seen him. Her existence is a lonely one, made all the worse by the responsibility thrust upon her by the queen.

The queen, purportedly in her continued efforts to keep Twylla safe, hires a new guard for Twylla, one whose origins are from the neighboring kingdom. And that's when things got interesting for Twylla. It's also when my love triangle alarm was triggered, since Twylla is already betrothed to the prince and has been since she was first brought to the castle as Daunen Embodied all those years ago. But seeing as how Twylla's hardly seen the prince during all that time, there's really no love lost there. And a love triangle does rear its ugly head later in the story, but two potential suitors is the very least of Twylla's problems.

Twylla is clever and cunning but not without her faults. Like myself, she didn't see it coming until it was too late either. She begins as a character with a backstory that's not even remotely likable, but once further light is shed on the situation, she becomes the kind of character whose arc will demand your empathy. Left with no choices and no one to turn to, she must make hard and fast decisions that will determine her future and that of her kingdom. And none of it looks to leave her with a shred of happiness when all is said and done.

The Sin Eater's Daughter is a melancholy tale, full of death and betrayal and treason. It should have been difficult for me to connect with the story and the characters, given the depth of the crazy involved, but I appreciated this story on so many levels. This book was dark and intense and everything I didn't even know I wanted from the story when I first sat down to read it. This first book ended on a mostly satisfying note, but I wouldn't hesitate to accept the sequel, should someone offer it up now. =)

GIF it to me straight:




About the author:

Melinda Salisbury lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England. As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, in part helped by her grandfather often mistakenly calling her Matilda, and the local library having a pretty cavalier attitude to the books she borrowed. Sadly, she never manifested telekinetic powers. She likes to travel, and have adventures. She also likes medieval castles, non-medieval aquariums, Richard III, and all things Scandinavian. The Sin Eater's Daughter is her first novel.

Find Melinda:

Website | TwitterTumblrGoodreads


12 comments:

  1. Ahhh this sounds so so good! I need to get a copy of this, ASAP! Gorgeous cover too.

    x

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  2. Glad you enjoyed it! I'm not enjoying it so far =(

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  3. Oh wow. 5 stars! I saw that this book is available on Book Depo but not through Amazon. I really want to read this now. I've been looking for a fantasy novel I could like, and this sounds perfect!

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  4. I've heard such mixed things about this one. I'm glad to see you loved it!

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  5. Sounds amazing! I am absolutely looking forward to this one - both the blurb and the cover have suckered me in!

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  6. I'm so excited that you enjoyed this one! I have it on preorder and am looking forward to getting my hands on it. I love unexpected plot twists, especially since so many books end predictably nowadays :-)

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  7. Ooh, I've been looking forward to this for a while, so I'm glad to see you gave it five stars!!

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  8. I have seen this in the bookshop but wasn't really tempted to buy it. I am now though, it sounds great!

    http://ablondelibrarian.blogspot.co.uk

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  9. I've been looking forward to reading this book! 5 stars! Great review, btw! Oh and a new follower via Bloglovin. :D

    Blessie @ Mischievous Reads

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  10. I am so happy you loved this one too!! I thought it was so well done and just <3

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