Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 336 (ARC)
Source: From Publisher For Review
I am the perfect weapon.
I kill with a single touch.
Twylla is blessed. The Gods have chosen her to marry a prince, and rule the kingdom. But the favour of the Gods has it's price. A deadly poison infuses her skin. Those who anger the queen must die under Twylla's fatal touch.
Only Lief, an outspoken new guard, can see past Twylla's chilling role to the girls she truly is.
Yet in a court as dangerous and the queen's, some truths should not be told...
The second this book began with a creepy and unique execution at the hands of a nervous teenage girl, I knew I would love it. Granted, after that really unique opening, this could have been the worst book I've ever read and I still would love it. But, thankfully, it's a good book that is deserving of my love.
THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER is the story of Twylla. Twylla is Daunen Embodied, someone chosen by the gods to bring peace between light and darkness and be the court's executioner since she can hold the lethal morningsbane in her skin. Since the poison stays in your vein for a month's time, she kills anyone she touches. She's forced to live a cold existence with no human interaction with anyone but members of the court because their royal blood makes them immune to her poison. This becomes especially problematic when she realizes that her new guard is into her...and she may be into him.
Firstly, I need to talk about Twylla. I freaking love this girl. She is strong and powerful and fierce. At first she is a bit of a push-over, but throughout this novel she gains confidence in herself and her intelligence and the fire burning within her that the Queen tries so hard to snuff out burns super super bright. It's easy to root for her and be curious about her life, her romance, and her transformation. Learning about her family history was very intersting as well. But what I love the most about her is her curiosity. Once she gets wind that the Queen is up to even more evil, dastardly deeds than typical, this time involving the arranged marriage she has with the Prince, she has got to put a stop to it before it is too late.
Which brings me to sin eating. Oh gosh, I would love to know more about sin-eating. Obviously Twylla is not the biggest fan since it makes you a bit of a pariah and also morbidly obese, but it also makes you powerful and necessary to life. It caused a huge rift between her and her mother before the Queen came to collection her as a child when they realized she was Daunen Embodied, and I found this aspect of the story fascinating. I'm always intrigued by unique lore and I would read more of this in a heartbeat because of that. This is just one of many aspects of the world-building that I loved because the lore in this novel is absolutely off the charts and Salisbury set up some crazy amazingness to potentially happen in book two because of it.
Onto the romance...This is a love triangle that is done right as well because Twylla is stuck with one of the boys by societal expectations though she is fully committed to the other. Because of this, I found the very ending of this book to be super interesting and it makes me willing to do nearly anything to get my greedy little hands on book two!
Unfortunately, this book does get off to a bit of a slow start and because the world is so complex and the book is admittedly short, there is a massive amount of info-dumping that happens in the beginning as well. And despite its fast pace, the plot is very much like the romance...slow-burning yet incredibly enticing. It was the right kind of pace for me, but again, I can imagine this frustrating certain readers. My only other complaint was that there's a rather obvious reveal made by lover boy that Twylla initially does not believe and it made me shake my head because for such a smart girl, she was a little behind the times in that instance. All other twists were very shocking to me, but this one was so obvious it could have had a giant red flag sticking out of it. So be aware of such things when you pick up this book. I loved it, but I can't give it a perfect rating because of the reasons described in this paragraph.
Deliciously dark and full of twists and turns that'll make your head spin, THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER is a book that I would recommend. It's also a great beginner novel for people looking to get into the fantasy genre because of its simplicity hidden within a complex, complex world. I read this book month's ago and it's still running through my mind today, which I think is very telling. I look forward to seeing other people experience Twylla's world and taking this wild journey alongside both her and me. Book two now, please?
FTC Disclaimer: I received no compensation in any form in exchange for my honest review.