Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Sin Eater's Daughter (The Sin Eater's Daughter #1) - Melinda Salisbury

Book Details:
Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: Scholastic (5th Feb 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1407147633
ISBN-13: 978-1407147635


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?

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I’ve got another case of the sitting-in-bed-breathing-like-a-fat-cat syndrome. 
I HATE GETTING DA FEELZ. But you have all been with me long enough by now, to know that it’s best to wait it out, just take deep breaths, so we can get over this emotional turmoil and resume with a review that is both coherent and crazy. I mean coherent. Just coherent. 
*takes a breather for 5 years*

Okay, so around 1am last night, I had the bright idea of starting a book. Nothing too sinister/wild to start off with okay. But then. Before I know it, it’s 5am, and I’ve just closed the book and contemplated screaming into my pillow to let da feelzz out. But instead I’m thrashing out this review in an effort to capture those very feeeellllzzz.

I’ll start with how seriously GORGEOUS the cover art for The Sin Eater’s Daughter is, honestly one of the best covers I’ve seen in a while, it’s exquisite. The artwork needs to be applauded. Anyway. The review, yes, here we go.

I picked up this fantasy book with high hopes - the premise, though does ring bells of a Shatter Me type storyline, intrigued me greatly - a tale of a girl whose power of death by touch is wielded to make her an executioner, who is promised to the prince, with a twist, held a lot of promise for me. However, the story didn’t quite turn out the way I had hoped. Though the last 5% of the book left me feeling cray cray, I’m being careful not to let that cloud how I felt about the rest of the book.

I really did enjoy the book, but it took a different path to the one I had imagined. In my minds eye, I envisioned a dark, witty and cruel story - yet though I can’t describe what exactly it was in reality, all I can say it was different to what I wanted. The book started off somewhat slow for me, taking a good amount of time to explain what it meant to be a Sin Eater for example, to explain how the main character came to be and how she landed her fate and world build everything - and admittedly I wasn’t as impressed with the story until I got about halfway through. The pace definitely picked up, the characters started to come into themselves and show their traits and characteristics and then the end really cinched it for me, showing a great level of development in both writing and plot as it progressed - something I applaud the author for. It was worth sticking it out. 

The Sin Eater’s Daughter follows our main character and the fate/destiny she resents, being an executioner with her fatal touch. She is feared, she is isolated and she is alone. She is also flawed, naive, and at times not what you expect from a main lead who you almost expect to go on to be a badass heroin with the powers she has at her disposal. Instead I found the realism of Twylla's character refreshing, given her background and where she is, her actions and way of thought is both understandable and realistic in my mind. I loved her character development, you could really see when she started thinking for herself and though it was thrust upon her in not so great circumstances, she started making decisions for herself - which I admired. Though not a standout character, she was likeable for me and I followed her decisions with great interest.

A quick mention to some other characters -  liked Dorin. I thought he was a nice addition but again, my heart was of course broken thanks to the events that transpired. I was also disappointed somewhat with Twylla's mother - I guess I wanted to see more interaction between them or see how their relationship progressed, and though it was at first baffling to me why her mother let her daughter go without a fight, in the end it came clear to me why - but I still expected her to put up some sort of a battle in trying to keep her daughter. But alas, guess it wasn't meant to be. Maybe there still is a future for them both in the next instalment? 

Shall we progress on to the love interests? I know that’s what you’re really all here for. Like everyone else, I don’t believe there ever was a triangle. It’s quite obvious to see who she wanted all along and she didn’t mislead the other in any way (this is my attempt at being vague and un-spoilerish) I enjoyed and both was annoyed by Lief’s character, but I think I like him for being able to inspire both feelings in me, as opposed to overwhelming love or annoyance because those are heavy burdens to carry LOL but no I liked him, he was sweet, he was funny, he made Twylla laugh and there was this one moment where my heart did that little melty thing, I’m gna insert a slice of the action here to show you, but READ THE BOOK SO WE BOTH FEEL THE MELTING AT THE RIGHT LEVELS. 

“Now,” he continues, “if you are ready, the weather is pleasant, though there is a chill in the air. You should take your cloak.” He doesn’t wait for my agreement, crossing instead to my wardrobe and removing the crimson cloak. He holds it out as if he plans to put it on me.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m holding your cloak.” His eyes glint wickedly.
“Lief, don’t be foolish. Please give it to me.”
“Don’t you trust me?” he says.
I hear an edge in his voice. “Lief, you can’t touch me.”
I won’t. Do you trust me?” he repeats, watching me closely.
I turn away from him, holding myself stiffly, painfully, achingly aware of him behind me, his breath on my hair. The weight of the fabric falls on my shoulders, covering me. He moves to stand in front of me. “I would not risk you. I thought I made that clear last night.”

*makes incoherent melting noises at the last 2 sentences* I WOULD NOT RISK YOU. *breathes heavily* 

Anyway, moving right aloongggg. The ending. Good lord - the ending, *shakes head* stab my heart why don’t you Melinda Salisbury, just stab it! If you know, YOU KNOW WHAT I’M ON ABOUT. I think one of the things I hated (though not the authors fault, but simply the character’s actions) was how when confronted, Lief said nothing, he was unconvincing and I found it hard to believe him in the end. Just. Sigh. 

As for Merek, he didn’t hold a lot of interest for - from the way in which he whooshed in to the story, his on and off interest in Twylla, or that’s how it seemed to be, his feelings didn’t seem genuine, and the author didn’t drag the already non-existent triangle out thankfully by having Twylla return his interest or lead him on in any way. I also somewhat resented the way in which Merek tried to initiate conversation with her, get her to open up, voice her opinions - given what he already knew and the truth he hid from her. Again, attempts at not giving away spoilers! I didn’t see that twist coming to be honest, and the source of where this all transpires is surprising for me - and I’m still trying to figure out if I like where it’s heading with the story or not. The legends/tale woven throughout is new for me as fantasy isn’t my first choice of books - but I’m learning to like the genre and it’s stories as it’s a new experience for me. 

I’m going to also take this moment to add, that throughout the whole book, all I could think about was how much it reminded me of Throne of Glass series. 2 males with interest in a formidable female lead who is trapped in one way or another, in the castle. One is the prince, the other is her guard, vying for her attention. Lief is essentially Chaol, Merek is Dorian and Twylla is a watered down version of Celaena. Even some of the scenes echoed from the afore mentioned series - such as near the end, when 2 characters are dragged into the great hall for an execution. *cough* won’t say much more but I’m sure if you’ve read this book as well as Crown of Midnight, you’ll know what I’m on about. Such similarities and I loved Throne of Glass - and though it was nice to see the storyline again in another form, I do wish there was another take on it as that storyline is popping up in a lot of authors books - but for the time being, the familiarity of characters and setting was welcome. 

This review of getting far too long for my liking. Let me try and wrap it up. Good story, not fully what I expected but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Characters were likeable to a large extent, luckily no awkward third wheeling. One crazy power hungry villain - check. Interest story building and woven tales. Will absolutely be picking up the sequel to see where this goes and you should too. 

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