(Blog, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by Scholastic Inc. on February 24th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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 have no words…yet.
The Sin Eater’s Daughter has been on my must read list for a while. The cover first grabbed my attention because it is absolutely stunning and then when I read the summary I needed to have it. This is the first book in the series and I have to admit, the end of this book completely took me by surprise. With as impatient I am, I don’t know how I am going to wait for the next book. I will do my best not to disclose any spoilers here.
I love it when I enjoy the characters of a book just as much as the story itself and while they weren’t perfect, they were still great characters. Each played a critical role in moving the story along and I thought Salisbury did a wonderful job developing their background.
Twylla is an executioner because as the Goddess embodied, her touch is poisonous to anyone not of royal blood. She lives in the castle and is engaged to the Prince but as the Goddess embodied, it is her responsibility to make sure those who commit treason against the crown are punished. Twylla is an interesting character. She is somewhat naïve and trusts that her religion and faith will provide everything she needs. At times I felt bad for her due to the way she has been segregated from others but while she knows the queen is definitely evil, she also just assumes that because the queen tells her something, it must be true. While at first she looks at the queen as someone who saved her from the fate of being her mother’s replacement (a Sin Eater), she quickly realizes that the queen will do whatever she needs to in order to get what she wants…or keep the kingdom in her hands.
The queen is an easy “bad guy” to pick out. She is powerful and doesn’t want to lose what she has. To say she is willing to do whatever it takes to keep the power she has is not an understatement. There are some unsettling things that come up through the course of the story that made me cringe. With that said, the way she is obsessed about keeping the royal blood pure was another piece of the story that was cringe inducing. There was an unexpected twist around her plans that I absolutely didn’t see coming…I admit it. And I love it when things surprise me and plot twists are completely unexpected.
Another character I liked was Leif, the new guard assigned to Twylla. At first she does what she can to keep her distance from him but he pushes her to see she is more than just a vessel for the Goddess and that she deserves more than to be a prisoner in the castle. As they become closer, Twylla begins to want more than to just marry the prince and she begins to build more than just a friendship with Leif. I can’t say much more about Leif here…I know, I know. I suck for that but really; I don’t want to ruin anything.
Merek is the prince and I liked him. At first he seemed a bit standoffish but it became clear he was playing a role in front of his mother and others to protect himself. Although Merek and Twylla were engaged they never really spent any amount of time together. Now that he is back, they do When he comes back to the castle after his progress, he and Twylla begin to spend some time together. Merek has a plan for them to stop the queen but it comes at a cost.
The mythology and story of the Gods as well as the religious aspect of the story tied everything together for me. Salisbury created this world that is driven by a belief that the Gods would protect everyone and she brought it all back to Twylla and how those beliefs changed everything for her the day she went with her mother to the castle. It was not a coincidence that she had red hair and a wonderful singing voice, both signs that she was Daunen Embodied and a blessing to the land. The queen absolutely took advantage of the situation and opportunity.
So, there’s not much else I can say here without potentially giving anything away and I want you to be as surprised by the twists and turns of this book as I was. If you are looking for a fantastic story that has wonderfully developed characters, some mystery/intrigue, and some mythology that will have you squirming a bit, definitely check this book out. I couldn’t put this book down and am prepared to beg and plead to anyone who can get me a copy of book two of this series as soon as possible.
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