Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Sin Eater's Daughter

The Sin Eater's Daughter
Rating: 4/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy (Look at how pretty that cover is!)
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!

Twylla lived her life destined to follow in her mothers footsteps and become the next Sin Eater, but she traded in one destiny for another when the Queen of Lormere herself came to take her away to the castle, to her rightful place is the embodiment of a Goddess, and you know....get to marry the Prince and someday become Queen.

But there's a twist, Twylla lives at the castle, and yes she is a lady, but she's also the executioner. Twylla kills anyone she touches instantly, as the Goddess embodied, it's her job to go to the cells each month and execute the traitors. Everyone avoids her and her touch, including the prince she's betrothed to, her long time  guard, Dorin, the only friend she has.

When yet another of her guards resigns, trials are held and a new second guard is chosen, his name is Leif, he's deadly with a sword, has an enchanting smile, and is from an enemy kingdom, one long treated with suspicion. He treats Twylla like a friend, and isn't afraid to touch her, but she's engaged to Prince Merek, and crossing the Queen results in being hunted through the woods. Fun times.

The Queen, however, may be madder than anyone thought, and she has a plan that's not only treasonous, but downright disgusting in some aspects. She wants to keep her bloodline pure and she wants an alchemist of her own, not to mention a war, and in order to get all this, she needs to enact a ritual from an old legend. How far is Twylla willing to go to save her Kingdom? What will she choose? Doomed love, or to save a prince?

So I got sent a proof of this by the publisher, and I was immediately in love with the cover, which is just as gorgeous as the finished copy! We all know I can't resist pretty books, and this book is not only pretty but made of awesome.

This books is gripping, enchanting, full of betrayal and plots, it has you on the edge of your seat, it's heartbreaking and utterly emotional, and it doesn't have the happily ever after you'd expect, it has a happy ending of a sort, but it's a surprising one, and one that I loved because you see her take a third option open to her and do what's best for her.

I wasn't entirely sure if there was a second book or not, and to be fair, this can stand alone, but after some checking I discovered that this is, in fact, the beginning of a series, and I'm excited by the direction the series appears to be going on, with Merek and the Sleeping Prince and so on, and to see what happens next with Leif, it's a fantastic start to an interesting and original new series. I really do say that a lot lately, but this is looking to be a good year for new YA series! I've not read a bad one yet!

The plot for this book is fantastically and intricately constructed, but while the plot is intricate, it's laid out on the page simply, so you can understand what's going on, as the intricacies come to pass, you find yourself being shocked and surprised at the twists, and wanting to know what happens next always. I did find the pace rather plodding, rather than fast paced, it was a good pace don't get me wrong, but it was just...plodding.

Each time I put the book down, I could easily pick up where I left off, although it did take a few chapters to really get in to the story, the plot and it's world was unique and interesting, and I was interested in finding out more about the world and the legends of it and this Sleeping Prince. The fantasy aspects of the book where fantastic.

There's such evil in this book in the form of the Queen, she's fully evil, like Cersei Lannister hasn't got anything on her. That's a nice aspect to the book, that adds to the drama of the plot nicely, the Queen is quite unpredictable and she cuts a terrifying character on the pages because of this, you never know what she's going to do next.

The book was stunning, with the background, the history of the world, the drama, the evil, the betrayal, the plotting, the politics and the legends of the world. Not to mention the world itself that was created so vividly on the page, I'd be interested to see this fallen Kingdom!

Twylla, for me, I connected with her, almost instantly, because I felt for her, but she did have moments when I wanted to smack her one! She intrigued me, with how she changed over the course of the book, and the allusions to how she acted when she first came to the castle, you could see she had changed, and was still changing. I enjoyed watching her come in to her own, stand up to the Queen and stand up to everyone and help to reveal the Queen's true self to the rest of the court.

I wouldn't really say this has a love triangle as she doesn't really have feelings for Merek, she's merely kind hearted enough that she would try and help him, so while she did have a choice to make between the two, it wasn't an actual choice as one was love and the other was her trying to do the right thing and help someone. The romance was quite cute, but it was a bit sudden, and there didn't seem to be much basis for it other than the odd glance and smile and nice thing done, so I couldn't really see the basis for it in the beginning, it seemed a bit sudden and a bit rushed, but it was cute anyway, and towards the end I could see more substance to it.

I think I found the pace rather plodding because there wasn't a lot of action in the book, and I usually tend to go for the action packed books, so this was a surprise for me because I found myself being enchanted by the book, and once I got in to it properly, I was fully involved in it to an addictive extent, I've had such terrible nights sleep this week because I kept staying up to read one more chapter, that usually turned in to more, and then had to be up early for work!

It says a lot for the authors skill that she got my attention with a book that is far less action packed than I am used to, but I was enthralled by her storytelling, and the seamless passing from the present moment back to the past briefly to keep us in the know with what had happened before we came to this part of the story not to mention the rich legend, as it where, involving the Gods and how they came to be and how Twylla's goddess came to be.

The Sin Eater's Daughter is an enchanting read, original, and the drama and the darkness make the book just as much as the fantasy elements and the mystery and intrigue. There's romance, but it was clearly very subtle to me! A character you can support and want to see succeed and who develops incredibly in the book.......a rich history to a vivid world...what more could you need? I'm intrigued to read the second book and see where the story will go next!

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